The governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, on Monday, called on holdout groups to lay down their guns and embrace dialogue.
In his New Year address on Monday, Governor Adil appealed to the holdout groups to respond to President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s call to join the 2018 peace agreement.
“I reaffirmed the administration of Central Equatoria’s commitment to building a cohesive and progressive state through a participatory process of dialogue and reconciliation,” he said. “With these, those still those holding up arms against the government should denounce violence and join work on the peace as championed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit through his continued spirit of patriotism and reconciliation.”
President Salva Kiir Mayardit has repeatedly invited the leaders of the holdout groups to return to Juba to join the 2018 peace deal.
In his written address on New Year’s Eve on Monday, Kiir reiterated his call on the holdout groups to lay down arms and return home to take part in elections scheduled for later this year.
“I call upon the opposition forces especially the holdout groups who are fighting the government to lay down their arms and return and exercise their democratic rights in the upcoming elections,” Kiir said.
South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) is a coalition of holdout groups that refused to sign the 2018 peace deal. It comprises the South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by General Paul Malong, the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by General Thomas Cirillo, and the Real-SPLM led by General Pagan Amum.
Last month President Kiir requested his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, to mediate talks between the government and the holdout groups in Kenya.
The last dialogue between the government and non-signatories of the 2018 peace agreement was held in Rome under the mediation of the Community Sant’Egidio and ended in a deadlock after the parties disagreed over the agenda of the meeting.