The Poetry of Reconciliation: Weaving Healing Narratives

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Wilfred Sumani, SJ

 Wilfred Sumani, SJ / Mission / 2 April 2020


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The wind of reconciliation has been blowing across Africa and other parts of the world recently. In April, 2019, for instance, Pope Francis performed a gesture that went viral on social media. During the conclusion of a “diplomatic and ecumenical” retreat of the South Sudanese leaders at the Vatican, the pope went down on his knees and kissed the feet of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his rival, Riek Machar, among others.

Earlier, on March 9, 2018, Kenya breathed a sigh of relief as two main political rivals, President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, brought an end to a protracted post-election wrangle through a deal that has since been christened “the handshake.” Though the content of the deal leading to the handshake remains a mystery to many Kenyans, the gesture has ushered Kenya into a sort of break from political polarization dressed in ethnic colors.

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