VIDEO : Pope Francis made a final appeal for peace in South Sudan on Sunday as he celebrated Mass before tens of thousands of people to close out an unusual mission by Christian religious leaders to nudge forward the country’s recovery from civil war.
Pope Francis has left Juba after a 48-hour visit to South Sudan, where he made repeated calls for peace in this Christian-majority country which from 2013 to 2018 was plagued by a civil war that left 380,000 dead and millions internally displaced.
Francis was in South Sudan on the second leg of a six-day trip that started in Congo, hoping to bring comfort and encouragement to two countries that have been riven by poverty, conflicts and what he calls a “colonialist mentality” that has exploited Africa for centuries.
On the last day of his African pilgrimage, Francis begged South Sudanese people to lay down their weapons and forgive one another, presiding over Mass at the country’s monument to independence hero John Garang before an estimated 100,000 people, including the country’s political leadership.
It was his first papal visit to the largely Christian country since it achieved independence from mainly Muslim Sudan in 2011 after a long and bloody civil war.
Watch video in player above.