| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Pope calls for rival Sudanese parties to lay down arms

In an effort to end the violence that has raged in Sudan for more than a month, Pope Francis called on rival factions to lay down their arms on Sunday.

In St. Peter’s Square, the pope urged pilgrims, “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,” he added.

The fighting between Sudan’s army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has led to a collapse of order. The rival groups in Sudan signed an agreement late on Saturday for a seven-day ceasefire that is due to take effect on Monday evening.

“Please let’s not get accustomed to war. And we should continue to support the war-torn people of Ukraine,” added the pope after delivering the Regina Caeli prayer.

The pope 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, the Vatican said on Saturday.

A Vatican diplomatic source said Zuppi would try to meet separately with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Reuters