29th October 2020
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Vatican organizes special meeting with gov’t, holdout groups

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, October 15, 2020

Government representative, Dr. Barnaba Marial and SSOMA's General Thomas Cirillo Swaka at Saint Egidio headquarters in Rome. | Credit |AFP or licensors)

The Saint Egidio Community has announced plans to organize meetings between military and political representatives of the government and opposition groups during the Rome peace talks.

According to the Vatican news website, the talks scheduled to take place in Rome is to ensure the opposition is included in established mechanisms to monitor ceasefire violations.

The holdout armed groups are not currently represented in the ceasefire monitoring body, CTSSAM-VM.

The government and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOMA, are expected to meet from 9 to 12 November and on 30 of the same month.

Earlier this week, the two sides renewed their commitment to a ceasefire and to pursue dialogue, in the quest for peace in South Sudan.

“….it was possible to rebuild trust between the parties after the pause of the pandemic, which unfortunately resulted in the resumption of clashes,” said Impagliazzo, referring to ceasefire negotiations in January and February 2020.

The mediators say the first encounter foresees a workshop with the participation of military representatives, whereas the second aims to result in the signing of a declaration of principles of political nature.

The parties will also discuss issues of federalism, the Constitution, security, land allocation and reconciliation.

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 this month.

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.

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