South Sudanese Church is 'example to us all', says Welby

(AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)A man carrying his belongings stands amongst the remains of buildings destroyed by the recent fighting, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan Sunday, Jan 12, 2014.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, has praised the South Sudanese Church as an "example to us all" on the first day of his African tour.

Speaking in the capital city of Juba, he said he brought with him "the greetings, love and encouragement" of his fellow Anglicans.

The message was particularly aimed at those dealing with the ongoing violence that has followed the attempted coup by Vice President Riek Machar in December.

Archbishop Welby called the South Sudanese Church an "example to us all in its consistent speaking with one voice for peace, for unity and to an ending to the violence so horrifically perpetrated against so many people".

The five-day visit is part of Archbishop Welby's plan to meet all the Archbishops of the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office.

The aim behind the visit is to express solidarity with Primates, especially those in challenging circumstances, and better understand the work they are engaging in within their local contexts.

The Archbishop is travelling with his wife Caroline and the Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs, the Reverend Canon Joanna Udal.

He will also be visiting Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo over the next few days.