Pope Francis has commented President Salva Kiir’s peace efforts in Sudan, saying such initiatives will persuade the rival leaders to lay down arms and pursue peaceful dialogue.
Kiir’s message was delivered by the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.
“We are honored to receive the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in Juba. He came in response to an invitation extended by the leadership of the church to visit the diocese of Rumbek, Malakal and it became an opportunity to meet President Salva Kiir to whom he delivered a message of goodwill from His Holiness Pope Francis”, the acting Foreign Affairs minister, Deng Dau Malek said Tuesday.
He added, “His holiness appreciates and commends the role President Salva is playing in the Sudanese conflict. As a man of God, he encourages the president to continue to support the peace process in Sudan so that the suffering stops”.
The meeting, Malek said, also focused on the progress so far made with regards to the implementation of the September 2018 peace agreement.
“It also discussed issues touching on peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, security, and the humanitarian situation created by the conflict in Sudan,” he stressed.
The newly appointed cardinal of South Sudan and Archbishop of Juba dioceses, Stephen Martin Ameyu described the meetings and discussions of the Vatican secretary of state with authorities as “cordial and fruitful”.
He said the Vatican official urged the people of South Sudan to embrace the spirit of peace and reconciliation to build a harmonious society in the country.
Parolin also met First Vice President Riek Machar departing for Malakal where he will celebrate mass and visit a reception centre for refugees.