Thousands of civilians have been killed, often because of their ethnicity or perceived political alliances in South Sudan’s ongoing conflict, which started in December 2013 (Human Rights Watch).
Pope make this announcement while viewing the St. Peter’s Square at his weekly blessing in the Vatican on Sunday.
There are fears the breakdown of the peace deal could lead to the return of large-scale violence in the predominantly Christian country, BBC noted. Pope Francis, who didn’t detail his travel plans to South Sudan, hosted the two rivals in the Vatican in April.
South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 only to descend into its own brutal civil war two years later, fueled by oil riches and ethnic rivalries, between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and to former Vice President Riek Machar.