Take cue from Pope’s South Sudan gesture – Rawlings admonish world leaders

Former President Jerry Rawlings has admonished world leaders to take a cue from the recent retreat Pope Francis had with South Sudanese leaders in the quest for lasting peace in their war-ravaged country.

“The significance of what the Pope did by going down on his knees to kiss the feet of President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar should not be lost on the world, humanity, mankind and especially those of us on this continent,” he stressed.

In a meeting with the outgoing Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Monsignor Jean-Marie Speich, former President Rawlings pointed out that though he was pretty much against the International Criminal Court (ICC) that seemed to be trying mostly Africans instead of some of those who were responsible for many of the conflicts in the world, he would not hesitate to personally offer to march the South Sudan leaders to the ICC should they fail to defuse the pain and stress in their country after the Pope put aside his rank and dignity and went on his knees and begged for peace.

In a statement signed and issued by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa of the Communications Directorate of the Office of former President Jerry John Rawlings, noted that “the stress and strains of conflict in South Sudan have led to deaths of many people and created thousands of refugees.

“The kind of begging and appeal as intense as what the Pope did should be reciprocated tenfold and with better demonstration of sensibility and respect for human life and dignity,” former President Rawlings stressed.

The former President thanked the outgoing Apostolic Nuncio for his efforts to restore some institutional discipline in the Catholic Church of Ghana and prayed that “whoever replaces him will maintain similar positive standards as it came as no surprise to me Monsignor Speich is being sent to a complex area like Slovenia and Kosovo”.

Earlier, Monsignor Speich had expressed his gratitude to the former President for his moral support during his tenure in Ghana, referring to some profound statements made by the latter helped the Catholic Church considerably.

“At the end of my tenure, I felt the need to come and greet you, thank you and bless you,  my mission has not been easy but you gave your continued support throughout my tenure since August 2013,” he said.

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