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Anglican leader calls for peace as visits war-torn South Sudan

  • Archbishop of Cantebury Justin Welby prays at the ECS All Saints church in Juba on January 30, 2014 during a two day visit to South Sudan. AFP PHOTO / Carl de Souza

JUBA: The leader of the world's Anglicans, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, called on warring sides as he visited South Sudan Thursday to end the fighting in which thousands have been slaughtered.

"In a world where everyone is used to killing, I ask you to call on all your courage and faith, to remember your suffering, to remember those who have been killed, to be clear that those were terrible injustices, but to pray that you may love your enemies," he said in a sermon in the capital Juba.

Welby, who met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, arrived in Juba Thursday as part of a four-nation African tour.

Thousands have been killed in the fighting pitting forces loyal to President Salva Kiir against a loose coalition of army defectors and ethnic militia nominally headed by sacked vice president Riek Machar, a seasoned guerrilla fighter.

The fighting has seen waves of brutal revenge attacks, with the United Nations and rights workers reporting that horrific atrocities were committed by both sides.

"I've heard particularly bad news of attacks....what is important is that... the facts of this are established in a way that no one can deny, and that we understand fully, and lessons are learned," Welby said. "There must be no impunity."

Both sides implemented the ceasefire last Friday, but combat has only eased, not ended.

 
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