ROME – South Sudan’s holdout opposition consortium, SSOMA, led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka, has pulled out of a security workshop in Rome that is being organized by the peace monitoring group, Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), ahead of resumption of talks later this month, according to a statement issued this afternoon.
Yesterday, rebel forces of National Salvation Front (NAS), a member of the alliance faction, clashed with government forces in many parts of the country’s restive Central Equatoria state, with government accusing NAS of attacking first.
In a statement this afternoon, the SSOMA accused government forces of attacking opposition hideouts in Central Equatoria, saying the government is violating the ceasefire agreement signed with several rebel groups in November 2017.
“SSOMA would like to inform its members, supporters, regional and international community, and more importantly the people of South Sudan that President Kiir and his government lack the political will for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” the statement extended to Sudans Post reads in part.
“SSOMA and the government of South Sudan had signed the Rome Resolution to recommit to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on 12th January 2020,” the statement added.
In protest to the government attacks, the opposition alliance faction said it has suspended its participation in the talks with immediate effects until the unity government in Juba is recommitted to the ceasefire agreement.
“SSOMA’s participation in this workshop is technical and informational and above all was intended to build trust between SSOMA and the government and to create a conducive environment for further negotiations,” the statement said.
“Therefore, effective immediately, SSOMA is suspending its participation in CTSAMVM workshop in Rome until RTGoNU respects and commits itself to CoHA,” it added.