29th October 2020
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South Sudan peace talks in Rome end in stalemate

Author: Garang Abraham Malaak | Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Talks will resume in November, 2020

Talks between the government and holdout opposition groups have been adjourned to November after both sides failed to reach a compromise in Rome.

The spokesperson of the government delegation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin announced that they could not reach consensus on some contentious issues after four days of engagements in Italy.

Earlier this week, the government and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOMA, who are non-signatories to the revitalized peace agreement resumed talks under the mediation of Sant’Egidio.

SSOMA is a coalition of opposition groups led by Thomas Cirillo, Paul Malong, Pagan Amum, among others.

The political dialogue seeks to address what the opposition groups called “the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan” and facilitate further reconciliation and stability.

Dr. Marial confirmed that both sides could not agree -especially on the type of federalism and the internal boundaries in South Sudan.

“But until we reach a tangible deal; I would be able to give a statement to avoid affecting the talks,” he stated.

A statement by South Sudan Opposition Movements’ Alliance – seen by Eye Radio – notes that the latest round of talks was just catch-up sessions to show commitment and good intentions for further dialogue.

“This round of peace talks focused on recommitment of SSOMA and R-TGoNU to Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA), participation in the CTSAMVM, and negotiation on Declaration of Principles to guide upcoming talks to address the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan,” SSOMA noted.

The parties this week signed a Declaration of Principle to guide the talks on the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan.

But before departing for Italy, the government delegation said it is returning to the table with the spirit of compromise and cooperation with the hold-out groups.

“The government delegation has been actually resolving these issues on compromises, on cooperation, on give-and-take and win-win for all. That spirit is with us,” Dr. Marial had said.

The talks started on 9 – 12 October, 2020. The parties are expected to resume negotiations on 30th November 2020.

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.

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