Kiir directed resumption of peace talks with holdout armed group
AUTHOR: Chuol Jany | PUBLISHED: November 29, 2021
H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan speaking at Freedom Hall in Juba, photo TRC
President Salva Kiir Mayardit has granted the resumption of Rome peace talk with the South Sudan Opposition Movement and Army (SSOMA). The talk between the holdout group and government was mediated by the Community of Sant’Egidio, in Rome.
In September this year, the government announced the delay of the talk, citing violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in May 2021 between the government and the operation movement alliance.
He accused the National Salvation Front, led by General Thomas Cirilo, a prominent member of SSOMA, of being responsible for multiple road ambushes that killed several people along Juba – Nimule highway and Juba-Yei Road.
Kiir said the attack was a direct violation of the cessation of hostilities signed with the armed group and was unacceptable to continue with talk. The group denied any responsibility for the attack and accused the government of attacking their position.
Addressing the closure of the 5th governors’ forum in Juba on Monday, Kiir said the talks should resume without delay. He said this is his response to many voices that have called for Rome peace talks to resume, including appeals from Pop France.
“I hope this time SSOMA will respect the cessation of hostilities agreement to give room for negotiation that will move the talk on without further interruption,” Kiir said.
The Saint-Egidio-led mediation supports an inclusive peace agreement to persuade the holdout group to join the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018.