Sant' Egidio brokers meeting for peace in South Sudan between government, holdout groups
January 11, 2019 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government and three opposition holdout groups have launched discussions on peace in the country organized by the Roman Catholic Sant’ Egidio peace group.
The five-day meeting discusses ways to bring the South Sudan Opposition Alliance led by Thomas Cirilo, South Sudan United Front/ Army, under the leadership of General Paul Malong Awan Anei; and Pagan Amum, the leader of Former Detainees group.
The government’s delegation is led by the former Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin who is flanked by the cabinet minister Elia Lomuoro and the head of the National Security Service Akol Koor Kuc.
Several sources confirmed to Sudan Tribune the meeting which started on Friday and is expected to end on Tuesday 14 January.
Last November Cirilo was in Rome for meetings with Sant' Edigio officials on ways to reach a negotiated settlement for the armed conflict in the country.
At the end of his two-day discussions, he issued a statement on 20 November 2019 calling on Sant’ Egidio to engage with his alliance, the government and other signatories of the revitalized peace agreement from one side and the regional and international partners on the other side to "make this dialogue process a success".
In a meeting held in Rome during his visit to Rome in March 2019, President Salva Kiir encouraged Sant’ Egidio to continue its efforts for an inclusive peace in his country.
Last November, President Salva Kiir and his main peace partner Riek Machar agreed to delay the formation of the transitional national unity government until next February.