JUBA – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has this evening met a delegation of the Sant’Egidio Community of Rome to discuss the timeline for the talks between the unity government and the rebel South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka.
This comes several months after President Kiir said he was returning to talk with the rebel alliance months after withdrawing from the talks following a highway attack that killed at least five people including two Catholic nuns.
The government said the National Salvation Front (NAS), one of the groups that make up the SSOMA alliance, was behind the Juba-Nimule highway killing. Meanwhile General Cirilo accused the government instead of standing being the crime.
In a statement, the presidency said Kiir met with the visiting delegation of the Sant’Egidio and discussed the Rome talks, but fall short of clarifying as to when the talks between the two belligerent will resume.
“His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic, met with a delegation from the Community of Sant’Egidio led by its Secretary General Paolo Impagliazzo to discuss how the process of Rome Peace Initiative between the government of South Sudan and the non-signatory opposition groups, under the meditation of Community of Sant’Egidio is going to proceed,” the presidency statement said.
In the remarks to the media after the meeting, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said “the delegation thanked H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit for the spirit of encouraging the initiative for inclusive peace in South Sudan.”
Marial added that, Kiir “reiterated his gratitude to the Community of Sant’ Egidio for the support and leadership they have been exhibiting since the commencement of the negotiations between the Government of South Sudan and the non-signatory opposition groups to make the Peace process more inclusive.”