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KIIR Machar set to visit Pope tomorrow

Pope Francis meets South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit during a

visit to the Vatican on Saturday, March 16, 2019.

By Moses Gum

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar, the opposition leader will travel to Vatican City on Tuesday to meet the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis.

The two with their delegation are expected to leave on Tuesday to meet the Pope to discuss issues of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

This is the second visit of President Kiir to the Holy City and the first for opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar to meet Pope Francis.

Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny, in a phone interview with Juba Monitor confirmed that President Kiir and other stakeholders including Opposition leader Riek Machar will be travelling to Rome on Tuesday.

He said stakeholders and the designated vice presidents will all be expected to go to Rome.

“I confirm that President Kiir and other stakeholders will leave for Vatican City. I may not say who the others are but you could ask their spokespersons,” Ateny said.

Ateny declined to mention those stakeholders travelling to Rome but revealed that he expected Dr. Machar to be among them and the designated Vice Presidents.

The meeting with the Pope would discuss full implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

The South Sudan leaders are expected to have holy prayers with Pope for South Sudan peace and the people.

In another development, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) has also confirmed that political party leaders to the revitalized peace agreement will this week travel to Rome.

Report announced by Eye Radio indicated that all  party leaders to the R-ARCSS except SSOA will participate in the spiritual exercise to be accompanied by South Sudan church leaders.

“We will be accompanying the presidency in this journey of re-singing the anthem of South Sudan,” James Oyet, the secretary general of the South Sudan Council of Churches said.

Those leaders expected to go are President Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar, Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga, First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, Eminent personality Rebecca Nyandeng, among others.

During the anticipated retreat, the leaders will recite and contemplate on the key theme of the country’s national anthem.

 

“We will be working through this anthem…reflecting the hands of peace, the grace of peace, the heart of peace and also the challenges of peace, the tears of peace, the quarrel of peace,” Rev. Oyet said.

The Catholic Archbishop of Uganda, John Baptist Odama, will also join in the exercise.

In mid -March, President Salva Kiir Mayardit met with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican City and discussed implementation of the peace agreement.

Pope received President Kiir where they talked on peace building, return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

Reconciliation and the reconstruction process of the nation as well as integral development of the country were among the items discussed.

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