South Sudan resumes talks with rebels

By Simon Deng

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has called on the Community of Sant’Egidio to begin preparation for the resumption of peace talks between the government and opposition hold-out groups, the South Sudan Opposition alliance that includes the National Salvation Front led by Thomas Cirilo Swaka.

“Despite the challenges, I will order the resumption of the talks,” Kiir said while closing a forum for governors in the capital Juba on Monday.

“I am today asking the community of St Egidio to begin preparation for the resumption of Rome peace talk with hold out groups without any precondition,” he said.

The Rome talks broke down earlier this year following accusations from the parties over continued violations of a ceasefire agreed.

Continued rebellions in the country cause worry over a peace deal being implemented in South Sudan.

That deal is meant for ending six years of crisis which left 400,000 people dead and displaced four million others, disrupted crude production and led to economic chaos.

Kiir himself acknowledged the Rome talks were suspended due to continued violation of the ceasefire by the opposition groups of the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance

“Since we took this decision, many voices have appealed to us to reconsider our position and give inclusive peace a chance,” he said.

 “I hope SSOMA will adhere to session of hostilities agreement in order to give room to negotiation that will move the talks on without further interruption.”

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