South Sudan, Sant'Egidio: new progress towards peacePeaceSouth Sudan
The first round of negotiations following the ceasefire agreements in South Sudan, signed in Rome last January 12, was held at the Community of Sant’Egidio. Around fifty delegates attended the negotiations, representing the government of South Sudan, all the political forces of the opposition (SSOMA, SPLM / IO, NDM, OPP, FDs) and some international observers, including IGAD, the United Nations and the European Union.
The meeting, held thanks to the mediation of Sant'Egidio, marks the entry of the SSOMA, an abbreviation that brings together all the opposition movements that have not joined the Addis Ababa peace agreement of September 2018, in the verification and monitoring mechanism of the ceasefire. "This is a necessary and crucial step for the consolidation of the peace process - said Paolo Impagliazzo, who carried out the mediation for the Community of Sant'Egidio -, to guarantee the security of the civilian population and the access of the international organizations across the country. " Barnaba Marial Benjamin, special envoy of President Salva Kiir, thanking Sant'Egidio for creating the conditions for "an inclusive dialogue" observed: "We are on the right path to peace, much desired by Pope Francis, and we have the mandate and the good will to travel that path. " On behalf of SSOMA, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka reiterated "the commitment to end hostilities on the ground and threatening tones on social media in order to create conditions conducive to dialogue".
Negotiation will continue in the coming weeks on governance and the main causes of the conflict; the next round will be dedicated to the meeting between the military leaders who will have to make operational the decisions taken on the ceasefire. It will take place in Rome in March.