South Sudan Divided Alliance hold seperate peace talks in Rome, Italy
Oct 10, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The rivaling South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance(SSOMA) have gone into seperate negotiations on the second day of the Sant’Egidio facilitated peace talks in Rome, Italy.
Latest reports from Rome confirmed that a group led by Gen. Paul Malong Awan and Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak held seperate talks with the government delegation in a “tiny room” after being denied access to the first rounds of talks on October 9, 2020 on the basis that they have been kicked out from the SSOMA coalition.
“Face-to-face meeting between SSOMA leaders and government delegation has just kicked off now in Rome. Our Chairman Gen. Paul Malong is leading the talks on SSOMA side” Chol Duang, Malong’s press secretary announced on Social media.
Gen. Oyai, who is also a former Chief of Staff of the former SPLA, was representing Cde. Pagan Amum, the leader of the Real SPLM who differed with SSOMA Leadership and refused to sign a document that would have isolated Gen. Paul Malong from the Rome based peace initiatives.
On Saturday, tthe Roman Catholic Church Community of Sant’Egidio and the government delegation led by the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Nhial Deng Nhial, met the group led by Gen. Paul Malong and Gen. Oyai Deng seperately after they missed the Friday session and had mutual understanding on inclusivity.
Despite the internal chaos within the opposition movement alliance, the Rome based South Sudan peace talks are being witnessed by the USA, UK, Norway, Switzerland, UN, EU, AU, IGAD Special Envoy and the acting Chairperson of the RJMEC.
The talks will resume on Sunday with the three rivaling factions that include the Government delegation on one side, and Thomas Cirilo’s 4 SSOMA opposition movements and Paul Malong’s 2 opposition movements on the other side.
The talks focus mostly on cessation of hostilities but the parties still slightly differ on mechanisms and resolutions.
While the government delagation is looking forward to strike a deal that may return these opposition leaders home, the main SSOMA faction under Thomas Cirilo demands for root causes of the crises, federalism, accountability and justice to be addressed.
Responding to SSOMA demands, the IGAD Special Envoy Dr. Ismail Wais and the Acting Chairperson of the R-JMEC Lt. General Charles Tai Gituai strictly reiterated that the Rome peace talks are not aimed to re-open renegotiation of R-ARCISS but rather a chance to incorporate the opposition movements into the current peace deal.
On their parts, the United States, Norway and Switzerland have pledged to provide funding for cessation of hostilities if the parties strike a deal on Sunday that would restore stability, peace and security in the country.
According to the mediating Community of Sant’Egidio, the Sunday talks shall focus mostly on cessation of hostilities while the Monday talks will address political issues that are fueling the conflict before the talks conclude on Tuesday.