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120 journalists will accompany Pope Francis’ visit to Juba – Fr. Oyet

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Thursday, January 19, 2023

International Press - Courtesy

More than 100 international journalists will accompany Pope Francis on his visit to South Sudan early next month.

The General Secretary of the South Sudan Council of Churches, Fr. James Oyet said the media personnel are accredited by the Vatican.

He said they will be on the same plane with Pope Francis, alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Fr. Oyet is now calling on South Sudanese journalists to cooperate with their colleagues to cover the events in Juba.

“The Papal plane that will land in Juba on the 3rd of February 2023 at 3 pm, on board we shall have 120 international journalists coming with the Holy Father,” said Fr. Oyet.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland are also going to come with the Pope on the plane,

“I want to call upon all the South Sudanese journalists and media houses to be in touch with them. They will be residents at Radisson Blu, let them be there and see how they can collaborate in making this event a success.”

Fr. James Oyet also added that seven other journalists from Italian TV and the radio will also arrive in the country at the end of this month.

This is in addition to journalists from both the BBC and Aljazeera.

“We shall have other international media friends who will come directly to Juba. For example, we shall be receiving seven from Italian Radio and TV, they will be arriving in Juba on the 31st, and they will come directly from Rome,” Fr. Oyet said.

“We shall have some friends of the BBC, and some people from Aljazeera, they will come directly to Juba from their own directions, they will be on the ground at the reception, and they will have their accreditation of the international media personnel.”

The anticipated visit of Pope Francis to South Sudan is believed to be the biggest event to be attended by many people and to get international attention since the independence of the country.

According to the Vatican, the pontiff will arrive in Juba on the 3rd of February and spend two alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The long-awaited visit of the Pontiff was canceled in July last year due to health problems.

The historic papal trip will mark the pope’s third visit to sub-Saharan Africa.

It will also mark the first time a pope has visited the world’s youngest nation, and only the second papal visit to the Congo, which is home to Africa’s largest Catholic population.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has reminded South Sudan leaders to recommit to the 2019 spiritual retreat in Rome, Italy before they could reschedule their visit to Juba.

In 2019, during a spiritual retreat in Rome, Pope Francis hierarchically kissed the feet of President Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar, Taban Deng Gai, and Rebecca Nyandeng at his own house in Santa Marta, Italy.

During the ritual, the Pontiff appealed to the political leaders to respect any peace agreement they signed saying, God entrusted them the responsibility of guiding his people.

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