Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Pope Francis kisses Sudan's leaders feet for peace

Pope Francis kisses Sudan's leaders feet for peace

Social media is now buzzing with visuals of renowned religious leader, Pope Francis, who was captured in a dramatic gesture as he went on his knees to kiss some South Sudan warring leaders in a bid to urge them not to return to civil war.

"In other words, He will ask us to render an account not only of our own lives, but the lives of others as well", the pope said. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward.

Recall that President Kiir and rival Machar, clashed in 2013 leading to a civil war that left 400,000 people dead.

South Sudan has been at conflict nearly since splitting from Sudan which ended Africa's longest running civil war. "But in front of the people, hold hands united".

VATICAN CITY-Pope Francis, in a dramatic gesture of humbleness, knelt to kiss the feet of South Sudan's previously warring leaders on Thursday as he urged them not to return to a civil war.

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Peace is possible. I shall never tire of repeating this: peace is possible!

Several ceasefire agreements and peace pacts have failed to end the fighting, which has led to the death of an estimated 380,000 people, uprooted a third of the population, forced almost two-and-a-half million into exile and triggered bouts of deadly starvation.

Sudan, which is predominantly Muslim, and the mainly Christian south fought for decades before South Sudan became independent in 2011.

The Vatican, together with the South Sudan Council of Churches and the Rome-based Sant' Egidio global peace group, brought the leaders together for prayer and preaching inside the pope's residence in an attempt to heal divisions.

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. The pope's gesture came hours after the military in neighboring Sudan ousted President Omar al-Bashir after 30 years of authoritarian rule, according to the paper.

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