Gov't, holdout groups agree to resume peace talks in South Sudan

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January 13, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan government and an alliance of holdout armed groups Monday agreed to cease hostilities and to resume discussions for an inclusive peace with the support of the Roman Catholic Sant’ Egidio peace group.

The Rome Declaration on the Peace Process in South Sudan was signed in Rome between the government, South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) in presence of the SPLM/A-10 and NDM and the IGAD.

The declaration was signed by Barnaba Marial Benjamin, who headed the government delegation, the leaders of the opposition alliance including Thomas Cirillo Swaka, Paul Malong Awan Anei, Pagan Amum Okiech as well as the leaders of the three other groups.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune at the end of a four-day meeting, the parties agreed that the South Sudanese conflict requires “a comprehensive political engagement” to achieve “inclusivity and sustainable peace” with the non-signatory groups of the revitalized peace agreement.

The parties “Agreed that the dialogue shall continue under the auspices of Sant’Egidio in consultation with IGAD and with the support of regional organisations and the international community” reads the declaration.

The signatories further declared a truce in line with the cessation of hostilities agreement of December 2017 ” as to create a conducive environment for dialogue to resolve the conflict”

“This shall come into effect on the 15th of January 2020 00:00 hours”.

The agreement comes as the government and the signatories of the revitalized peace agreement struggle to implement the pre-transition arrangements before the agreed deadline of 12 February for the formation of the transitional government.

The holdout groups rejected the revitalized peace pact and call to open it for further talks as they demand large autonomy for the regions with the appropriate resources.

The declaration said that Sant’Egidio will meet with IGAD to the monitoring and verification of the ceasefire.

The parties also agreed to allow humanitarian access to civilians in the war-affected areas.

SSOMA which was formed at The Hague on August 30, 2019, comprises of The Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), National Salvation Front (NAS). South Sudan United Front (SSUF) and the United Democratic Revolutionary Movement/Army (UNDRM/A)., National Democratic Movement-PF (NDM-PF), and Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC).

(ST)

Source: sudantribune