September 13, 2020 (JUBA) – The National Salvation Front (NAS) said that the IGAD can only take part as an observer in the Sant’Egidio-mediated process when the peace talks resume with Juba.
The Sant’Egidio led process was scheduled to resume in March 2020 but the COVID 19 pandemic froze the negotiations.
NAS Spokesman Suba Samuel reiterated that the South Sudan Opposition Movements’ Alliance (SSOMA) including his group is disposed to engage in political negotiations to address the root causes of the conflict and achieve a peaceful settlement.
In statements to Sudan Tribune on Sunday Samuel said that Roma process is only distracted by the spread of COVID 19, and praised the efforts of the religious community to end the conflict.
“Saint’ Egidio is a credible conflict resolution organization. I think t hey have the capacity, experience and their involvement in South Sudanese conflict add new expertise and dynamism to the possible outcome of the conflict,” he said.
Regarding the IGAD role in the Rome process, he added “Personally, IGAD can just play the role of an observer; it is important that we encourage new players into South Sudan conflict,” he stressed.
Following the signing of the peace agreement in Addis Ababa on 12 September 2018, the IGAD threatened to label the holdout groups “spoilers of the peace process”.
Later on, the IGAD refused to include in the peace process any group formed after the signing of the peace agreement excluding Paul Malong and Pagan Amum groups which are members of the SSOMA.
Samuel voiced concern about the violence in the Central Equatoria State and accused the SSPDF and the SPLA-IO of violating the Rome agreement recommitting the two parties the cessation of hostilities agreement of 21 December 2017.
On 12 September, NAS claimed to kill 4 government troops when they repulsed two separate attacks carried out the SSPDF and the SPLA-IO on its positions in the Central Equatoria on 9 September.