Juba, January 23, 2023 (SSNA) — The South Sudanese Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar are in discussions on how to better close gaps in the peace implementation process and issues they should present to Pope Francis early next month, a high-level source at the Presidency told the South Sudan News Agency on Monday.
The source who asked his name not to be used because he is not authorized to talk to the media reveals that the president and First Vice President including selected religious leaders have been in talks since last week.
“These are serious discussions. Actually, they started talking about the Pope’s visit to the country and they are also talking about how to fully implement the agreement,” says the official, adding, “it is important for them to close gaps in the peace implementation process before his arrival.”
“The is the right time for the Pope to come here [juba]” the source asserts. “Of course it is. This country is ready for lasting peace.”
Kiir and Machar are the main partners of the September 2018 revitalized peace deal. The two leaders formed the unity government in February 2020 to end the civil war. It is not clear what exactly the two men will tell the Pope when they meet him next month.
The Presidency has confirmed that Pope Francis will arrive in Juba on February 3. His much-anticipated visit is widely viewed in the country as a good, with some people describing the visit as “much needed.”