General Malong heads to Rome for meetings
Gen. Paul Malong, leader of the opposition group South Sudan United Front (SSUF), is traveling today to Italy to attend meetings with the Sant’Egidio community.
The meeting is scheduled to take place in Rome on Tuesday.
Sunday de John, spokesman for Paul Malong's SSUF rebel group, told Radio Tamazuj this afternoon that General Paul Malong was invited by the Catholic community to take part in dialogue aimed at seeking peace in South Sudan.
Malong’s group is a member of South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), a coalition in South Sudan that did not sign the 2018 peace agreement.
Sunday pointed out that the Sant'Egidio Catholic community, a lay Catholic association dedicated to social service provision, will host a three-day meeting for the warring parties in order to hold peace talks.
“The Catholic community invited the holdout opposition groups for the purpose of engagement in dialogue. The parties that will attend the meetings are South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance and South Sudan government,” he explained.
The opposition spokesman reiterated his leader’s commitment to secure lasting peace in the country. “General Malong Malong is not a peace spoiler, that’s why he been allowed to travel freely. I urge our people to remain hopeful for lasting peace,” he said.
In November 2019, United Nations panel of experts on South Sudan said in a report that neighboring countries have not demonstrated sufficient political and diplomatic will to consistently support the peace process in South Sudan.
The report stated that General Paul Malong, who is subject to the UN travel ban, was allowed to fly from Nairobi to South Africa in July 2019 on a Kenya Airways flight.
Malong, a former army chief, formed his armed opposition group in April 2018.