Pope Francis urges the world to pray for Sudan and for peace

Pray for Sudan

In a Sunday address, Pope Francis made a heartfelt plea to the world to pray for Sudan, urging the country’s warring military factions to set aside their arms and actively seek peace.

“I am following with concern the events unfolding in Sudan,” he said on April 16 from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square.

“I am close to the Sudanese people, already so tried, and I invite you to pray so that they might lay down their arms and pick up the path of peace and harmony,” he added.

The pontiff’s call for unity and compassion comes amidst ongoing violence in Sudan, a country ravaged by years of conflict and political instability.

Fighting intensified in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum and other cities after skirmishes broke out on Saturday morning between the Sudan army and the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group.

The clashes have erupted after almost a year and a half of military rule and have ended hopes for a peaceful transition of power.

At least 56 people have been killed and almost 600 injured, according to reports. Fighting is reportedly taking place primarily in residential areas of the city, where civilians have been sheltering indoors since Saturday morning.

Sudan plagued by political instability

Sudan, located in northeast Africa, has been plagued by political instability for years. In 2019, mass protests led to the military ousting of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

However, the country’s power-sharing government was overthrown in 2021.

Two men took control: the head of the army, General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan and his deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who also leads a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The two leaders hold differing opinions on how to restore civilian rule to Sudan.

While the RSF leader claims to represent marginalised groups against the country’s elites, his forces have been accused of committing acts of ethnic cleansing.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has reiterated Pope Francis’ call for peace in Sudan and an immediate end to armed hostilities for the sake of the Sudanese people, who are already facing economic hardship, human rights abuses and political instability.

The WCC is “deeply saddened by the sudden escalation of conflict” between the Sudanese Armed Forces led by General al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s transitional governing Sovereign Council, and the RSF led by General Dagalo, said WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay in a statement.


Catholic News Agency

La Croix International



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