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South Sudan holdout opposition groups told to respect ceasefire

Photo: Government and opposition representatives signing the Rome Declaration to recommit to ceasefire

April 18, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s holdout opposition groups have been told by the African Union (AU) to respect the ceasefire agreement signed in Addis Ababa in December 2017 and which the parties recommitted to early this year in Rome, Italy.

The AU urged the groups in a communiqué issued on Friday following a meeting held through video conference.

“[The African Union] urges the hold out groups to continue to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in line with the Rome Declaration of January 2020, and the Resolution of February 2020,” it said.

“In this context, Council commends the work being done by the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Committee,” it added.

South Sudan’s holdout groups includes the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by General Thomas Cirilo, Real SPLM led by Pagan Amum and South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by General Paul Malong Swan.

The groups, which constitute the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) signed an agreement in Italy early this year which came into existence as the “Rome Declaration.”

The groups refused to sign the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018 on the account that the government of President Salva Kiir was monopolizing the talks which prevented the parties from addressing the “root causes” of the conflict.

The revitalized agreement is a peace deal signed by President Salva Kiir’s SPLM, Dr. Riek Machars’s SPLM-IO, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) led at the time by Changson Gabriel Chang (now by Josephine Lagu), the Former Detainees (FDs) led by Deng Alor and Other Opposition Parties (OPP) led by Peter Mayen.

Since the signing of the agreement, a ceasefire agreement signed by President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in June 2018 remained unviolated as peace monitors reported minor clashes between the signatories.

However, fighting has continue in many parts of the country’s Equatoria region between the government and holdout opposition groups and the SPLM-IO and the holdout opposition groups.

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