Government calls for postponement of Rome peace talks

Government calls for postponement of Rome peace talks
Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Minister of Presidential Affairs speaks to press (File photo)

The government has requested the Sant’Egidio to adjourn peace talks scheduled for July 10 to July 18 in Rome.

The government has said the request has been inspired by the need for the preparation for the celebration of the decade of independence slated for July 9 and the burial of the former Zambian President  Kenneth Kuanda.

A statement requesting for the postponement of the talks was issued on Monday by Dr. Barnabas Martial Benjamin, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, who doubles as the Revitalised government’s Chief negotiator at the Rome talks.

”I would like to request you to extend the date of SSOMA Rome peace talks with Gen. Paul Malong leader of SSUFA and Pagan Amum leader of SPLM to be held between 10 and 18 July.

“This is because I have been tasked to head the organising of a High Level Committee for the Celebration of tenth anniversaries of South Sudan independence,” Barnaba said in a statement.

The government and the holdout groups of Gen. Malong and Pagan signed declaration of principles early this year in Kenya to support the ceasefire. However, Gen. Thomas Cirilo, leader of NAS was not part of the discussion.

This is the second time the talks are being postponed. In May this year, NAS boycotted the negotiation over the death of one of their senior commander, who was suspected to have been assassinated in Uganda in April.