25th October 2020
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Kiir grants amnesty to Cirillo, Malong & others

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance representatives pose after a meeting in Netherlands on Aug 30, 2019 | Credit | FB.

President Salva Kiir has granted amnesty to leaders of opposition groups that have refused to join the ongoing peace process.

Amnesty is a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of people, usually for a political offense.

In a decree read on state-owned SSBC TV on Tuesday evening, President Kiir says he has granted amnesty to all members of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA).

The SSOMA is a coalition of nine opposition groups formed in August 2019.

Prominent members include former army generals Paul Malong Awan who is heading the South Sudan United Front/Army, and Thomas Cirillo Swaka leading the National Salvation Front or NAS.

Other members are the former SPLM party secretary general Pagan Amum Okiech, Oyai Deng Ajak, and Chirino Hiteng Ofuho.

The amnesty comes two weeks after the group signed a declaration with Kiir’s government in Rome to observe the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and further negotiations as part of seeking a political solution to the South Sudan conflict.

They are expected to reconvene in Rome on 12 of next month for the second round of talks mediated by the Catholic Community of Sant’ Egidio in Italy.

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