Picture has surfaced showing Pope Francis kneeling to kiss the feet of the warring leaders of South Sudan in a dramatic gesture after an unprecedented retreat at the Vatican.
Pope also urged the leaders, appealing to President Salva Kiir, his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, and three other vice presidents to respect signed peace agreements and to work towards forming a unity government in May.
“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward. There will be many problems but they will not overcome us. Resolve your problems,” Francis said in his remarks.
The Sudanese leaders were brought to the Vatican for 24 hours of prayer and preaching inside the pope’s residence in an attempt to heal bitter divisions a month before a unity government is set up by the war-ravaged nation.