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Reward Pope with political progress, S.Sudan leaders told

Reward Pope with political progress, S.Sudan leaders told
Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria Van Megan, Apostolic Nuncio for Kenya and South Sudan speaking during the mass at Mausoleum on July 7, 2022. Credit: Office of the President

The Apostolic Nuncio for South Sudan and Kenya has encouraged Juba to embrace real peace as a gift to Pope Francis for his goodwill towards South Sudan.

Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria Van Megan said the Pontiff has demonstrated his desire to see South Sudanese reconcile, live in peace, and strengthen the country’s faltering peace process.

He said the Pope still has plans to visit South Sudan.

Archbishop Hubertus, who serves as the diplomatic representative of the Holy See, urged the leadership of the Transitional Government of National Unity to complete the peace process ahead of the Pope’s visit.

“This is the time to make peace for he [Pope] gave us a few months more,” he said. “We really have to offer something to the Pope that is in the sense and in terms of political progress, in terms of being able to say to the Holy Father, we have made surely peace in this country.”

The Ecclesiastical diplomat further called on all South Sudanese to support their leaders in realizing total peace and stability.

“It is not only for the leaders of this country,” he said.

He was speaking on Thursday in Juba during a mass presided by the Vatican Secretary of State, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin – who is visiting South Sudan on behalf of Pope Francis.

During the event, President Salva Kiir pledged to steer South Sudan towards permanent peace despite obstacles that he said are contributing to the slow-paced implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.

“I have said many times that I don’t want to take the people of South Sudan back to war and I will stick to my word to keep peace in South Sudan,” Kiir affirmed.