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Paul Malong and Pagan Amum are missing out on ongoing Rome talks

Dec 3, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Key members of the divided South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) leadership councils are missing out on the Rome talks that kicked off yesterday between SSOMA groups and a government delegation.

Pagan Amum, right, and General Paul Malong, left (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

According to Kwaje Lasu, the Interim Secretary-General for SSOMA, the two leaders, Paul Malong Awan of South Sudan United Front (SSUF) and Pagan Amum of the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM) will not participate in the talks because of internal differences.

“They will not be part of the talks because as you know from the beginning, they were with us but Malong is still suspended and investigations are ongoing. And our brother Pagan refused the charter. They will not be at the talks until we resolve the issues within SSOMA,” Lasu said.

The Interim Secretary-General for SSOMA said that the parties will discuss the cessation of hostilities and a declaration of principles which will address the causes of crisis in South Sudan.

“We are going to continue with talks based on what we left last time in October some of which is the recommitment for the cessation of hostilities. We aim to discuss the declaration of principles which will be a guiding document that is showing the root causes of crises in South Sudan,” Lasu said.

“We are very hopeful again to meet and engage with our colleagues and brothers in the government,” he added.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia from Brussels two days ago, the official spokesman of SSOMA, Deng Vanang, reiterated that Gen. Paul Malong and his group can only attend the talks as private individuals, saying that Malong has been suspended on charges of conspiracy and has to be investigated by the group.

According to Deng, Pagan can return to SSOMA any time but he has to accept and sign the new charter which he seems to oppose.

SSOMA split over differences in October after the South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSNDA) of Thomas Cirillo, suspended the membership of Malong’s SSUF from SSOMA.

Pagan Amum, the head of the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM) and member of the SSOMA leadership council, rejected Malong’s suspension saying the move violates the regulations of the alliance. 

SSOMA was initially made up of six groups but the parties split into two groups under Gen. Cirilo and Gen. Malong.

While four parties initially sided with Thomas Cirilo’s SSOMA group and two groups(Malong’s and Pagan’s) went their way, however,  SSOMA-Cirilo group has recently given birth to the RDM, a new group that is led by Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok leaving Cirilo with only three parties.

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