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Gov’t, SSOMA resume peace talks in Rome

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Saturday, October 10, 2020

Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka during the talks/Courtesy photo

Peace talks have resumed in Rome between the government and the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance.

The direct talks restarted on Friday in the Italian capital, Rome after a long halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sant’Egidio-led mediation is aimed at supporting an inclusive peace agreement in South Sudan by persuading the hold-out group to join the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018.

The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) and the government signed the Rome Declaration in January to recommit to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

However, observes say there was an increase in military activities between the warring parties in areas of Yei in Central Equatoria State.

According to Pasquale Otwel Akot, a member of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance, the government delegation is led by the Minister of Presidential Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial while General Thomas Cirilo, the leader of the National Salvation Front represented the SSOMA.

Representatives of IGAD, the United Nations, and the European Union are also attending the talks.

“The sessions will continue today, with direct talks on the process of cessation hostilities, and we will discuss political issues,” Pasquale told Eye Radio on Saturday.

He says the four-day talks will end on October 12.

“We in the “SSOMA” coalition we believe that it is necessary to address part of the root cause of the political crisis that led to the problem in South Sudan,  and this is for a federal, democratic nation in which everyone is equal,” Pasquale added.

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