Nov 11, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The National Salvation Front (NAS) suspended its participation in the CTSAMVM workshop which was underway in Rome following an attack by SSPD on its base in Lobonok.
Speaking to Nyamilepedia from Belgium, Deng Vanang, the official spokesperson of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), confirmed on Tuesday that the talks in Rome-Italy between the CTSAMVM and SSOMA were still underway; however, SSOMA had suspicion that CTSAMVM had intention to persuade the forces to put down their guns and try to mint relations with the South Sudan People Defense Force(SSPDF).
In a statement issued earlier today, SSOMA-Cirillo faction accused the government of lacking the political will for peaceful resolution of conflict in South Sudan and any attempt to persuade the army to joint the SSPDF is not acceptable.
The Statement went on to accuse President Salva Kiir and his government of lacking political will to resolve the conflict in the country.
“SSOMA would like to inform its members, supporters, regional and international community, and more importantly the people of South Sudan that President Kiir and his government lack the political will for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.” Part of the statement reads.
The statement further acknowledged that “SSOMA and the government of South Sudan had signed the Rome Resolution to recommit to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement(CoHA) on 12th January 2020”; however, SSOMA has now decided to suspend its participation in CTSAMVM work in Rome until the government recommits to CoHA.
“Therefore, effective immediately, SSOMA is suspending its participation in CTSAMVM workshop in Rome until RTGoNU respects and commits itself to CoHA,” the statement continued.
This came after the SSPDF attacked NAS forces in Lobonok county.
According to the NAS mouthpiece, Suba Samuel Manase, the SSPDF from Kerpeto in Lobonok County attacked NAS tactical base and briefly managed to push NAS forces to make a tactical withdrawal on Tuesday.
Samuel said that the cowardly act came at the time when there was an on-going Ceasefire and Transitional Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) workshop between the government and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOMA) in Rome, Italy.
Responding to the allegations, Santo Dominic, the acting SSPDF spokesman rubbished the claims saying that it was NAS that attacked their position first and that the police counter attacked in self-defence.
“It happened yesterday on the 10 of November at 5 AM. Elements of NAS attacked a defensive position of SSPDF and then again at 10 AM they attacked two SSPDF defensive positions and our soldiers were not aware of impending attacks because of the prevailing ceasefire and some have been living with their civilian families in the barracks. Four civilians, a woman, two children, and an adult male, were killed in the ensuing fire exchange yesterday,” Dominic said.
“So our forces returned fire and repulsed the NAS attack leaving two attackers dead. We found them on the ground with their rifles.” He continued.
The South Sudanese Rome peace talks, organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio, between the South Sudan’s Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and the holdout opposition groups, the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance(SSOMA) of Thomas Cirilo resumed on Monday in Rome, Italy.
Unlike the previous session, this session was intended for the military wings and CTSAMVM while the political wings were expected to resume negotiations toward the end of this month but with the latest development it is not clear how the talks will proceed.
The October session saw sharp split in SSOMA as the six-party alliance divided into two major factions under Gen. Thomas Cirilo and Gen. Paul Malong Awan whose SSUF/A also splitted into two factions; however, the mediating Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio managed to accomodate both factions at different times within the alloted time frames.