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South Sudan frets over whether Sudan coup will derail fragile peace

14 April 2019

After the retreat, the pope kissed the South Sudanese leaders' feet, saying: "Your people is awaiting your return to your country, the reconciliation of all its members, and a new era of peace and prosperity for all".

Pope Francis has kissed the feet of South Sudan's leaders appealing to them as brothers to keep the peace. "However, there will be little expectation that it will yield any real progress absent external pressure or an unforeseen change", Klem Ryan, former coordinator of the U.N. Security Council Panel of Experts for South Sudan, told Reuters. "So, as simple citizens, you will become fathers of the nation." .

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

"Machar and Kiir can champion the process, the Head of the Catholic Church said".

The retreat was the idea of Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, who attended the final part of the gathering.

Closing his prepared remarks with a prayer, he asked God "to touch with the power of the Spirit the depths of every human heart, so that enemies will be open to dialogue, adversaries will join hands and peoples will meet in harmony". "It is to reflect on our own lives and the common mission the Lord has entrusted to us, to recognize our enormous shared responsibility for the present and future of the people of South Sudan, and to commit ourselves, reinvigorated and reconciled, to the building up of your nation". In 2018, they signed a peace agreement in Ethiopia, and they are now attempting to form a stable government together.

Both the South Sudanese government and former rebels expressed alarm over the coup.

The civil war in South Sudan has cost an estimated several hundred thousand people. "If a delay makes Machar feel more secure and ends the war, it will be worth it", Peter Martell, an author of a history of South Sudan, told Reuters. "We must deliver", Machar said.

"Peace is the first gift that the Lord brought us, and the first commitment that leaders of nations must pursue".

South Sudan frets over whether Sudan coup will derail fragile peace