President Salva Kiir has called on South Sudanese to maintain peace across the country during the ecumenical visit by Pope Francis and two other Christian leaders.
The Holy Father is expected to arrive in South Sudan on February 3rd in the company of the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr. Iain Greenshields.
They will be in the Democratic Republic of Congo from Tuesday until Thursday before coming to South Sudan on Friday.
Speaking during a Sunday Prayer at the Sant Theresa Cathedral, President Salva Kiir appealed to South Sudanese to turn up in big numbers to welcome the Pope on Friday.
He said the three elderly religious leaders are coming with a huge delegation and many other people.
“I will just repeat and appeal to all the faithful to turn up in big numbers on Friday 3rd of February to receive the Holy Father and his delegation. This is what I will advise,
“The Holy Father is coming with a very huge delegation and many other people, the bishops, the cardinals,
“I urge all the South Sudanese to maintain peace across the country during the Papal visit. This harmony is important during our Holy Father’s stay in our country”, he said.
The historic papal trip will mark the first time a Pope has visited South Sudan, and only the second time a Pope has visited the DRC, which is home to Africa’s most prominent Catholic population.
The government declared Friday as a public holiday, saying the visit is very important to the country.