Pope denounces ‘economic colonialism’ on Congo visit read full article at worldnews365.me

Huge crowds thronged Kinshasa for a glimpse of the popemobile, cheering and waving flags because the 86-year-old pontiff made his manner from the airport to the presidential palace.

On his fifth journey to Africa, Pope Francis is bringing a message of peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring South Sudan, each wracked by many years of cussed battle.

In a speech on the presidential palace, the pope acquired applause as he touched on the nation’s “history of foreign domination.”

He mentioned “political exploitation gave way to an economic colonialism that was equally enslaving” within the DRC.

“As a result, this country, massively plundered, has not benefitted adequately from its immense resources,” he advised an viewers of Congolese politicians and different dignitaries, talking in Italian.

“Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo, hands off Africa,” he mentioned. “It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered”.

The message will resonate properly within the DRC, a rustic of about 100 million individuals, which gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Regardless of its huge mineral reserves of minerals, the DRC stays one of many poorest international locations on the planet.

About two-thirds of the inhabitants lives on lower than $2.15 a day, in response to the World Financial institution.

It’s the first time since 1985 {that a} pope has visited the DRC, the place about 40% of the residents are Catholic.


The six-day journey to DRC and South Sudan had been deliberate for July 2022 however postponed as a result of pontiff’s knee ache that has compelled him in current months to make use of a wheelchair.

He boarded and disembarked the aircraft through an elevator.

Safety considerations have been additionally mentioned to play a job in delaying the journey, and a cease within the DRC’s east, the place dozens of armed teams function, is not on the itinerary.

M23 rebels — allegedly backed by the DRC’s smaller neighbour Rwanda — have captured swathes of territory in jap Congo since late 2021, coming inside kilometres of Goma, a industrial hub of over a million individuals.

“I would have liked to go to Goma too, but with the war, you can’t go there,” the pope advised reporters on the aircraft.

On the presidential palace, the pontiff additionally urged that extra consideration be paid to the battle.

“We cannot grow accustomed to the bloodshed that has marked this country for decades, causing millions of deaths that remain mostly unknown elsewhere,” he mentioned.

Palms off the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arms off Africa … It isn’t a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered.

The pope added that he supported ongoing regional peace efforts.

Jap Congo has additionally seen a wave of lethal assaults blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a bunch the Islamic State claims is an affiliate, together with a bomb blast at a Pentecostal church this month that killed 14 individuals.

Million-strong mass

President Felix Tshisekedi additionally gave a speech condemning the battle, which he accused Rwandan of fomenting.

“Foreign powers greedy for the minerals contained in our subsoil commit cruel atrocities with the direct and cowardly support of our neighbour, Rwanda, thus making security the government’s first and greatest challenge,” the 59-year-old mentioned.

The DRC is scheduled to carry a presidential election on December 20, and Tshisekedi has declared he’ll run for a second time period in workplace. The president initially got here to energy after a strongly disputed election in 2018.

Francis, in his speech, underlined the significance of “free, transparent and credible elections.”

“May no one be manipulated, much less bought, by those who would foment violence in the country, and exploit it in order to make shameful business deals,” he mentioned.

Tens of hundreds of persons are anticipated to attend a prayer vigil on Tuesday night at Kinshasa’s N’dolo airport forward of mass on Wednesday morning, which is tipped to attract greater than 1,000,000 trustworthy.

Pilgrimage of peace

On Friday, Francis will journey to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, additionally one of many world’s poorest international locations, which has lurched from one disaster to a different since gaining independence in 2011.

It suffered a brutal five-year civil struggle, whereas continued battle between rival ethnic teams exacts a horrible toll on civilians.

The pope will likely be joined in Juba by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the chief of the Church of Scotland, on what he has referred to as “an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace”.

#africannews #african_news

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