South Sudan bans flights before Pope’s visit

Pope Francis is already in DR Congo

All flights have been banned in South Sudan ahead of Pope Francis’ visit on Friday, with the civil aviation authority telling airlines they must cancel or postpone their services until normal timetabling resumes on Monday.

The 86-year-old pontiff has made several visits to Africa since becoming pope in 2013, but this is his first visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

On Saturday in Juba, the Pope will lead a prayer vigil with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland Rev Iain Greenshields.

The government of South Sudan has also declared Friday a public holiday, so that people can turn out in big numbers to receive the Pope and the other two religious leaders.

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