In his multi-thematic New Year address to members of the Diplomatic Corps Pope Francis noted that beyond dramatic situations, Africa shows great positive potential and was rooted in its ancient culture and its traditional spirit of hospitality.
In his overview of last year’s events around the globe, the Pope made specific reference to Africa where there have been 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.
The Pontiff is 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. He urged respect for the result of the recent presidential election which is still to be announced.
Pope Francis expressed his 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.
“It is a positive example of practical solidarity between nations the opening of frontiers by different countries, in order 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”, the Pope said.