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UN envoy says Sudan mediating between NAS and Juba

October 25, 2020 (NEW YORK) - Sudan is currently embarking on an attempt to mediate between General Thomas Cirillo of the National Salvation Front (NAS) and the Government of South Sudan, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council Thursday last week.

Exiled South Sudanese rebel general Thomas Cirillo poses for a photograph inside his hotel room in Addis Ababa, on April 17, 2017 (Reuters photo)

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the UN Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa revealed that involvement of the Sudanese government comes in the wake of the ongoing Rome talks mediated by the Sant’Egidio community.

“Authorities in both countries are confident that all outstanding bilateral issues between their countries, including Abyei and resolution of the situation in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states, will benefit from the friendly relationships and the mutual trust they are now enjoying,” he said.

The UN official commended the strengthening relations between Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan, saying it offers an opportunity for the international community to engage in the two countries.

NAS, however, said reports on Sudan’s involvement were not true.

“This statement is not true. NAS is categorically not in contact with Sudan on any mediation. This information is diversionary as well as its purpose. We only know of SSOMA negotiation in Rome under Sant’Egidio. It will be helpful if you can provide us with official statement on this particular matter,” Suba Samuel Manase, the spokesperson for the hold-out group told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

NAS together with its allies in the opposition alliance participated in the third round of talks of the Rome Peace Process between South Sudan Opposition Movement (SSOMA) and the Revitalized Government of National Unity in South Sudan (R-TGoNU), under the auspices of the Sant’Egidio community in Rome from October 9-12.

The third round of the peace process was a continuation of the first and second rounds of talks mediated by the Sant’Egidio community.

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