US News: Extraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsExtraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war

15:35  12 april  2019
15:35  12 april  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Pope Francis , in a dramatic gesture made at the Vatican on Thursday, April 11, knelt to kiss the feet of South Sudan 's previously warring leaders as he urged them not to return to a civil war . He urged South Sudan 's President Salva Kiir, his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, and three

Pope Francis has kissed the feet of South Sudan 's previously warring leaders during a two-day President Salva Kiir and his rival , the former rebel leader Riek Machar, clashed in 2013 leading to a civil war But they signed a peace agreement last year that brought the war to an end. 11 Apr 2019.

Pope Francis knelt and kissed the feet of South Sudan's rival leaders Thursday, in an unprecedented act of humbleness to encourage them to strengthen the African country's faltering peace process.

At the closed two-day retreat in the Vatican for the African leaders, the pope asked South Sudan's president and opposition leader to proceed with the peace agreement despite growing difficulties.

Then he got down on his knees and kissed the leaders' feet one by one.

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Pope Francis has kissed the feet of South Sudan 's previously warring leaders during a two-day spiritual retreat at the Vatican. President Salva Kiir and his rival , the former rebel leader Riek Machar But they signed a peace agreement last year that brought the war to an end. 11 Apr 2019.

Опубликовано: 11 апр. 2019 г. At the end of a highly unusual spiritual retreat for the political leaders of warring factions, Pope Francis knelt at the feet of the leaders of South Sudan , begging them to give peace a chance and to be worthy "fathers of the nation." ------ America Media is the leading

The pope usually holds a ritual washing of the feet with prisoners on Holy Thursday, but has never performed such a show of deference to political leaders.

Extraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Pope Francis kisses the feet of the leaders of South Sudan during a spiritual retreat in the Vatican

'I express my heartfelt hope that hostilities will finally cease, that the armistice will be respected, that political and ethnic divisions will be surmounted, and that there will be a lasting peace for the common good of all those citizens who dream of beginning to build the nation,' the pope said of South Sudan in his closing statement.

Extraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Pope Francis kisses the feet of the leaders of South Sudan during a spiritual retreat in the Vatican The spiritual retreat brought together President Salva Kiir and opposition head Riek Machar. Also present were Kiir's three vice presidents. The pope kissed the feet of all of them.

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The Pope kneeling before the South Sudan leaders in Santa Marta (photo © Vatican media). On his knees, kissing the feet of the South Sudan leaders so that "the fire of war may extinguish once To them the Pontiff addresses a speech in which, on several occasions, he implores the gift of peace for the people of South Sudan disfigured by almost six years of civil war and by more than 400,000

Vatican, Pope Francis stunned visiting dignitaries and onlookers alike with a grand gesture of humility by kneeling down to kiss the feet of South Sudan ’s South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but had been gripped by a bloody civil war since 2013 until a peace deal was finally

South Sudanese Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Garang said Francis' actions moved her profoundly.

Extraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited At the closed two-day retreat in the Vatican for the African leaders, the pope asked South Sudan's president and opposition leader to proceed with the peace agreement

'I had never seen anything like that. Tears were flowing from my eyes,' she said.

Related: The 22-year-old woman who helped bring down Sudan's president

Extraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war © Getty

South Sudan, gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and in 2013, the country plunged into a bloody civil war, which left at least 400,000 people dead.

The two-day Vatican meeting was held a month before the end of the shaky peace deal's pre-transition period. On May 12th, opposition leader Machar is expected to return to South Sudan and once again serve as Kiir's deputy.

Extraordinary moment Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of rival South Sudan leaders as he begs them to avoid a return to civil war © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Pope Francis poses with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit (C-L), South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar (C-R) and a delegation of South Sudan prelates at the Pope's Santa Marta residence in the Vatican

However, the agreement, which was signed in September in Khartoum, the capital of neighboring Sudan, has been met with delays, missed deadlines and continued fighting with key aspects still not implemented.

A military coup in Sudan on Thursday fueled worries in South Sudan that the toppling of longtime President Omar al-Bashir could derail the already fragile peace deal.

'Sudan has helped us with the peace deal. We hope that the new system will also focus on the agreement, ensuring that it will be implemented,' said opposition leader Machar, who attended an evening prayer vigil for peace, held at Rome's church of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

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