South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has prayed for forgiveness for what he described as sins he may have committed while exercising his duty as the head of state, reports the privately owned Eye Rdio FM website.
Today was declared a national holiday in the country so that a national day of prayer could be held.
The prayers were held at a gathering in the capital, Juba, at the mausoleum for John Garang, the man considered the father of South Sudan:
President Kiir also called for redemption of the people of South Sudan from the many troubles bestowed on the country:
I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan.
Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do.”
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, but two years after independence the world’s newest country descended into civil war.
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have fled their homes and ethnic violence continues despite a regional peace initiative.
Last month, famine was declared in some parts of the country.