“In the course of the past year, there have been some significant signs of peace, starting with the historic agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which puts an end to twenty years of conflict and restores diplomatic relations between the two countries. Also, the agreement signed by the leaders of South Sudan, enabling the resumption of civil coexistence and the renewed functioning of national institutions, represents a sign of hope for the African continent, where grave tensions and widespread poverty persist,” Pope Francis told diplomats accredited to the Holy See in the address.
Concern for DRC
Pope Francis said he was, however, following with special concern the developing situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and expressed his hope that the country would regain the reconciliation it has long awaited and undertake a decisive journey towards development, thus ending the ongoing state of insecurity affecting millions of people, including many children. Pope Francis has urged respect for the result of the recent presidential election. Congo is yet to announce the winner of the election.
Closeness with those suffering fundamentalist violence
“I likewise express my closeness to all those suffering from fundamentalist violence, especially in Mali, Niger and Nigeria, and from continued internal tensions in Cameroon, which not rarely sow death even among civilians,” said the Holy Father.
Africa shows positive potential and is grounded in ancient culture
Pope Francis was emphatic that overall, beyond dramatic situations, Africa shows great positive potential and was rooted in its ancient culture and its traditional spirit of hospitality.
“An example of practical solidarity between nations is seen in the opening of their frontiers by different countries, in order generously to receive refugees and displaced persons. Appreciation should be shown for the fact that in many states we see the growth of peaceful coexistence between the followers of different religions and the promotion of joint initiatives of solidarity. In addition, the implementation of inclusive policies and the progress of democratic processes are proving effective in many regions for combating absolute poverty and promoting social justice. As a result, the support of the international community becomes all the more urgent for favouring the development of infrastructures, the growth of prospects for future generations, and the emancipation of the most vulnerable sectors of society,” the Pope told ambassadors.