Pope Francis on Sunday set up peace mission with a call to an end in the ongoing war in Sudan and Ukraine.
Pope Francis called on warring parties in Sudan to set aside their weapons, expressed sadness at the violence that has continued since it started on April 15 with devasting impact on the African nation and its citizens.
“In encouraging the partial agreements reached so far, I renew my heartfelt plea for weapons to be set aside,”
“I call on the international community to spare no effort so that dialogue prevails and that the suffering of the people can be alleviated”, Pope Francis stated in quote while addressing pilgrims in St Peter’s Square on Sunday.
It would be recalled that the fighting between Sudan’s army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has led to a collapse of the Sudan capital city, Khartoum since the war began on April 15 between the two powerful military general who worked together to oust the former Sudanese leader from office.
The Sudanese Armed Forces, SAF and Rapid Support Forces, RSF signed the agreement late on Saturday for a seven-day ceasefire that is due to take effect on Monday evening, to enable supply of foods and other humanitarian aids to the troubled and trapped residents.
The warring parties agreed to a seven-day cease-fire beginning on Monday, according to information made available by Saudi Arabia and the United States late Saturday.
The truce is the first of its kind to be signed by both parties in a war that has raged for over a month, leaving millions of people across the northeast African nation in a dire humanitarian crisis.
The seven days cease fire agreement was announced more than two weeks after representatives of the rival factions; the Sudanese Armed Forces, SAF controlled by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces led by Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo started discussion in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
According to New York Times, the two sides have promised to stop their forces from occupying new areas; to refrain from detaining or threatening civilians; and not to impede aid groups and workers from providing lifesaving assistance.
“The warring groups also agreed not to loot civilian properties or humanitarian supplies, nor to seize critical infrastructure such as electricity, fuel and water installations”, the news media reports.
United States of America, USA embassy in Khartoum had reported that over three million Sudanese children and women were already suffering from hunger prior to the war. The embassy stressed that the war has worsen the humanitarian situation in Sudan with millions trapped in the country due to lack of transportation and over 250, 000 people crossed to neighbouring countries; Egypt, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Chad.
“Please let’s not get accustomed to war. And we should continue to support the war-torn people of Ukraine,” Pope Francis said after delivering the Regina Caeli prayer.
According to Aljazeera, Vatican said on Saturday that Pope Francis has asked Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, head of the Italian bishops’ conference, to carry out a peace mission to try to help end the war in Ukraine.
A Vatican diplomatic source, according to Ajazeera, said Zuppi would try to meet separately with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.