Africa News Bulletin

South Sudan: Marial heads delegation for talks with hold-out opposition groups

February 3, 2022 (JUBA) – President Salva Kiir has tasked Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Maria Benjamin to lead the government delegation for talks with South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) in Rome.

The talks are being mediated by the Sant’Egidio community in Rome, Italy.

SSOMA is a coalition of hold-out groups led by General Thomas Cirillo, Paul Malong Awan and the former ruling party (SPLM) Secretary General, Pagan Amum.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Marial acknowledged the responsibilities given to him by the president, without divulging further details on the forthcoming talks.

Some members of the hold-out opposition groups had, previously, raised concerns over their safety whenever they are invited for the Rome talks.

Two factions of the holdout groups are currently participating in the talks. These include, South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by Malong and the Real SPLM headed by Amum. It remains unclear if the National Salvation Front (NAS) led Cirilo will participate in this next round of talks with government.

Last year, parties involved in the Rome talks signed a Declaration of Principles Agreement in the Kenyan town of Naivasha.

Original story on Sudan Tribune

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