September 3, 2021 (JUBA) – The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) dismissed accusations that its fighters were behind insecurity and attacks along the Juba Nimule highway.
On 30 August, President Salva Kiir accused the National Salvation Front (NAS), which is one of the alliance factions, of carrying out an attack on August 16 on civilians travelling on the highway that resulted in the death of several people including two catholic nuns.
In a statement extended to the Sudan Tribune on Friday, SSOMA rejected the accusation saying the attack was done by the South Sudanese government army and its security apparatus (SSPDF/NSS).
SSOMA further pointed out that on the day where the bloody attack occurred huge security forces were deployed along the highway to protect the presidential convoy as President Kiir and his deputy James Wani were travelling from Loa to Juba after attending Loa Parish Centenary celebration.
“Therefore, it is none other than elements of SSPDF and NSS who committed this heinous crime,” reads the statement.
The Community of Sant’Egidio has brokered a peace process supported by the United States aiming to bring the non-signatory groups including SSOMA factions to join the revitalized peace agreement of September 2018.
After accusing NAS fighters of the attack, President Kiir announced the suspension of his government’s participation in the process.
In response to this suspension, SSOMA said they were not surprised by the presidential decision.
“Kiir’s statement of ‘pausing’ his regime’s engagement with SSOMA through the Community of Sant’Egidio is an indication of the regime’s usual lack of political will to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan and bring about sustainable peace and prosperity,” further said SSOMA.
The opposition alliance, nonetheless, reiterated its “unwavering commitment” to process and pursue the Sant Egidio brokered negotiations to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.