KINSHASA, Congo – They came away encouraged. By Pope Francis’ message of peace and reconciliation. And said they hope Congolese leaders take heed.
“I hope that the pope’s visit will affect our government.
Pamela-Baketana told todaystrendnews News after speaking to a 65,000-strong crowd. At the Pentecost Martyrs Stadium in the central African nation’s capital, Kinshasa, on Thursday.
“This tour is an act of inspiration for us, the youth. Because we need a framework for the future, but without peace it will not be possible,” the 27-year-old said.
Francis’ address to the crowd came on the final day. His emotional three-day visit to the sub-Saharan nation of 105 million – half of whom are Roman Catholic. This is the first time a Pope has visited Congo in 37 years. He visited neighboring South Sudan on Friday.
The crowd consisted of young people, many of whom waved baby-blue Congolese flags.
“Beware the temptation to point the finger at someone. To exclude another person because he or she is different; Beware of regionalism. Tribalism or anything that makes you feel safe in your own group,” he said, according to Reuters. “You know what happens: first, you believe in superstitions about others. Then you justify hatred, then violence, and finally, you find yourself in the middle of a war.”
Hugo-Mangala-Bongonza, 32, praised Francis’ message, saying. That “we, the youth, take matters into our own hands and work for the stability of our country”.
The environmental science graduate said this was particularly the case in eastern Congo. Where the government, rebels and foreign invaders have clashed. Driven in part by a struggle to control deposits of diamonds, gold and other precious metals. The spillover and long decline from the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda also fueled the violence.
Francis was scheduled to visit the eastern city of Goma. But he was forced to cancel his plans due to an increase in violence in the area.
But, on Wednesday, he heard harrowing stories from victims from eastern Congo. Who saw the killing of close relatives and suffered sexual slavery, mutilation and forced cannibalism.
Although forgiveness and reconciliation were the central themes of his speech on Thursday. The pontiff said “corruption, which never seems to stop spreading.”
He led the stadium chanting “No corruption”. As most of the crowd chanted in unison with him, he led the audience upwards with his right hand.
In a speech to dignitaries at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday. He condemned those who used the country’s mineral resources to fuel war, death, displacement and hunger.
“Hands off Africa. Stop suffocating Africa: it is not a mine to rob or a territory to plunder,” Francis said, according to Reuters. “The poison of greed has bloodied its diamonds,” he added, referring to Congo.
Sabra Mpoi, a lawyer and political analyst in Kinshasa.
Said she hoped the pope’s visit would provide a wake-up call to the international community about the violence caused. By the war for control of Congo’s natural resources.
“The international community has an obligation to demand traceability of minerals. And all major economic operators should be forced to work in a win-win partnership with the Congolese government,” he said.
Mpoyi, 42, added that the international community no longer had to. Turn a blind eye” to organizations that are fighting for resources supporting armed groups.
“It is unacceptable that Congolese people live in misery when the country has a lot of resources,” he said.
Kenny Katombe Butunka reports from Congo and Aina Jay Khan from London.