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Sudan Tribune

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SSOMA should join their former groups to participate in South Sudan’s transition: IGAD

Barnaba Marial Benjamin shakes hands Thomas Cirilo after signing Ceasefire agreement in Roma on 14 Feb 2020 (Sant Egidio photo)
Barnaba Marial Benjamin shakes hands Thomas Cirilo after signing Ceasefire agreement in Roma on 14 Feb 2020 (Sant Egidio photo)

April 24, 2020 (JUBA) – The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan said the holdout groups can join their former groups if they want to participate in the transitional process after the signing of a peace agreement with the government.

The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) and the South Sudanese government were expected to resume peace talks in March but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Saint’Edigio mediation team to cancel the meeting.

In a teleconference on Friday, Ismail Wais spoke to reporters about the outcome of the IGAD Council of Ministers extraordinary meeting which asked President Kiir to dissolve the incumbent legislative within a week and to reconstitute a new one ten days after.

Asked by Sudan Tribune about the possible participation of the SSOMA factions in the transitional period institutions, Wais said the holdout groups have two alternatives.

“One alternative, they come back and again join their former institutions. The other alternative is to stand alone and join the process but not in the implementation as such. So they can prepare themselves and participate in the elections within three years, and take any activities or mandate given to them by the people of South Sudan”.

These are the IGAD rule of engagement, he further asserted say all the parties and Sant’Egidio facilitators are aware of that.

However, Wais admitted that a solution should be found for the South Sudan Unified Front of Paul Malong which was not part of the IGAD mediated peace process.

“Paul Malong) is the only one to be outside the peace agreement. So with him, there could be any other solution we are discussing this with him,” he said.

The IGAD Council of Ministers on Thursday endorsed the signing of the Rome Resolution on Monitoring and Verification of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 2017 between SOOMA and the government saying it would create a conducive environment for an all-inclusive peace process in South Sudan.

The SSOMA includes the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), National Salvation Front (NAS). South Sudan United Front (SSUF) and the United Democratic Revolutionary Movement/Army (UNDRM/A), National Democratic Movement-PF (NDM-PF), and Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC).