Dramatic gesture: Pope Francis kisses feet of leaders for “Peace”
Pope Francis, stunned all as he abruptly bent down to kiss the feet of South Sudan’s previously warring leaders on Thursday.
The reason behind was to urged them to not to rethink about any civil war and move on the path of unity and harmony.
“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward”, he said.
Pope also said “There will be many problems but they will not overcome us. Resolve your problems.”
The Vatican brought together South Sudanese leaders for 24 hours of prayer and preaching inside the pope’s residence in an attempt to heal bitter divisions before the country is due to set up a unity government.
“There will be struggles, disagreements among you but keep them within you, inside the office, so to speak,” Francis said in Italian as an aide translated into English. “But in front of the people, hold hands united. So, as simple citizens, you will become fathers of the nation.”
In his appeal to the President Salva Kiir, his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, and three other vice presidents to respect an armistice they signed and commit to forming a unity government next month.
His appeal was made even more pressing as anxiety grew in South Sudan that Thursday’s coup in neighbouring Sudan might put at risk the fragile peace deal that ended South Sudan’s brutal five-year civil war.
Sudan, which is predominantly Muslim, and the mainly Christian south fought for decades before South Sudan became independent in 2011.
As a result of civil war more than 400,000 people died and country’s 12 million people were uprooted.