South Sudan’s interior minister, Paul Mayom Akec, is saying that rebel leaders who are not part of the revitalized peace agreement are threats and main problem to peace achievement in the world’s youngest country.
The senior government official made the remarks during a workshop organized by the Strategic Defense and Security Review Board (SDSRB) in Juba on Monday over the finalization of the strategic security assessment in Juba.
“On the ground, you have the holdout groups, you have NAS, and you have those of Paul Malong who have not joined this revitalized peace agreement. They had a problem and we have underlined that they are the problem,” he said.
The senior South Sudan government official stressed the need to bring about peace with NAS forces that he said are currently carrying out offensive attacks against civilians in most parts of Equatoria.
“We will Bring the holdout groups on board, we will have peace with them, and handle their elements who are currently in the bushes,” he said
The Alliance had signed a declaration of cooperation with the government on January 12, known as the Rome Declaration, in which they pledged to start fresh negotiations to achieve sustainable peace through addressing the root causes of the conflict in the country.
The SSOMA group includes the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen Thomas Cirillo, South Sudan United Front (SSUF), led by Paul Malong Awan, the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), the United Democratic Revolutionary Movement, National Democratic Movement-Patriotic Front (NDM-PF), and South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC).
All groups that had refused to sign the peace agreement, are referred to as Hold-Out Groups, owing to their boycott of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.