South Sudan's warring rivals President Salva Kiir and rebel leader and former Vice President Riek Machar began a retreat at the Vatican on Wednesday aimed at finding a path to peace.
The arch-rivals met at the Casa Santa Marta within the Vatican’s walls, a residence for visitors and home to Pope Francis, who chose it over the traditional papal palace on his election in 2013.
The unimposing hotel was the scene of historic peace talks between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2014.
President Kiir and Machar last saw each other in October 2018, shortly after the signing of a power-sharing deal, when Machar made a brief return to Juba for the first time since fleeing on foot in a hail of gunfire in July 2016.
Machar was Kiir’s Vice-President until a falling out in 2013 which kickstarted a civil war just two years after independence from Sudan.
Battles between those from Mr Machar’s Nuer community and Kiir’'s Dinka people were characterized by brutal violence, rape and UN warnings about “ethnic cleansing”.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر