Pope Kisses Feet Of South Sudan Leaders

Cheryl Sanders
April 14, 2019

APPEAL FOR LASTING PEACE Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of South Sudan President Salva Kiir at the close of a two-day retreat at the Vatican for the African state's officials on April 11.

"As a brother, I ask you to remain in peace". But the two leaders slipping away the longer the more in control of their areas - many of its combat troops have now self-conscious Warlords at the top, which act more and more independently and financially from the civil war to profit, because they exploit the rich mineral resources of the country on their own.

"Sudan labored so hard to restore peace and stability and because of that we have the current prevailing peace agreement in South Sudan and it is a guarantor", Martin Elia Lomoro, South Sudan's Cabinet affairs minister, said in a meeting with worldwide cease-fire monitors.

"Stay in peace." The dramatic gesture happened during a spiritual retreat by the two men at the Vatican and came only hours after the military in neighboring Sudan ousted its longtime leader, President Omar al-Bashir, after 30 years of authoritarian rule.

"Peace is the first gift that the Lord brought us, and the first commitment that leaders of nations must pursue", he told them.

"I never can understand why someone will let another person WHO SHOULDN'T be seen bowing to them, do so and they don't make any attempt to stop them".

Sudan, which is predominantly Muslim, and the mainly Christian south fought for decades before South Sudan became independent in 2011. "But in front of the people, hold hands united".

Pope Francis confirmed his "desire and hope" to visit South Sudan soon, adding that this future visit would be together with Welby and and the former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

"Peace is possible", the pope told the leaders.

"By your gift, Father, may the whole-hearted search for peace resolve disputes, may love conquer hatred and may revenge be disarmed by forgiveness, so that, relying exclusively on your mercy, we may find our way back to you", he prayed.

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