By Spy Uganda Correspondent
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit Thursday said the peace agreement will be implemented albeit with a few challenges and said once again that there is no more wars in the country.
President Kiir spoke after the celebration of the Holy Mass by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin at the Dr. John Garang Mausoleum on Thursday morning.
First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, other government officials, and thousands of faithful attended the prayers.
“We want you to take back the message to the Holy Father that the people who came here as those who were fighting in South Sudan are sitting together harmoniously,” President Kiir said. “I have said many times that I don’t want to take the people of South Sudan back to war again and I will stick to my word to keep the peace.”
Two years ago, Pope Francis kissed the feet of South Sudan’s previously warring leaders and urged them to not return to civil war after they attended a retreat at the Vatican.
Kiir further said that the date for the graduation of unified forces will be announced soon. The graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces is a key component of the agreement’s security arrangements that have been stalled.
“For the peace agreement, we are implementing it and very soon we are going to have a presidency meeting and in that meeting, we will fix the date for the graduation of the unified forces that are in the training centers,” President Kiir promised.
Pope’s envoy to South Sudan, Cardinal Petro Parolin, called on South Sudanese leaders to embrace the path to forgiveness, reconciliation, and unity for the prosperity of the nation.
“Now is the time to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of unity and peace for to embody the Christian difference is not only a decision that we make. First and foremost it is a grace, the gift of God to be sought incessantly only if we are embraced by his love can we embrace one another ….no more violence, never again conflict, never again war,” he said.
His Eminence Cardinal Parolin added, “You have a great mission all of you beginning with your political leaders, it is that of turning a page in order to blaze new trails, a new path of reconciliation and forgiveness, of serene coexistence and development.”
Cardinal Parolin, delegated to South Sudan by Pope Francis, arrived in Juba on Tuesday to pass a message of peace after the Pope’s visit to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo was postponed due to ill health.
Cardinal Parolin will visit Usratuna and the Catholic University of South Sudan after holding a mass at St. Paul Major Seminary before his departure for the Vatican on Friday.