Vatican says Pope Francis will visit South Sudan in July
The Holy See Press Office on Thursday announced that Pope Francis will be travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan in July, having accepted invitations from the relative Heads of States and Bishops.
JUBA (AGENCIES) – The Holy See Press Office on Thursday announced that Pope Francis will be travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan in July, having accepted invitations from the relative Heads of States and Bishops.
Pope Francis will therefore be visiting Kinshasa and Goma in DRC from 2 to 5 July, before travelling to Juba, in South Sudan, from 5 to 7 July 2022
South Sudan is the world’s newest nation, having gained its indipendence in 2011. Since 2013 however the country has seen war and devastation as warring parties fight for power. President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the former rebel leader, clashed leading to a civil war that left 400,000 people dead.
In 2018 the two sides signed a peace agreement, bringing the war to an end. However, since then, there has not been peace in Sudan, as agreements and treaties continue to be broken.
Pope Francis has been tireless in pushing for peace in the world’s newest nation. In April 2019, He invited South Sudan’s leaders to the Vatican for an Easter summit, stunning onlookers when he knelt down and kissed their feet in a humble plea for peace .
From 21 to 23 December, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher was in Juba, to meet South Sudanese political and religious authorities ahead of a possible papal visit.
With the Holy Father’s visit now confirmed, Pope Francis will be the first Pope to travel to South Sudan.
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