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S. Sudan’s opposition urges Catholic community to support dialogue

November 20, 2019 (ROME) – Leaders of South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) have urged the Sant’Egidio Catholic community in Rome to urgently engage with regional and international partners to make the national dialogue process in South Sudan a success.

United South Sudan Opposition Movements representatives pose after a meeting in Netherlands on Aug 30, 2019 (courtesy photo)

The call emerged at the end of three-day constructive meeting SSOMA held with the community in Rome, Italy.

The opposition movement consists of the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), the National Salvation Front (NAS) and South Sudan United Front (SSUF).

Founded in 1968, the Community of Sant’Egidio is a lay Catholic association that is dedicated to social service.

The opposition alliance, in a communiqué extended to Sudan Tribune, said the meeting mainly focused on the impasse pertaining to the implementation of the provisions of the revitalized peace deal signed in September last year.

“We, the in letter and spirit by its signatories, being thankful for the continuous outstanding empathy and affection shown to the suffering people of South Sudan by His Holiness Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury His Grace Justin Welby, commending the efforts exerted by the Community of Sant’Egidio to achieve a genuine and sustainable peace in South Sudan,” partly reads the communique.

They further welcomed the regional bloc (IGAD) Council of Ministers resolution on South Sudan of 10th November that directed the special envoy of South Sudan to engage with the non-signatories of the revitalized peace agreement.

The group, not signatory to the peace accord, also appreciated the continued regional and international support aimed at achieve political stability in South Sudan.

It opposition alliance also acknowledged tireless efforts exerted by the Troika countries (US, UK, Norway), IGAD, African Union, United Nations and European Union in providing necessary funds in support of peace and humanitarian assistance.

The opposition movement alliance was formed at The Hague, Netherlands on August 30, 2019 in response to what was described as the violation of the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan by the government of President Salva Kiir.

The alliance, during a meeting it held at The Hague, called for genuine truth and justice in South Sudan for the deaths of about 400,000 people said to have died in the civil war.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Riek 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.