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Gov’t, SSOMA ink document that ‘concerns every life’

The government and the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance have signed basic documents on governance, security, land and human rights, among others.

The declaration of principles was agreed upon in Naivasha, Kenya, on Thursday.

The groups that signed the documents with the government are Real-SPLM led by Pagan Amum and South Sudan United Front headed up by General Paul Malong.

According to the mediators, the declaration of principles are documents that “prepare the ground for political discussions” that will follow and cover “root causes” of the conflict in South Sudan.

It will also pave way for discussions on constitutionalism, federalism, good governance and the general rule of law in South Sudan.

According to the head of the government delegation, the parties will also look into issues of land, security and reforms, the management of resources our economic.

“It’s an extensive basic document that will lead us to the final peace process,” Dr. Barnaba Marial told reporters in Naivasha.

The government and SSOMA, a coalition of opposition groups led by Thomas Cirillo, Paul Malong, Pagan Amum, among others have been negotiating a peace deal since 2019.

The talks are mediated by the Sant’Egidio Catholic community in Italy, which consists of the holdout opposition groups in the revitalized peace process.

They are also looking at steps needed to promote reconciliation and stability in the country.

The leader of the South Sudan United Front, Paul Malong, emphasized that the declaration of principles signed will address their demands.

“These are issues that concern the lives of every South Sudanese, because they touch on freedoms, and freedom means everything in the life of a human being,” the former army chief stated.

“If you are liberal-minded, you have to be free, although your freedom is guided by the freedom of others. It means you are not free to distract people, but free to stay in your country and have peace of mind.”

In January 2020, the government and SSOMA signed a peace declaration in which they recommitted to the cessation of hostilities and uninterrupted humanitarian access to the local and international organizations.

The discussions in Naivasha, Kenya have not featured one significant member of SSOMA, the South Sudan National Salvation Front headed by General Thomas Cirilo.

NAS and the SSPDF, including forces of the SPLA-IO, have often clashed in several areas within Central Equatoria state.

President Salva Kiir said in January 2021 that the talks will ensure the quest for peace in South Sudan is inclusive.



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