Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury to visit South Sudan together in March

Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will travel to South Sudan if the country’s warring sides form a unity government as planned by February, the Vatican said Wednesday.

The announcement came as Welby held “friendly discussions” with the pontiff that touched on “the condition of Christians in the world”, the Holy See said in a statement.

It emphasised “certain situations of international crisis, particularly the sorrowful situation in South Sudan.”

The two prelates said they would visit South Sudan together “if the political situation (leads to) a transitional national unity government in the next 100 days”.

Francis hosted a two-day Vatican retreat in April aimed at shoring up the fragile peace in South Sudan.

He created a sensation afterward in an event in which he kissed the South Sudanese leaders’ feet, saying: “Your people are awaiting your return to your country, the reconciliation of all its members, and a new era of peace and prosperity for all.”

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Musitafa Kalyowa

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