Extend olive branch to Cirilo, appeals Jadalla

Extend olive branch to Cirilo, appeals Jadalla

The governor of Central Equatoria State, Augustino Jadalla. [Photo: courtesy]

The governor of Central Equatoria State, Augustino Jadalla, tossed up the idea of engaging the resistant holdout groups to accept the ongoing Nairobi talks.

Jadalla made the statement while addressing the SPLM supporters who had attended the rally organized by Greater Equatoria to endorse President Salva Kiir as the flagbearer in the upcoming elections.

He stressed the need for reaching out to groups such as the National Salvation Front (NAS), led by Thomas Cirilo, arguing that when peace is realized, Central Equatoria State will equally be beneficiaries.  

 “Support endeavours to engage the holdout groups of sons and daughters of Central Equatoria State to foster dialogue,” Jadalla said, adding that it is the role of every citizen to embark on peace.

Jadalla vowed to ensure that his administration did whatever was necessary to ensure activities that supported the upcoming election were put in place. 

“Your Excellency, the people of Central Equatoria State are more than ready for the December 2024 general elections. Speaking as SPLM Chairperson of Central Equatoria State, my priorities will be to address challenges and obstacles hindering a national program for democratic transition,” he said.

He added that the leaders serving under his administration in Central Equatoria State will engage all the communities to address security issues and peacebuilding.

The governor also promised to support the sustainable return and resettlement of refugees and IDPs.

Recently, Cirilo rejected the ongoing Nairobi peace talks and instead advocated for a “roundtable conference” encompassing all stakeholders.

In a statement he posted on the X platform (formerly Twitter), Cirillo criticised the Nairobi initiative for excluding a comprehensive discussion on the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan.

“South Sudanese are being robbed of the opportunity of holding a roundtable conference that would allow them to discuss and resolve the root causes of the conflict in the country and agree on important pillars for the establishment of their new nation and peaceful coexistence,” Cirilo wrote.

He reaffirmed NAS’s stance, alongside its allies in the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), demanding a “roundtable conference of stakeholders” to facilitate credible and genuine negotiations.

Cirillo emphasised the need for a suitable environment conducive to achieving sustainable peace.

Despite a permanent ceasefire agreement, NAS has continued fighting government forces in various parts of the Greater Equatoria region.

Since 2020, NAS has engaged in the Rome initiative, a peace process facilitated by the Community of Sant’Egidio. The talks collapsed last year, prompting President Salva Kiir Mayardit to seek Kenyan mediation.