Pope Francis asks economic powers to "get their hands off" of Africa

The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo (R), applauds as Pope Francis delivers a speech in the garden of the Palace of the Nation during the meeting of the authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps in Gombe , Kinshasa, on January 31, 2023

Photo: ARSENE MPIANA/AFP/Getty Images

The Pope Francisco arrived at Africa to carry out an international tour of that region of the world and from his first speech asked the powers to remove their hands from that continent.

“Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa!”said the religious leader during the first speech on his visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

With those words, Pope Francis on Tuesday demanded that foreign powers stop plundering Africa's natural resources to "poison their own greed."

According to The Vatican News, when addressing the authorities, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps of the DRC, in the capital Kinshasa, Francis added: "Africa is not a mine to be exploited or a land to be plundered."

At the beginning of his 40th International Apostolic Journey, Pope Francis denounced the conflicts that continue to plague the country and the reckless exploitation of its immense natural resources by foreign forces. He also urged the Congolese people to take their destiny into their own hands by rejecting violence and hatred.

He explained to the local inhabitants that his visit stems from his desire to bring them "the closenessthe affection and consolation of the entire Catholic Church", and who comes "as pilgrim of reconciliation and peace“.

more valuable than diamonds

Comparing the DRC to a diamond, one of the many riches of the country, the head of State of the Holy See pointed out that the Congolese people are "infinitely more precious than any treasure May it be found in its fertile soil”.

Pope Francis continued to lament the exploitation that the DRC and the entire African continent continue to endure today. in the form of “economic colonialism” which, he said, is “equally enslaving”, making the Congolese people “foreign” to their own land.

"The poison of greed has stained your diamonds with blood," denounced the Pope, asking the world to acknowledge “catastrophic” injustices committed in the past and put an end to the looting of its natural resources that continues.

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