Pilgrims expectant of lasting peace in Pope’s visit

By Mary Poni

Pilgrims who marched to Juba from various part of the Country especially from the States, trekking and covering miles of Kilometers to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis are hopeful of peace in the country.

Pope Francis arrived in Juba, yesterday to continue with his peace pilgrimage where he will spend three days to promote peace and reconciliation in country that’s still recovering from a brutal civil war that tore it apart.

The Archbishop of Rumbek Catholic Diocese, Christian Carlassare led pilgrims in a walk for peace journey of about 8 days to Juba from Rumbek.

He said that the youths were been encouraged in the Journey to come out from their communities, passing the message of reconciliation and coming down to Juba.

“Peace is a long journey that we shall be able to do it together” Carlassare told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper in an interview during Pope’s arrival at JIA yesterday.

Selina Kuku, a 63-years-old Pilgrim, representing Holy Rosary in Juba, said in an interview with the No.1 Citizen that she expected His Holiness Pope Francis to bless the country and let there be total peace.

“I am very glad today because His Holiness Pope Francis has come to our country to pour his blessings that shall bring peace to the people of South Sudan” she said.

Kaku stressed that it is not new that the people in the country are suffering a lot, before and after independence gained in 2011 which again, the same South Sudanese people went back to killing one other until now.

“From fighting we got peace but still we are seeing people suffering and dying a lot in our country and corruption remains constant in the nation” She cried.

“We welcomed Papa (Pope) to bless our country, children and all people such that we will feel okay and happy to enjoy our nation” the old women said.

She added that people are dying like flies due to hunger and other obstacles that are not making the citizens to rest.

“Our place is still bush and we also want Pope to bless it such that it will be a town as well” He begged.

“We really struggled to liberate this country from the Arabs leadership thinking that what we experienced in the past would not happen again but still yet we are experiencing the worse of it.” Selina, a mother to five kids narrated with heartfelt.

Selina Kaku is a mother of five children, three boys and two girls who were privileged to witness Pope’s coming to Juba right from the Airport. 

Another pilgrim, Peter Sima Diandia came from Nubba Mountain to also welcome and celebrate the Visit of Pope Francis to the people of South Sudan.

“My name is Peter Sima Diandia, I am a pilgrim from Nubba Mountain, I came to Juba to welcome and celebrate the visit of Pope Francis to our country particularly in the Capital Juba” Diandia said.

“We have the hope that starting from today, he (Pope) will grace us with peace for both Sudan and South Sudan and I expect Christians and Muslims to rejoice together since it is the first time Pope stepped his toes in our soil” He embraced.

Diandia said he expects His Holiness to grant them final peace and by the grace of God, there would be no doubts that his blessing shall be in vain.

Meanwhile, Tina Malual, a displaced person sheltering at one of the protection of civilians site (PoC) in Juba as well went to the airport to welcome the Holy Father with great expectations for everlasting peace in the country.

She said that the visit of the Pope to Africa especially to Congo and South Sudan is a blessing.

“His visit means a lot to the nation in a way that is God speaking to him to come and cement our odds to focus on peace and development” Malual said.

“This is the beginning of peace to the nation.” She cited. Adding that whoever turned up to welcome Pope, it is because all of them wants peace and they are ready for final peace.   

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