Pope Francis in Congo: “Africa is not a mine to be exploited”
“Africa: it is not a mine to be exploited or a land to be plundered”: declared Pope Francis upon his arrival in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Pontiff landed in the early afternoon of Tuesday 31 January at the airport of Kinshasa, the capital of Congo where Bergoglio will stay until 3 February before making a stop in South Sudan.
Before leaving, the Holy Father declared that he wanted to bring “a message of peace and reconciliation” to Africa, underlining that he was “moved by the strong desire to meet brothers in the faith and the inhabitants of those nations”.
“Hands off the Democratic Republic of Congo, hands off Africa! Stop suffocating Africa: it is not a mine to be exploited or land to be plundered,” Pope Francis told local authorities.
The Pontiff then denounced the “exploitation” that affects the continent through an “economic colonialism” that reaps victims even among children, who “die subjected to enslaving work in the mines” with a “forgotten genocide”.
“This country, extensively plundered, is unable to benefit sufficiently from its immense resources: it has come to the paradox that the fruits of its land make it ‘foreign’ to its inhabitants”, added Bergoglio.
“The poison of greed has made her blood diamonds. It is a drama in front of which the more economically advanced world often closes its eyes, ears and mouth” is the warning of Pope Francis.
Before arriving in Congo, the Pontiff also addressed the issue of migrants. As his plane flew over the Sahara desert, in fact, Bergoglio prayed “for all the people who, looking for a little well-being and a little freedom, crossed it and didn’t make it”.
“Many arrive in the Mediterranean and after crossing the desert, are taken to concentration camps, and suffer there”, added Pope Francis with a clear reference to Libya.
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