Pope Francis landed in the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, on Tuesday afternoon for the first Papal visit to the DRC since 1985.
The visit to the Continent includes a trip on Friday to Juba, the capital of South Sudan and one of the poorest countries in the world.
“We hope this visit is a great opportunity for the people of South Sudan to reconcile, to reunite, and to rebuild their future as one people united”, said Andreas Mabior, Head of the choir.
Sister Sarah Gune Justin, a Catholic nun, added “(South Sudan, Ed.) We became helpless because of war, but with faith and trust in God we know that with the coming of the Holy Father to our country, we will experience the peace of Christ, and South Sudan is going to change, it’s not going to remain as before”.
The six-day trip to the DRC and South Sudan had been planned for July 2022, but postponed due to the pontiff’s knee pain that has forced him to use a wheelchair in recent months.
“Hopefully his coming as already indicated in his motto of coming, this is his wish for the people of South Sudan, “to be united, to be one”. This is without any hesitation that is moving people of South Sudan to be one”, concluded Matthew Remijio, Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese.
After gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan suffered a brutal five-year civil war, while continued conflict between rival ethnic groups exacts a terrible toll on civilians.
The Pope will be joined in Juba by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the leader of the Church of Scotland, on what he has called “an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace“.