Gov’t urges holdout groups to join peace efforts at peace day celebrations

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As the world commemorated the International Day of Peace on 21st September, government officials in Juba called on holdout opposition groups to join the peace process.

In January this year, holdout groups and the government signed the Rome Declaration to cease hostilities and further political dialogue to participate in the ongoing peace process. However, according to ceasefire monitors, the Declaration has been violated by various parties.

Last month, NAS claimed responsibility for the deaths of six bodyguards of the Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga in an attack on a Toyota land-cruiser along Juba-Lobonok road.

Stephen Par, the National Minister of Peacebuilding, says the continuous inter-communal violence and attacks along the roads are worsening the situation of the vulnerable civil populations.

He was speaking during a press conference to mark the International Day of Peace in Juba on Monday.

“We call upon all our armed groups in the opposition to lay down their weapons and join the peace agreement for the betterment of our suffering communities. By armed opposition groups, I mean the hold out groups including NAS that are still fighting. We invite them to join the process and build peace with us,” Par said. 

According to the peace monitoring body RJMEC, there have been ongoing clashes between the NAS forces and both SSPDF and SPLM/A-IO in Central Equatoria as well as Western Equatoria. 

Observers have urged the SSPDF, NAS, and the SPLA-IO to adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities deal signed in December 2017 in Addis Ababa and the Rome Declaration signed in January 2020

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