Pope Francis meets South Sudanese officials in Rome

Pope Francis meets South Sudanese officials in Rome
The SSOMA team pose for a picture on meeting Pope Francis in Vatican, Italy. [Photo: Courtesy]

A delegation from South Sudan, including the opposition movement –the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) paid a courtesy call to Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday.

The visit whose details are yet to be made public took place on the very day that the Vatican announced that Pope Francis will be sending a representative for a two-day official visit to Juba.

The visit will take place between July 5 – 7.

The South Sudanese delegation had attended Ceasefire Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, a peace workshop held in Italy.

The delegation was made up of officials from the government and SSOMA, the opposition wing that comprises SSUF/A, Real SPLM led by Pagan Amum and National Salvation Front.

According to an insider who attended the meeting, the Pope reportedly blessed South Sudanese for maintaining peace and reconciliation.

“Pope Francis gave the blessing to the people of South Sudan through SSUF members who left for Rome’s Security arrangement,” read the statement shared by SSUF/A.

“May God bless all the leaders of South Sudan and the people of South Sudan, we are now blessed for peace and reconciliation in the country,”

South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) vowed to endeavour for the attainment of everlasting peace in South Sudan. “SSUF/A under the leadership of Paul Malong is working hard to bring everlasting peace in the country,” the statement added.

In December last year, SSOMA Sant’Egidio community promised to add SSOMA into the ceasefire monitoring and verification mechanism by March 2022, but it is not sure what became of the Holy promise.