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South Sudan rejects round-table conference with hold-out opposition  

South Sudan’s transitional government of national unity has rejected the proposal from the hold-out opposition parties to hold round table conference, as it prefers the option of talking to each group to end hostilities.

“There is no round-table conference, we have held a sort of national conference which discussed all these issues, you need proper representation from the grassroots not only few of us can go and talk and have a round-table outside,” Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Minister of Presidential Affairs said in an interview at Pyramid Hotel during the launch of the official website of the ministry of foreign affairs in Juba on Monday.

This followed statement issued on Thursday by Pagan Amum Okiech, the spokesperson for the non-signatory South Sudan opposition groups criticizing the government’s preference for bilateral talks as opposed to the proposed roundtable conference.

“The Non-Signatory South Sudan Opposition Groups remain committed to dialogue to achieve permanent and just peace in South Sudan which will only be achieved through an inclusive roundtable of all South Sudanese stakeholder,” Amum said.

Benjamin said that if the roundtable conference was to be held the venue should be Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

He said the parties to the Rome peace talks are waiting for the mediators the Catholic community of Saint Egidio to provide the next agenda on the talks.

Benjamin called on opposition groups to renounce hostilities and join the implementation process of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement they refused to sign.

The transitional government has been engaged in peace talks with the hold-out opposition groups since November 2019.

The talks have so far only led to cessation of hostilities without settling the political differences of the parties.

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