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Sudan Tribune

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S. Sudan leader approves resumption of talks with holdout groups

Rome process

Peace talks between South Sudanese government and holdout armed groups in Rome

November 30, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has endorsed the resumption of peace talks mediated by the Sant’Egidio community with the hold-out opposition groups, renewing hopes for peace and stability in the country.

The Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the South Sudanese leader on Monday asked the government negotiation team to prepare for talks.

“Yes, I confirm that His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit has permitted the resumption of talks with the hold out-groups. Preparations are now being made for these processes. Once these preparations are completed, the public will be informed of when these talks are going to start,” he told Sudan Tribune Tuesday.

The minister said the resumption of the peace talks showed the commitment of the president and his government to end the conflict in the East African nation.

He further revealed that the government was in contact with the mediation team to discuss ways of accelerating the talks mediated by the Sant’Egidio community.

Marial said the talks, involving all parties under the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOMA), seek to find a way to achieve “a just and durable political settlement and to recommit themselves to the permanent comprehensive cease-fire”.

Negotiations between the government and hold-out opposition groups were suspended in August following rising militant attacks along major highways.

The opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) denied involvement in the attacks.

RESUMPTION OF PEACE TALKS WELCOMED

Meanwhile, Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) welcomed President Kiir’s announcement for the resumption of peace talks with the holdout groups, saying dialogue is the only way to resolve political differences.

The advocacy group urged the South Sudanese government and the opposition alliance members to fully utilize the Rome peace talks to ensure peace prevails.

For his part, South Sudan’s Finance minister Agak Achuil Lual equally welcomed the decision to resume peace talks with various hold-out opposition movements.

“I appreciate His Excellency the President of the Republic, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit for announcing the resumption of Rome Peace Talks with Holdout Groups under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egidio,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Early this year, the South Sudan government and the opposition alliance signed the Rome Declaration agreement and committed to immediately cease hostilities.

Political analysts and observers argue that neither Kiir nor the hold-out opposition groups seem fully committed to the peace talks mediated by the Sant’Egidio community, citing violations of previous agreements by both sides.

(ST)