JUBA, 18 January 2021 – Supporters of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit are divided over plans to accommodate a holdout opposition leader and a former army chief.

The two are former army chief, General Paul Malong, who leads the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) and Kiir’s first deputy, Rich Machay Teny.

The SSUF/A is one of the signatories to the revitalized peace agreement signed by Kiir and Teny.

Rieck Machar (Rght) and Salva Kiir - Photo Africa Express

Rieck Machar (Rght) and Salva Kiir – Photo Africa Express

Talks held in Nairobi, Kenya, to find ways of accommodating Malong whose South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) has been in talks in Rome, Italy, since January 2000.

The main disagrements are between SSOMA, a holdout opposition coalition that includes Malong’s group, and General Tomas Cailo Swaka.

Attempts to remove Malong from the alliance over accusations that he may be involved in secret contacts with the Kiir government have failed.

The disagreement led to a spilit in the alliance with Kiir’s government opting to negotiate with Malong’s group.

Officials at the South Sudanese ministry of internal security have notably been opposed to plans to allow Malong to move to Juba.

Other Kiir supporters are pushing for the Kiir government to accommodate Malong to improve the chances of effective and meanginful implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

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