Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis hold South Sudan retreat in Vatican

Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet

Almost 400,000 people are believed to have died during the clashes between the forces loyal to President Kiir and the fighters led by Mr Machar.

"Sudan laboured so hard to restore peace and stability and because of that we have the current prevailing peace agreement in South Sudan and it is a guarantor", Martin Elia Lomoro, South Sudan's cabinet affairs minister, said in a meeting with global ceasefire monitors.

A Vatican statement said the retreat would offer the leaders "a propitious occasion for reflection and prayer, as well as an occasion for encounter and reconciliation".

In a recent peace gesture, Pope Francis knelt at the feet of the leaders of South Sudan, begging them to give peace a chance and be worthy, "fathers of the nation".

Despite a peace agreement signed last summer (News, 14 September 2018), millions of civilians are bearing the brunt of the civil conflict, which is estimated to have killed almost 190,000 people.

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.

Million Rock 'n Play Sleepers Recalled by Fisher-Price
Earlier this week , the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) urged the product's recall, labelling the sleeper "deadly". About 4.7 million units are affected by this recall and have been sold at major retailers for between $40 and $149.

Sudan president has stepped down amid protests, TV channel reports
The developments raised speculation that, behind the scenes, the military aimed to install one of its one in place of al-Bashir. Al-Bashir came to power on the back of a 1989 military coup against the democratically-elected government of Sadiq al-Mahdi.

First ever image of Black Hole released, confirms Einstein’s theory
An worldwide team of researchers that includes an Ontario scientist is to unveil the first captured image of a black hole . University of Waterloo physicist Avery Broderick, a co-discoverer, declared: "Science fiction has become science fact ".

But Kiir might still be willing to form a unity government with Machar if Kiir thought he could improve relations with foreign powers, consolidate his power and pick off the last remaining rebel group, led by former general Thomas Cirillo, said the International Crisis Group's Boswell. There will be many problems but they will not overcome us. The pope challenged us. The Pope also kissed their feet. "We must deliver", Machar said.

The ecumenical, diplomatic and spiritual character of the gathering stems from the presence of the leaders of South Sudan's various Christian denominations.

Pope Francis confirmed his "desire and hope" to visit South Sudan soon, adding that this future visit would be together with Welby and and the former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Pope Francis told them how he learned last September that a peace agreement for the country had been signed and congratulated political leaders for "having chosen the path of dialogue". His departure is yet another complication for a war-torn country struggling to maintain peace.

Others who attended the retreat were the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican community, members of the South Sudan Council of Churches, and other Catholic and Presbyterian Church leaders from Africa.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Julian Assange: U.S. politicians react to arrest of WikiLeaks founder
Apr 14, 2019 - 01:57
The British judicial authorities will assess the extradition request from the USA starting with a video session on the same day. Tthe 47-year-old would have to face the consequences of any breach of the law in foreign jurisdictions, Morrison said .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'What was he thinking?': Tiger Woods in insane moment with security guard
Apr 14, 2019 - 01:41
McIlroy played the par 5s in even - two bogeys, one par and an eagle on No. 8 that got him under par, but only briefly. Justin Hading, who surged to the top of the leaderboard for much of Round 1, was still in the hunt at six-under par.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kane could recover in time for Nations League finals
Apr 14, 2019 - 01:30
Spurs boss Pochettino heaped praise on Moura after game, saying: 'Today we saw him step up when there was no Kane or Alli. With Heung-Min Son named on the bench to give him a rest, Llorente got the chance to lead the line for Spurs .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Uber files much awaited IPO, reveals loss of $1.8B in 2018
Apr 14, 2019 - 01:27
The non-EBITDA net income, however, is an impressive turnaround compared to its 2017 full-year loss of more than $4 million. Uber in 2018 had $11.3 billion revenue, up around 42 percent over 2017, but below the 106 percent growth the prior year.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UMass Amherst astronomers helped reveal first image of black hole
Apr 14, 2019 - 01:27
A puzzle that seemed to be impossible has finally been cracked and so many scientists, among them Professor Heino Falcke and Dr. She has gained overnight fame because of her significant contributions to bringing the world's first image of a black hole .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Disney's streaming service to launch on November 12 in US
Apr 13, 2019 - 07:40
The presentation then showcased the service's interface, which is similar to what consumers are used to on competing services. The studio is also releasing another short featuring Bo Peep from the massively popular franchise, entitled Lamp Life .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top SpaceX carries out first commercial launch
Apr 13, 2019 - 07:39
The Falcon Heavy rocket exerts 5.1 million pounds of thrust - that of more than a dozen jetliners, SpaceX said. Last year's Falcon Heavy saw two of the three core stages land at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zones 1 and 2.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sudan appoints chairman of new transitional council
Apr 13, 2019 - 07:12
The political committee will meet political parties and foreign diplomats during the course of Friday, state media reported . Protest organisers have called on the demonstrators to continue with the sit-in until their demands are met.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sweden looking at re-filing sex assault case against Julian Assange
Apr 13, 2019 - 06:42
Assange and his supporters say he's a journalist who deserves legal protections for publishing stolen material. In 2018, CPJ published a blog arguing that conspiracy charges against Assange could set a unsafe precedent.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Lok Sabha elections 2019 first phase: Polling under way in 91 seats
Apr 12, 2019 - 02:37
Four seats in Assam will go to polls, with former CM Tarun Gogoi's son Gaurav Gogoi testing poll waters from Kaliabor. A total of 1,279 candidates are int he fray, and their fate will be decided by over 14.21 crore voters.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Netanyahu heads for fifth term as prime minister of Israel
Apr 12, 2019 - 02:32
The message was a sharp contrast from his campaign theme in which he accused Gantz of conspiring with Arab parties to topple him. Lapid, the party's No. 2 leader, said Blue and White would "show the people of Israel what a real alternative looks like".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester United identify successor to departing Ander Herrera
Apr 12, 2019 - 02:28
I don't close any doors". "What it's clear to me is that I will continue playing for a big team". Ander Herrera will be missed at Carrington when he departs for Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sarri: Higuain will succeed
Apr 12, 2019 - 02:01
However, Sarri again acknowledged that Higuain "needs to improve" and is not finding the transition to English football easy. However, he has started the majority of Chelsea's Europa League matches and is the competition's top scorer with nine goals.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Avenatti, lawyer known as Trump foe, indicted for financial crimes
Apr 12, 2019 - 01:57
Kelly by giving the Chicago state's attorney's office what he said was a tape of the performer having sex with an underage girl. He was also charged with wire and bank fraud for allegedly using a client's settlement money to pay for own personal expenses.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bees found living in Taiwanese woman's eye, eating her tears
Apr 11, 2019 - 01:47
The insects had made a new home inside the woman's eyelid - that is, until they were all successfully removed alive. The doctors at the Fooyin University Hospital were shocked to find those bees were feeding on her tears.