01/16/2020 South Sudan (International Christian Concern) – South Sudan has been in almost constant civil war since it gained its independence in 2011. This civil war has been between the president, Salva Kiir, and his former vice President, Reik Machar. With all of the fighting that has taken place over the past near decade, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and many more displaced. This is despite the two opposing groups having come to several peace agreements in the past.
However, there is currently hope that peace might return to the war torn nation. The Vatican alongside others, hosted the two groups in Rome for a peace building meeting. During this meeting, the two were able to sign a peace deal that went into effect just yesterday. The hope for this peace deal is based on the backing of the Pope and the Catholic Church, who hold a lot of sway in South Sudan. Also, many of the opposition leaders who had been excluded from or were unwilling to sign the previous deals are signed onto this newest one.
The leaders said that they signed this newest agreement because they were “humbled by the relentless spiritual and moral appeal for peace, reconciliation and fraternity by Pope Francis” and other religious leaders. Whether this relentless appeal will hold more sway than previous appeals and attempts is still to be seen. We pray that South Sudan can find peace and unity even after these years of hatred and violence.
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