Government and SSOMA agree Declaration of Principles in Naivasha
After 4 days of talks, representatives of the South Sudanese government and the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) have signed a 15 point Declaration of Principles in Naivasha, Kenya.
Held under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egido in coordination with the Government of Kenya, recent discussions represent the culmination of the Rome Declaration of March 2020.
Originally signed by the government of South Sudan, SSOMA, the SPLM/A-IO, and the National Democratic Movement (NDM), the Rome Declaration represented a recommitment to the Secession of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017. All signatories pledged to avoid confrontation and allow continued and uninterrupted access of local and international humanitarian organisations in South Sudan.
The recent 15 point document refines a number of points first raised in the Rome Declaration, on issues related to land, rule of law, management of state resources, and accountability of security forces to parliament and the constitution.
Speaking to press earlier today, head of the government's delegation Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said that 'It is an extensive basic document which are principles that will lead us to the final peace process. It took us two days to discuss this document and I am glad to say this morning we have at last agreed very amicable'.
The Declaration of Principles acknowledges the need to move towards political, as opposed to military, solutions for South Sudan. It also pledges to continue to recognise the multiethnic, multicultural origin of the state and uphold the civil rights of all people.
The document also emphasises the idea that land in South Sudan is a common possession, asserting that communal and tribal land disputes are to be resolved according to the tribal land boundaries recognised on 01/01/1956.
This works in parallel to latter 5 points of the Declaration, which agrees to strive towards an ethnically representative, politically neutral and non-partisan defence and security forces in the country.
The signatories of the document are as follows:
1. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin- Head of Government delegation (RTGoNU)
2. Pagan Amum- Head of Real SPLM and member of SSOMA
3. General Paul Malong- Head of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) and member of SSOMA
4. Kalonzo Musyoka- Kenyan Special Envoy to South Sudan
5. Betty Bigombi- Ugandam Special Envoy to South Sudan
6. Dr. Ismail Weis- IGAD special Envoy to South Sudan
7. Charles Tai Gituai- Interim Chairperson of RJMEC
8. Paolo Impigliazzo- Secretary General of the Community of Sant’Egidio