Home | News    Tuesday 28 April 2020

South Sudan SSOMA says committed to Rome not IGAD peace process

Signatories of Rome Declaration pose after the signing of the deal on 13 Jan 2020 (Photo St Egidio)April 28, 2020 (JUBA) - The South Sudan Opposition Movements’ Alliance (SSOMA), reiterated its rejection of the revitalized peace pact and IGAD rules of engagement saying they are only committed to the Rome Peace Process.

On Friday 24th of April 2020, Ismail Wais the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan told reporters by video conference from Addis Ababa that the Sant’Egidio is "facilitating" discussions between the South Sudanese government and the SSOMA in Rome but the process remains "under the IGAD rules of engagement".

In response to a question by Sudan Tribune, he further that once a peace agreement is reached the SSOMA has two alternatives if they want to participate in the three-year transition.

"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".

In response, the SSOMA recalled its rejection of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) stressing that the root causes of the conflict remain unresolved.

The R-ARCSS "does not address the fundamental root causes of the conflict; which have been accepted and acknowledged by the government of the Republic of South Sudan in the Rome Declaration as the basis of Rome Peace Process," SSOMA said.

The opposition alliance, further, brushed aside the two alternatives offered by the IGAD special envoy saying they are "misplaced", adding these options "have never been considered before".

"It must be explicitly stated that at present, SSOMA does not follow any rules of engagement other than those that have been set up by the Community of Sant’Egidio peace initiative".

The holdout opposition groups reject the revitalized peace deal saying that their main claim for a new governance system dividing up power between a national government and local state governments.

The statement dismissed statements by Wais that he had discussions with the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Gen Paul Malong about their situation once a peace agreement is signed in Rome.

"SSOMA categorically refutes the notion that discussions are underway between the SSUF/A and the IGAD for whatever reason," said the statement before to add that Malong met Wais twice in December 2018 and March 2019.

During these meeting the IGAD mediator, Malong declared his readiness to negotiate a peace agreement facilitated by the IGAD.

(ST)