Kiir accused SSOMA of breaching the cessation of hostilities agreement, put Rome talks on hold
President Salva Kiir accused the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) of road ambushes and assaults again yesterday, when addressing the first joint session of the rebuilt parliament, and stated the government had halted participation in the Rome negotiations until such attacks stop.
Two weeks ago, two nuns and other tourists were murdered in a gruesome ambush along the Juba, which President Kiir blamed on the National Salvation Front (NAS), a member of SSOMA, and threatened to withdraw from the Sant’Egidio-mediated Rome negotiations.
He informed parliament that although the government had signed the Rome Declaration and Resolution, the Recommitment to the Cessation of Hostilities, and the Declaration of Principles with the SSOMA, parts of the latter had continued to carry out assaults.
“Now that SSOMA, particularly the NAS components, has continued to breach these promises, we have chosen to suspend the ongoing Sant’Egidio-led Rome Peace Initiative,” President Kiir said. “Our goal of an inclusive peace should never be seen as a weakness and used to justify the killing of innocent people.”
“Talks with SSOMA will only continue if they stop murdering innocent people and demonstrate their commitment to the agreements they signed in Rome,” he said. Only when these circumstances are met can real communication with them resume.”
President Kiir also threatened, saying, “I know SOMA has members here, but we will still get you.”
In his speech, which addressed a variety of topics, the president said that the fallout inside the SPLM/A-IO is a source of worry for everyone and urged the protagonists to settle their internal conflicts amicably via discussion.
“The current disagreement inside the SPLM/A-IO is a source of worry for all of us, and I am encouraging our SPLM-IO Party brothers and sisters to seek discussion and amicably resolve this dispute,” President Kiir stated. “We have come a long way in our efforts to put the Revitalized Peace Agreement into effect.”
The president said that eliminating insecurity is critical to the country’s development since it weakens peace and impedes meaningful discussion.
“Putting an end to insecurity in our nation is critical to our development. We are all aware that insecurity may jeopardize peace. Insecurity also generates instability, which hinders real discussion about the country’s future,” he added. “Unless we address the problem of insecurity, South Sudan will stay insecure, our economy will stagnate, and our people will remain underdeveloped.”
President Kiir reminded lawmakers that the ultimate mission is to conduct a free and fair election, and he urged them to begin passing legislation that is critical to the execution of the peace accord as soon as possible.
“The obstacles you will encounter in pushing this process ahead are enormous. “You must take up where the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) left off in order to accelerate peace implementation,” Kiir stated. “This body has already worked on a number of legislation that are essential to the Revitalized Peace Agreement’s implementation. It has examined the majority of the legislation pertaining to petroleum, security, and institutional reform.”