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New ceasefire takes effect

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, January 16, 2020

A cessation of hostilities pact between the government and non-signatories to the new peace deal armed opposition groups is now in effect across the country.

This follows the signing of a declaration in Rome by the government and armed groups led by General Thomas Cirillo Swaka and Paul Malong Awan.

The deal signed last week in Italy agreed to further political dialogue for the hold-out groups to participate in the ongoing peace process.

The talks were mediated by the community of Sant’ Egidio, a Roman Catholic peace body.

A government delegation led by the President ‘Special Envoy, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin resolved to discuss the root-causes of the conflict in the country with Paul Malong, Thomas Cirillo and former SPLM Secretary-General, Pagan Amum.

The parties declared to recommit and adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017 to avoid any further armed confrontations across the country.

Dr. Barnaba Marial told the State television in Juba on Wednesday that the cessation of hostilities deal is effective as of January midnight.

“There should be no more attacks or any disruption of the peace process,” Dr. Marial said.

Speaking in Rome, the leader of the newly created Real-SPLM faction, Pagan Amum, said the hold-out groups are committed to addressing their grievances through a political dialogue.

“We have agreed in the declaration of Rome, first, to recommit ourselves to a cessation of hostilities to create a conducive environment for dialogue, so that we can address the root-causes of the problem,” the former SPLM secretary general stressed.

“In our process of state and nation-building, there is a lot that we have to do to become a free, peaceful and a prosperous country for all our people –without any discrimination.”

A cessation of hostilities means that the government and the armed groups have agreed to stop fighting and to restrain their forces from any confrontations or propaganda.

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