The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) led by Gen. Thomas Cirillo has in a press release today accused Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the spokesman of the government delegation to the Rome talks, of pervading false information that can be detrimental to the entire peace process.
The press release from SSOMA signed by Kwaje Lasu read in part, “The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) notes with deep concern the false statements made by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Spokesman of the Government of South Sudan’s delegation to the Rome Peace Process, published in Radio Tamazuj website on January 21, 2021, regarding SSOMA, NAS and the discussions on CTSAMVM in the Rome Peace Process.”
“The Statements made by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin are grossly incorrect, misleading, and irresponsible and can be detrimental to the peace process. SSOMA condemns these statements with the contempt they deserve and rejects them in their totality,” it added.
According to SSOMA, their grouping consists of four (4) Movements namely: The National Salvation Front (NAS); The National Democratic Movement-Patriotic Front (NDM-PF); The South Sudan National Movement for Change/Army (SSNMC/A); and The United Democratic Revolution Movement/Army (UDRM/A).
“Any group of persons or organizations claiming to be SSOMA and are not signatories to the SSOMA Charter, are not members of SSOMA. With respect to the other South Sudanese individuals and groups meeting in Nairobi, it is entirely a prerogative of the Community of Sant’Egidio to meet with whomsoever the organization deems appropriate,” The release said.
SSOMA said they will only join the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) when the Declaration of Principles (DoP) and recommitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) are ratified.
“As per the Rome Talks, SSOMA shall be part of CTSAMVM if and when a Declaration of Principle (DoP) and recommitment to CoHA are agreed upon by the parties; however, SSOMA or officers of the National Salvation Front (NAS) will not be deployed to Juba or stationed in any cantonment as stated by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin. SSOMA calls on the public to be vigilant and not be deceived by such statements as uttered by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin,” SSOMA said.
“SSOMA remains committed to the Rome Peace Process under the auspices of The Community of Sant’Egidio for achieving just and sustainable peace through addressing the root causes of the conflict in the country. SSOMA however urges Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and the regime in Juba to refrain from lies and promoting false information that may jeopardize the Rome Peace Process.” It concluded.
Yesterday Radio Tamazuj ran a story quoting Dr. Benjamin Marial, the spokesperson for the government delegation to the Sant’Egidio mediated talks in Rome, saying that SSOMA had split into two factions-one led by Gen Thomas Cirillo and the other by Generals Pagan Amum and Paul Malong.
Dr. Marial also said the government expects the generals of Thomas Cirillo to go to Juba in the coming days so that they become part of CTSAMVM as required by the revitalized peace agreement.