The Government of South Sudan and the rebel coalition South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) have extended their commitment to the ceasefire agreement, as part of their efforts to try to reach a peace deal in the African country.
The parties have recommitted to respecting the January 2020 Rome Declaration and have advocated “preventing any form of violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence, as well as properly investigating (incidents) and holding those responsible to account.”
They have also agreed to “ensure unrestricted and unconditional humanitarian access to all areas” as well as to “agree to establish a channel of communication between SSOMA and the Transitional and Ceasefire Agreement Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMVM).”
Pagan Amum Okiech, leader of the Royal Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), stressed that the two sides have also discussed the framework of the peace negotiations and stressed that “all political issues” will be addressed during the negotiations, as reported by Radio Tamazuj.
“The discussion has focused on how we can save South Sudan from these endless periods of transition and build a sustainable peace in the country,” he said, before stressing that the parties will address “the underlying causes of the conflict in South Sudan.”
The SSOMA rebel groups, agglutinated since August 2019 in the alliance, include the NAS, commanded by Thomas Cirillo, and the South Sudan United Front (SSUF), led by former army chief Paul Malong.
The unity government in South Sudan took off in February, following the materialization of the peace agreement signed in 2018 by the president, Salva Kiir, and the main rebel leader, Riek Machar, who was reappointed as vice president, a position he held before the civil war.
However, there are still some important pending points for the implementation of the peace agreement, including the unification and deployment of the joint security forces and the reconstitution of the Parliament, the body that will be in charge of implementing the reforms agreed in 2018 between the parties.