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Pope’s visit to South Sudan overshadowed by massacre


Pope’s visit to South Sudan overshadowed by massacre

Juba, Feb 3 (Prensa Latina) Hours before the arrival today of Pope Francis to this city, capital of South Sudan, official media confirmed the death of 21 civilians at the hands of rustlers in the southern province of Central Equatoria.

The massacre occurred in the county of Kajo-Keji when armed men burst into a cattle camp and fired at will at the herdsmen, according to a press report by the police commissioner of the area.

The pilgrimage of peace, as the Pope’s tour of three African countries is called, whose first stop was the Democratic Republic of Congo, includes a stay in this country, the youngest member state of the UN, plagued by ethnic, economic and political problems.

It also drags the terrible aftermath of a civil war following the deposition in 2013 of Vice President Riek Machar, reinstated three years later for a brief period, and reappointed in 2020 following the signing of a peace agreement with President Salva Kiir.

Official statistics put the number of people killed during the conflict between both leaders at around 380,000, in addition to an unknown but growing number of internally displaced persons and those who have settled in neighboring countries and died in the long migration to escape armed violence.

Another cloud hanging over Pope Francis’ visit is the recent warning by the UN Mission in the country about the possible resurgence of armed violence between rival groups in Upper Nile province (east), bordering Ethiopia.


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