Juba lifts suspension on Rome peace talk

The government of South Sudan has announced the lifting of the suspension on Rome Peace talk with the holdout group ahead of Pope Francis visit to the country.

In November 2022, Kiir administration suspended the negations claiming that the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) who changed it name to Non-Signatory group are “buying time and preparing for war” using the Rome peace process.

However, the minister of presidential affairs and the head of government delegation for Rome peace talk Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin announced the lifting of the suspension on Saturday  during the presidential inspection of the facilities ahead of the papal visit this coming weekend.

“The president has lifted the restriction on Rome peace talk with hold out group of Thomas Cirilo, Pagan Amum and Paul Malong,” Barnaba announced.

Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland are expected to arrive in Juba on 3 – February 2023.

He has been praying and pleading with the transitional leaders to stay in peace since 2019 and his visit to Juba is viewed as a commitment to what he started.

During a two-day spiritual retreat at the Vatican in 2019, Pope Francis kissed the feet of South Sudan’s leaders, begging them to live in peace.

“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart,” the old pontiff pleaded with the leaders after the kissing of feet.

The Rome peace declaration was initiated in January 12th, 2020 with the signing of the ceasefire Agreement between the government and opposition groups under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egidio and regional organizations.