Note: This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill and was written by John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry.
The visit of Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week presents a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the most intense human suffering on earth. Given their staunch advocacy for peace and human rights, the visit has the capacity to galvanize forces for reform inside and outside these strife-torn countries.
“Strife-torn” may be too mild a concept to describe what has transpired in these two countries over the past few decades.
The deadliest conflict globally since World War II has been fought in eastern Congo since the mid-1990s, and despite multiple peace agreements and peacekeeping forces, the violence in the east remains catastrophic. South Sudan is the world’s newest country, and it may also be its most dysfunctional, landing at the absolute bottom of most indicators of social progress and human security…