President Salva Kiir has once again called on the holdout groups to return to the country and join in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement during its extended period.
On Thursday, the parties to the 2018 peace deal agreed to extend the transitional period for 24 months to allow them to complete the implementation of the remaining provisions.
The previous transitional period was expected to an end in the next six months although most of the provisions in the peace deal have not been implemented.
The RTGoNU pledged to redouble its efforts to complete the remaining provisions in order to pave way for a successful election and build an effective government.
In his remarks in Juba on Thursday, President Salva Kiir called on Pagan Amum, Thomas Cirillo and Paul Malong to join the government in the extended transitional period.
“I’m calling on two of them [Pagan Amum and Thomas Cirilo) in particular to come back to South Sudan and collaborate with us in creating conditions for a complete political transition from war to everlasting peace,” he appealed.
The holdout opposition group is made up of the South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by General Paul Malong, Real SPLM led by Pagan Amum, and the National Salvation Front led by General Thomas Cirillo.
Malong and Pagan are actively engaging the government in the Rome talks as part of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), while NAS under Thomas Cirillo said their ambition is separate.
The Saint-Egidio-led mediation is aimed at supporting an inclusive peace agreement in South Sudan by persuading the hold-out group to join the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018.
On July 29, CTSAMVM said the Real SPLM and the South Sudan United Front will join the peace mechanisms as monitors following an induction training by CTSAMVM in Rome, Italy.
“They should come back home and join hand with us in Juba like some of their comrades have done. We were together in the liberation and while we differed, we need them to join us now to set history on a correct course,” Kiir stated.
For his part, the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar said although NAS has not shown interest in being part of CTSAMVM, Cirillo will eventually join the peace process if implemented faithfully.
“I had a discussion with Thomas Cirilo [in Rome]…but he said ‘since you are committed to the agreement, go! If you implement it; I will have no reason to continue being a holdout,” Machar disclosed.
“We have given ourselves a challenge to implement [peace] in 24months plus the remaining period of the transitional period and therefore, we must move forward,” he stated.
Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization [CEPO] echoed the President’s appeal for the inclusion of SSOMA in the implementation of the revitalized peace deal.
“Can we go for elections where we are in peace and stability and we hold our hands together as the values of our national anthem so that we can have a path way?” Yakani asked the parties.
The national monitors of the two parties under SSOMA are expected to join CTSAMVM on 15th August 2022.
CTSAMVM said it is in contact with the community of Sant’Egidio to engage the leadership of NAS (Cirilo) to rejoin the Rome peace process.