February 10, 2014 (JUBA) – The global head of the Catholic Church on Monday expressed concerns about the crisis in South Sudan, calling for peaceful resolution of weeks of fighting in the country.
- Pope Francis recieves the flag of South Sudan from Choul Laam (Vatican photo)
Pope Francis made this remarks during a brief discussion with Choul Laam, the chief of staff for the detained secretary general of South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM), Pagan Amum at St. Peters in the Vatican.
Amum and four others are facing treason charges in connection with an alleged failed coup attempt in the capital, Juba last year.
The Pope, according to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, explored the possibility of providing spiritual guidance to the country’s leaders and its citizens.
“The Pontiff expressed his profound concern about the ongoing hostilities and human suffering in South Sudan,” partly reads the statement.
The head of the Vatican was also presented with a South Sudanese flag to symbolise the unity that currently exists among its people.
“It is because of the flag that the people [of South Sudan] are all united despite ethnicity, political affiliation and religion,” Laam said in a brief statement.
The Pope accepted the present and promised to continue to pray for the country and hoped for peaceful co-existence among the South Sudanese people, he added.
At least 850,000 people are homeless and thousands killed following the violence that broke out in Juba, later spreading to three of South Sudan’s 10 states.