- Barnaba Marial Benjamin shakes hands Thomas Cirilo after signing Ceasefire agreement in Roma on 14 Feb 2020 (Sant Egidio photo)
June 16, 2021 (JUBA) – The Secretary General of Sant’Egidio community in-charge of the Rome initiative, Paolo Impagliazzo has appealed to the hold-out groups and South Sudan government to cease hostilities ahead of the next round of talks.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, the official said he remains optimistic the mediation, which begin on a date yet to be agreed on, will reduce the violence in the country.
“With the clashes ongoing in South Sudan, especially in Central Equatoria State, it is difficult to have a mutual trust,” he explained.
Last month, South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) vowed that it would not resume the Rome peace talks with the government until regional countries guarantee the safety and security of their leaders currently residing in those countries.
This followed the murder of a prominent opposition figure in Kampala, Uganda in April.
But Impagliazzo said it remains the responsibility of regional governments to protect opposition alliance representatives residing in their respective countries.
“We ask the governments of the neighbouring countries to take all the necessary measures to facilitate the participation of SSOMA representatives to the next round of the talks,” he stated.
According to the Secretary General of the Sant’Egidio community, the resumption of the next round of talks will help reduce clashes between hold-out groups and government forces.
In January 2020, the opposition alliance and the government signed the Rome Declaration agreement to cease hostilities.