SSOMA delegation to visit Juba for security talks

SSOMA delegation to visit Juba for security talks
The Minister for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin (L), holds hands with the Secretary-General of Sant’Egidio Community, Paolo Impagliazzo (C), and Pagan Amum of SSOMA’s Real-SPLM.[ Photo: Courtesy]

A team representing the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) will soon arrive in Juba for the actualisation of the ceasefire deal.

The team, which comprises the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Gen. Paul Malong Awan and Real SPLM of Pagan Amum, is expected to visit Juba for security talks with the Ceasefire Transitional and Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM).

This was revealed in a joint communiqué after a successful meeting in Rome, Italy, where negotiating parties under Rome Talks successfully met and struck resolutions.

The Military Spokesperson of SSUF/A, Col Philip Deng Nguot, said the SSOMA and CTSAMVM teams are due to arrive in Juba soon for the security talks.

The move is intended to prepare for the integration of the group into a ceasefire monitoring mechanism (CTSAMVM).

“The SSOMA CTSAMVM team is ready to make it to Juba before August 1st, and that would easily pave the way to the implementation of all focal points stipulated in the just signed communique in Rome on Thursday,” Col Deng stated.

“There is a very high hope for the immediate departure of our CTSAMVM team, but my office is expecting to receive a clue from the leadership about the specific date of their departure to Juba,” Col Deng stated.

According to Malong’s Military Spokesperson, SSOMA parties have assigned Maj Gen Aloung Otor and Maj Gen Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot to maintain contact with the leadership of CTSAMVM.

He noted that the deployment of SSOMA representatives into CTSAMVM structures would take effect by August 15, 2022, as CTSAMVM and IGAD facilitate the entire process. The Community of Sant’Egidio will monitor walk the smooth running of the entire process.

Agreement signed

According to the joint communique, SSOMA shall start the deployment of representatives into CTSAMVM by August 15, 2022, with the facilitation of CTSAMVM and IGAD, and the Community of Sant’Egidio will monitor the whole process.

“Parties agree to disseminate the CoHA, sensitise and train all their forces and affiliates under their command and control to ensure full compliance and undertake to hold their forces accountable for any violations,” the communique read.

The official spokesperson of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), Col Philip Deng Kuol Nguot, stated that SSOMA’s Real SPLM and SSUF/A will declare the size and location of their forces before August 1, 2022, and RTGONU will be expected to assure SSOMA representatives to CTSAMVM of security.

Deng said the move was in compliance with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) of 2017 and the “Rome Resolution to protect civilians, guarantee free access for humanitarian organisations, deliberate on a roadmap that will mitigate military engagements.”

SSOMA delegates have been in Rome for a CTSAMVM workshop on their inclusion in Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit revived Rome talks at the closing ceremony of the Governors’ Forum in November 2021 but doubted the political will of holdout groups to hold to the peace process.

In December 2021, Real SPLM and SSUF/A agreed to be included in CTSAMVM, in March 2022. However, this did not take immediate effect until the recent convening of the last workshop in Rome to finalise the process.