Pope Francis concludes his African tour in South Sudan | News
Pope Francis ends his ecumenical pilgrimage through Africa this Sunday with an outdoor mass in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, where he arrived on Friday from the Democratic Republic of Congo, local media reported.
Pope Francis urges peace in South Sudan
The pontiff on Saturday ordered the South Sudanese leaders to put an end to the spiral of hatred and violence that is engulfing the country, so that millions of displaced people can "live again with dignity."
“Let us begin each day by praying for each other, and with each other; working together, as witnesses of the peace of Jesus; walking along the same path, taking concrete steps of charity and unity. In everything, let us love each other sincerely, ”he preached.
Committed to the serious situation of the African nation, the Pope wrote: "I renew with all my might the most urgent appeal to cease all conflict in South Sudan, to seriously resume the peace process, so that the aggressions and the people end. I can return to live in a dignified manner."
The mass will be officiated at the John Garang mausoleum, named in honor of the independence leader who died in 2005, shortly after the signing of the peace accords that led South Sudan to secede from Sudan in 2011.
I ask all of you, with my heart on hand: let's help #South SudanLet's not leave its population alone, which has suffered so much and continues to suffer! Along with urgent aid, it is very important to accompany the population along the path of development and more autonomous growth.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex_es)
February 4, 2023
However, the independence war quickly gave way to a civil war, between 2013 and 2018, which pitted followers of the leaders Salva Kiir and Riek Machar against one another, with a balance of around 380,000 deaths and millions of displaced persons.
A peace agreement was finally signed in 2018, but this has not stopped the violence and last December the UN counted some 2.2 million internally displaced persons.
After Sunday mass, the pontiff will return to Rome.
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