SSOMA faction and South Sudan government recommit to cessation of hostilities agreement

Photo credit: Radio Tamazuj

The government and a section of South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance – SSOMA have recommitted themselves to a “Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” signed in 2017. 

The peace negotiation between the government and a faction of SSOMA led by Gen. Paul Malong Awan of South Sudan United Front and Pagan Amum Okiech, the leader of Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement is taking place in Naivasha, Kenya.

“It is a very good agreement that we signed yesterday, the recommitment to cessation of hostilities and the Rome Declaration, and Rome declaration. It is a good signal that the talks have started in good spirit and open mindedness and reconciliation,” the head of government delegation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Abyei FM on Tuesday.

The parties also agreed on access to humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance across the country and committed themselves to abstain from human rights such as gender-based violence.

Hon. Benjamin – who is also the Special Envoy of South Sudan President says they will continue holding separate meetings with SSOMA faction under Gen. Thomas Cirilo in order to restore peace in the country.

“We want total peace in our country, that is why we continue to meet them,” Hon. Benjamin says.

SSOMA is a coalition of opposition parties that did not sign the 2018 revitalized peace agreement being implemented in the country. But it got divided in late 2020.

The peace talks mediated by the Rome-based Sant’Egidio Community in coordination with the government of Kenya will continue till Friday this week.

Pa’gan Amum Okiech, leader of the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), said both sides discussed a framework for peace negotiations in which all political issues will be thoroughly discussed in this round of talks.

Radio Tamazuj has quoted him says, “all the political issues will be negotiated under the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan. The discussion centred on how we can save South Sudan from these endless transitional periods and build sustainable peace in the country.”

The opposition politician said the ongoing peace process will create a new phase of transition that addresses the past mistakes and allow to achieve the democratic transformation in South Sudan.

“I would like to reiterate our commitment to the unity of the opposition groups, and we will work to address our internal problems amicably because I believe we only have differences on secondary matters,” Pa’gan.