Kiir sets preconditions for resumption of talks with Gen. Cirilo
“Our pursuit of an inclusive peace should never be taken for weakness and used as a window to kill the innocent.”
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit addressing lawmakers during the opening of the first session of the Transitional National Legislature in Juba on Monday, 30 August
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has set preconditions for resumption of the Rome talks with holdout South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka saying they must first cease hostilities before the talk could resume.
Kiir issued this condition in his speech during the opening of the first session of Transitional National Legislature in Juba on Monday as he reacts to an incident where gunmen killed five people, including two nuns, on the Juba-Nimule highway on 16th August.
The civilians were ambushed while traveling from Loa Parish in Torit Diocese, Eastern Equatoria Province in South Sudan, for the Loa Parish Centenary Celebrations.
“Talks with SSOMA will only resume after they cease killing the innocent people and show their commitment to documents they have signed in Rome. It is only when they meet these conditions that genuine dialogue will resume,” Kiir said.
Kiir described the recent killing of four innocent civilians along the Juba-Nimule highway by members of the Opposition Movement Alliance as the taste of the governments’ patience.
“We have decided to pause the ongoing Sant’Egidio led Rome Peace initiative. Our pursuit of an inclusive peace should never be taken for weakness and used as a window to kill the innocent,” he said.
The head of state wondered why the NAS forces would continue to target civilians along main roads despite their commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities.
“We have signed with Rome Declaration and Rome Resolutions with SSOMA and the re-commitment to Cessation of Hostilities in December 2017 and Declaration of Principles,” he stated.
“The goal of signing these documents was to stop fighting and save innocent lives. These were our commitment to inclusivity,” he added.
He said the members of the document of SSOMA signed with the government were also part of confidence-building aimed at achieving lasting peace in the country.
“Now that SSOMA is specifically the National Salvation Front elements continue to violate this commitment,” he said.