Are SSOMA parties facing unity test in Nairobi Peace Talks?

Are SSOMA parties facing unity test in Nairobi Peace Talks?

Parties negotiating with the Government of South Sudan in Nairobi, Kenya, under the Tumaini Initiative are facing a potential unity test, where some factions within their ranks are suspected of undermining the peace talks.

On Monday, a document surfaced which was attributed to SSOMA and bore a raft of recommendations, among them proposing three years for President Kiir to lead the country and hand over power.

But SSOMA swiftly disowned the document, stating that it was coined by “peace spoilers” to mislead the public about the stand of the holdout groups in the talks.

Despite the SSOMA refuting a document, the South Sudan United Front (SSUF) Party led by Paul Malong Awan—which is part of the alliance— issued a statement informing the public that it had detected “some hostile members” within its ranks who had malicious schemes of misinforming the public and usurping the roles of its delegates in the talks.

“Some of the hostile elements of this South Sudan United Front (SSUF) and anti-peace ongoing between the parties in those negotiations are acting irresponsibly towards the ongoing talks in Kenya to show unreasonable rumours,” stated the Secretary-General of SSUF, Maulana Nyanthon.

“So, here we can say that what is happening in the media does not represent us in any way and we deplore the barbaric act,” she noted.

Nyanthon further noted that the leadership had restricted its members “from using social media since the beginning of the Nairobi Peace talks to prevent confusion.”

“ We …have prohibited all our members from talking about decisions and topics in ongoing peace processes on social media networking sites only when necessary to prevent confusion.”

She added: “We are ready to continue the ongoing peace negotiations in Kenya to reach a peace agreement.”  

According to Nyanthon, the leadership and internal regulations have also restricted SSUF/A members present in Kenya from attending the venue of talks, except for those selected for participation.

“Exchange of information related to conversations within closed borders so that those who do this are held accountable,” she stated.  

 She further averred that the leader of the SSUF/A, Paul Malong, is a military personnel of good morals who cannot choose his desired jobs without striking a peace deal.

“This confirms the persistence of anti-peace elements, and we want to reassure our people that we are moving forward with peace talks,” she noted.

This was just a day after SSOMA representative, Lual Dau, issued a statement confirming that the document attributed to the alliance was not genuine.

“This document has nothing to do with us, so it was created somewhere. We don’t know who the author of the document is; leave it alone who leaked it,” Lual said on Monday, adding that their adversaries were scheming to derail the Nairobi Talks.