Pope in South Sudan: Blunt Message to Leaders
“Future generations will either venerate your names or cancel their memory, based on what you now do,” he said.
Recalling a 2019 spiritual retreat held at the Vatican attended by both Kiir and Machar as the immediate implications of the country’s latest peace deal were being negotiated, Francis insisted that, “Now is the time to say, ‘No more of this,’ without ‘ifs’ or ‘buts.’”
“No more bloodshed, no more conflicts, no more violence and mutual recriminations about who is responsible for it, no more leaving your people athirst for peace. No more destruction: it is time to build! Leave the time of war behind and let a time of peace dawn!” he said.
Kiir appeared to get the message, announcing that in honor of the pope’s visit he will lifting a government-imposed suspension of peace talks that had been initiated in Rome under the aegis of the Community of Sant’Egidio and invited opposition groups to join in brokering an “inclusive peace.”
Earlier in 2019: