South Sudan Rome peace talks end with no agreement

Oct 12, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s parties, which travelled to Rome to seek recommitment to a cessation of hostilities agreement(CoHA) signed between the government and a hold-out coalition, the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance, in January this year, have failed to reached compromizes to sign a recommitment to COHA.

South Sudanese parties holding a peace talks on cessation of hostilities in Rome, Italy (Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)

South Sudanese parties holding a peace talks on cessation of hostilities in Rome, Italy (Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)

Madiated by the Roman Catholic mediating Community, the Sant’Egidio, the parties spent the last four days in Rome negotiating recommitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as the government and peace guarantors aimed to silence the guns; however, the divided SSOMA demands that the agreement must be reviewed and re-signed by the parties in order to recommit to its principles.

The SSOMA leadership under Gen. Thomas Cirilo also demands for the root causes of the conflict to be reviewed but the government and the guarantors refused to re-open the R-ARCISS for renegotiation.

In briefing extended to Nyamilepedia by the SSOMA Leadership, the parties have disagreed on two main principles on a ten-principled document dubbed as the Declaration of the Principles(DOP).

According to the official Spokesman of SSOMA’s Rome delegation, Cde. Deng Vanang, the parties disargeed on SSOMA’s demand to subject the approval of the draft constitution to a referendum and also disagreed on a call to revert South Sudan boundaries to 1956 boundaries.

“Two of those points objected to by the government are referendum and borders and boundaries as stood on 1/1/1956.” DengVanang said.

In respond to this demand, the government delegation under the leadership of Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, argued that it is not necessary to hold a referendum to approve a draft constitution saying that it is a mandate that will be carried out by Revitalized Transitional Legislative Assembly.

“Point-3 of the DOP – Declaration Of Principles and its section C: talks of subjection of the draft constitution to referendum, which the government rejected , saying it should be the yet to be reconstituted Revitalized National Assembly to handle the matter without referring it to the plebiscite.” Deng said.

The South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance is not okay with such proposal fearing that the government will use its majority status quo in the RTLA to get away with laws that are not popular at the grassroots.

“By insisting on a transitional national parliament, the government knows it has the majority of MPs and money to compromise some opposition MPs  to circumvent the popular will.” SSOMA decries.

“Point-8 is the government’s opposition to the mention that borders and boundaries of South Sudan shall be as of 1/1/1956. By rejecting this proposal, the government still has the unethical mission of either re-instating its defunct 32 states or conquering more communal lands from politically incorrect ethnic groups  and handing them over to more favored ones.” the statement further reads.

Due to these disagreements, the parties did not sign the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as hoped; however, they have deferred the talks to Novemeber 13, 2020.

“COHA, Cessation of Hostilities’ Agreement  has only been agreed on and  initialled by the two parties. While its signing is differred to 13th November, 2020 when the same parties reconvene and tie  to DOP-ten-point document  for further discussion by the rival parties.” Deng Vanang said.

The South Sudan Oppositon Movement Alliance also had its own internal crisis that was engineered by a division in Gen. Paul Malong’s South Sudan United Front/Army.

The chaos in Malong’s party got the leader of the Real SPLM, Cde. Pagan Amum, involved; however, both Malong and Pagan, who hold a minority seatting in the coalition, had to be kicked out of SSOMA by the other four factions under the leadership of Gen. Thomas Cirilo.

In retaliation Pagan and Malong went on to claim that they are the Real SSOMA and that the other factions have defected from the alliance.

The internal chaos within SSOMA got Malong’s group barred from the first rounds of talks but they were later given a chance to be heard.

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