Come April 11, the CEPO will kick off its “Remember Pope Francis kiss on your feet” campaign.
The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) announced that on April 11, 2022, they would begin a campaign called Remember Pope Francis Kiss on Your Feet for Peace in Juba.
This peace campaign will be a multi-stakeholder project that will enlist the whole nation’s support in order to encourage competing parties in South Sudan to give peace a chance.
According to CEPO Executive Director Edmund Yakani, this peace campaign will be a wonderful acknowledgment of the global, regional, and national religious leaders’ efforts to make peace prevail for the populations of South Sudan.
“Citizens feel afraid when their leaders seem to be fully committed to resolving their political differences by armed means.”
It is a timely move since the deadline for the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan is approaching on February 22nd,” Yakani said.
He went on to say that the purpose of this peace campaign is to encourage the work of global church leaders to bring about peace in South Sudan and that the symbol was chosen as a public plea for a peaceful South Sudan.
“This effort is also to encourage the disputing parties to sit together at the peace table in Rome under the assistance of the Sant’Edigio community to assume the main responsibility for ensuring peace in South Sudan,” he continued.
He indicated that the peace campaign would be formally started on April 11, 2022, the third anniversary of Pope Francis’ Kiss for Peace.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis kissed the feet of South Sudanese political figures, including President Salva Kiir and Vice President-designates Riek Machar, James Wani Igga, Taban Deng Gai, and Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior – the latter a widow of South Sudanese leader, John Garang.
In an unusual display of humility, Pope Francis knelt and kissed the feet of South Sudan’s competing leaders in order to persuade them to bolster the African country’s floundering peace process.
The pope pushed South Sudan’s president and opposition leader to continue with the peace accord despite rising obstacles at the end of a two-day conference for African leaders at the Vatican. Then he went down on his knees and kissed each of the leaders’ feet individually.
On Holy Thursday, the pope customarily performs a customary washing of the feet with convicts, but he has never done so in front of political leaders.