Opposing Parties in South Sudan Resume Rome-Mediated Peace Talks, Officials Announce

The leadership of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOMA) has, in a Press Release, announced the resumption of peace talks.

Aimed at working towards all-inclusive peace in the East-Central African country, the talks are being mediated by the Rome-based lay Catholic association, Sant’Egidio.

Referencing the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), SSOMA leadership stated in the Tuesday, October 12 Press Release, “The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOMA) would like to inform its members, supporters, the people of South and the international community, that SSOMA and R-TGoNU resumed the Rome Peace Process under the auspices of the community of SANT’EGIDIO.”

South Sudan’s R-TGoNU comprising the government and the country’s main opposition was formed on February 22 this year.

SSOMA brings together some of the opposition parties that had declined to be part of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) that was signed in September 2018, providing a framework for ending the civil war, which erupted in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his then Vice President, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup.


The Catholic lay association, Sant'Egidio community, met South Sudanese “dissidents” in January this year “for the purpose of engagement in dialogue” to resolve the conflict in the East-Central African country.

Marked by various atrocities including rape as a weapon of war, the conflict has resulted in the death of some 380,000 people; four million South Sudanese have fled their homes, according to reports.

Pope Francis convened a meeting between President Kiir and Machar in April 2019 during which the Holy Father knelt to kiss the feet South Sudan’s political leaders, imploring for peace in the world’s youngest nation.

In November last year, the Catholic community convened a three-day meeting in Rome with leaders of SSOMA. The leaders appealed to Sant’Egidio to engage regional and international partners in facilitating the resolution of conflicts in the country through dialogue.

The October 12 Press Release indicates that the Rome meeting of nine political parties and representatives of R-TGoNU that ran through October 9 to October 12 addressed the commitment of parties to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) and to the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanisms (CTSMVM).

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“This round of peace talks focused on commitment of SSOMA and R-TGoNU to CoHA, participation in the CTSMVM and negotiations on declaration of principles to guide upcoming talks to address the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan,” the leadership of SSOMA states.

The officials of the Alliance say, “After extensive four days of cordial and productive discussion and deliberations, the parties agreed on recommitment to CoHA and participation in CTSMVM as well as the framework for the declaration of principles.”

“The parties initialed the CoHA recommitment document and the agreed points of the proposed declaration of principles pending the discussion of the remaining points in the next round of talks that will take place on the 30 November 2020,” the coalition leaders note in the press statement.

The composition of the SSOMA team that included leaders and delegates of the Alliance members attended Rome Peace Talks.

SSOMA leadership expressed gratitude to Sant’Egidio Community for providing a forum in which leaders of South Sudan would have an opportunity to dialogue and resolve their conflicts.


“We thank the community of Sant’Egidio for hosting the talks and we assure our supporters and the people of South Sudan that SSOMA is committed to the Rome Peace Process under the auspices of the community of Sant’Egidio to achieve just and sustainable peace in South Sudan,” the leaders of SSOMA say.