Leaders of the South Sudan Opposition Movements (SSOM) this week met with leaders from the Sant’Egidio Community in Rome to discuss the crisis in the country and to reach a common understanding on the way forward.
The Sant’Egidio Community, a well-known mediator for conflicts in Africa and around the world, has been been in contact with the SSOMA.
Asked what can bring peace in South Sudan, Gen Thomas Cirillo said the following:
“The issues that we think can bring sustainable peace in South Sudan are for us as South Sudanese to address the root causes of the conflict. In governance, in security, in human rights, the issues of accountability, and continue to make progress that is accepted by all of us. This, we believe can restore the power of our people to the people, for them to be able to decide their future, democratic process.”
NAS editorial team also spoke with Dr Lako Kwajok, the NAS National Chairperson Political Committee, who attended the meetings in Rome as part of the SSOMA delegation. (Download the communique below)
Q: Who are the Community of Sant’Egidio?
Dr Lako: The Community of Sant’Egidio is a body concerned with conflict resolution, humanitarian relief, and promotion of peace across the world. They have been in touch with us even before the HLRF in Addis Ababa. The community has been initiating and facilitating meetings with all the stakeholders at different times, and this last initiative is one of them.
Q: What was the meeting about?
Dr Lako: This latest meeting between the non-signatories (SSOMA) and the community of Sant’Egidio came on the background of the failing R-ARCSS. The Community appears to have gained a better understanding of the conflict in South Sudan particularly after its high-ranking officials visited Juba and met with many people.
The main aim of the consultative meetings that lasted a few days was to reach a common understanding of the root causes and the way forward to resolve the crisis.
Q: Did other stake-holders take part in the meetings
A: The SPLM-IO sent a delegation composed of two members. They weren’t part of the meeting. They asked to meet us (SSOMA). We later met on the sidelines but nothing fruitful came out of that brief meeting. They did not have much to say that would help resolve the crisis in the country.