The Pope kneels and kisses feet of South Sudan leaders

The Pope kneels and kisses feet of South Sudan leaders

Yesterday,at the Vatican, Pope Francis knelt to kiss the feet of warring South Sudan leaders, during their visit to resolve their disputes.

The Pope, however, in his statement to the leaders of the African country, urged them not to return to a civil war.

He
also appealed to President Salva Kiir, his former deputy turned rebel
leader Riek Machar, and three other vice presidents to respect a peace
agreement they signed and commit to forming a unity government in May.

Pope Francis kneels and kisses feet of South Sudan leaders lailasnews

He said:

“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward.

“There will be many problems but they will not overcome us. Resolve your problems,” Francis said in improvised remarks.

The leaders were stunned as the 82-year-old pope, helped by aides, knelt with difficulty to kiss the shoes of the two main opposing leaders and several other people in the room.

The Pope’s words
were made even more pressing as anxiety grew in South Sudan over whether
Thursday’s coup in neighbouring Sudan could scupper a fragile peace
deal that ended South Sudan’s brutal five-year civil war.

The
Vatican brought together South Sudanese leaders for 24 hours of prayer
and preaching inside the pope’s residence in a last ditch attempt to
heal bitter divisions a month before the war-ravaged nation is due to
set up a unity government.

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