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South Sudan Rome based peace talks hit another deadlock over two fundamentals

Dec 4, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The South Sudan peace talks between the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity(RTGoNu) and the hold-out oppositions under the umbrella of the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance(SSOMA), mediated by the Roman Catholic mediating community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, have hit another deadlock over two basic fundamentals.

Sant'Egidio’s facilitator Mr. Mario Guiro hosting the Sant'Egidio South Sudan Initiative in Rome, September 9 -12, 2020(Photo credit: Courtesy/Nyamilepedia)
Sant’Egidio’s facilitator Mr. Mario Guiro hosting the Sant’Egidio South Sudan Initiative in Rome, September 9 -12, 2020(Photo credit: Courtesy/Nyamilepedia)

In attempt to address the root causes of the conflict, while the RTGoNU delegation wants the root cause of the conflict to be categorized as a “political power wrangle” between the leaders, SSOMA wants the root cause of the conflict to be documented as socio-ethnic crisis.

On other fundamental issues, while the RTGoNU proposes a constitutional referendum that would be conducted through the national and state assemblies to decide on major issues such as reforms and federalism, SSOMA objects in preference for a nationwide referendum through popular votes.

Speaking to the official spokesperson of SSOMA, Hon. Deng Vanang, he said should the parties agree on these two fundamentals, then the talk may proceed.

“Government and SSOMA reached deadlock on two substantive issues and if resolved among others could lead to the start of substantive negotiations to resolve long running seven-year old conflict in South Sudan.” Deng Vanang said.

He reiterated that the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance is still oppose to the idea of holding a referendum in the parliaments owing to the fact that Kiir’s administration commands majority in the assemblies.

“One, SSOMA objected government’s proposal that constitutional referendum be conducted in the Constituent Assembly it dominates and not through popular votes SSOMA demands.” Vanang said.

The spokesman further added that the conflict might have started as a political disagreement; however, it has grown into socio-ethnic crises that has been targeting specific communities.

“Two, government argues South Sudan’s cause of conflict is of political nature which SSOMA diametrically opposes, saying it started as a political disagreement between leaders, but evolved immediately into socio-ethnic conflict through targeting of members of some ethnic groups deemed to be supportive of rebel SPLM leaders and other rebel factions.” He said.

The Rome based peace talks have made very little progress since the parties last signed the cessation of hostilities(CoH) earlier in January this year.

In addition to violations of the CoH, SSOMA has witnessed major splits within the last three months giving the RTGoNU that has been consolidating its position an upper hand.

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