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Civil society body lauds S. Sudan’s opposition demands for dialogue

October 3, 2019 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese civil society entity has welcomed South Sudan Opposition Movements (SSOM) alliance’s recent demand for dialogue with President Salva Kiir’s government.

South Sudanese civil society activist Edmund Yakani (The Niles/File)

In a statement issued on Friday, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said it fully supports the opposition’s on the need for dialogue than violence to resolve political differences.

“This is clear sense of nationalism and responsibility for making stability prevails in South Sudan. This call should be taken serious by both the government and SSOM. CEPO appreciates the positive response of SSOM to our regular calls for resolution of the political difference in a non-violent manner,” CEPO said in a statement.

It said the conflicting political parties not signatory to the peace deal should give chance for dialogue than violence for resolving their political difference with the government while also urging the Juba regime to give dialogue a chance instead of resorting to violence.

“Further continuous of violence in South Sudan offers great risk for taking the country to the worse situation nobody ever wishes,” noted CEPO.

Meanwhile, CEPO is urging the regional bloc (IGAD) special envoy to South Sudan to take seriously SSOM’s call and facilitate the dialogue.

On Wednesday, members the opposition alliance demanded for dialogue with Kiir’s government, saying it is the only “genuine” and “meaningful” way of achieving lasting peace in the young nation.

The group, in a statement, expressed dismay at what it described as President Kiir’s withdrawal of earlier calls for a peaceful resolution, through dialogue with non-signatories to the September peace deal.

Separately, the opposition movement alliance also criticized David Shearer, the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), after he attributed the surge in violence in the country to the activities of non-signatories to the September 2018 peace deal.

The group said as co-signatories to the December 2017 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement; they will respectfully abide by and uphold it.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.