27th January 2021
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IGAD wants Rome peace talks brought ‘closer’ to home

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Thursday, January 14, 2021

File: The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Dr. Ismail Wais, held a meeting with Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo on Feb 25, 2019/Courtesy

The IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan says the regional body is proposing the relocation of Rome peace talks to any African country so that it can be near to the people.

In November 2019, the Sant’Egidio Catholic community-based in Rome, Italy started the mediation between the government and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOMA).

The coalition is led by Thomas Cirillo, Paul Malong, Pagan Amum, among others.

Ambassador Ismail Wais suggested that the peace talks be relocated to any nearby  African country.

“It is the interest of IGAD to bring the discussions to the region again, near to the people and to the country so that people also know what is going around and they are informed about what is going in these peace talks,” Amb. Wais said after meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Juba on Wednesday.

“It can be to Kenya to Uganda, it can be even to South Sudan, it can be to Sudan, Djibouti or Ethiopia.”

Amb. Wais also suggested that the talks could be taken to a country outside the IGAD region “if necessary where Sant’Egidio feels it is comfortable to conduct this meeting.”

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

In October 2020, the talks were adjourned after parties could not reach consensus on some contentious issues after four days of engagements in Italy.

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