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Pope Francis Urges Global Action to End Bloodshed in Eastern DRC

Pope Francis has issued a powerful plea to national and international authorities to take immediate action to halt the ongoing violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following a week of intense bloodshed in the North Kivu province.

During his weekly Sunday prayers on St Peter’s Square, the Pope addressed the recent spate of killings that have claimed dozens of lives, many of whom were Christians. He described the victims as “martyrs,” having been “killed in hatred of their faith.”

“Painful news continues to arrive of battles and massacres that are happening in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the pontiff lamented. “I appeal to the national authorities and the international community to do all that is possible to stop the violence and to protect civilian lives.”

The Pope’s call to action comes amid reports that militants, identified as members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), have killed at least 41 people in the Beni region of North Kivu. However, civil society groups suggest that the death toll may be significantly higher. The DRC government has attributed nearly 150 deaths to the Islamic State-linked rebels since the beginning of the month.

In his address, Pope Francis also urged the global community to pray for peace in other conflict-ridden areas, specifically mentioning Ukraine, the Holy Land, Sudan, and Myanmar. His message was a somber reminder of the widespread suffering caused by armed conflicts worldwide.

The eastern DRC has been plagued by armed violence for decades, with over 120 groups fighting for control over territory, political power, and valuable mineral resources. This prolonged conflict has resulted in significant loss of life and displacement, further exacerbating the region’s humanitarian crisis.

Pope Francis’s urgent appeal underscores the dire need for concerted international efforts to bring peace and stability to the region. His words resonate deeply as a call for global solidarity and action to end the cycle of violence and protect innocent lives.

Source: Africanews

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