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Pope Francis has asked more advanced countries to see Africa beyond an opportunity to plunder the continent’s natural resources.
He said this during a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, on Tuesday.
The Pope spoke against the “terrible forms of exploitation, unworthy of humanity” in the country.
He urged the more advanced countries to acknowledge the “catastrophic” injustices done in times past, and put an end to the ongoing plundering of the continent’s rich resources.
The Pope said, “Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hands off Africa. Stop choking Africa; it is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered.
“May the world acknowledge the catastrophic things done to the detriment of the local peoples, and not forget this country and this continent.
“May Africa, the smile and hope of the world, count for more. May it have greater weight and prestige among the nations!”
The head of the Roman Catholic church asked for more efforts to support development and peace in DRC, as the country has been experiencing extended conflicts.
He added, “The current peace processes, which I greatly encourage, need to be sustained by concrete deeds, and commitments should be maintained.
“Room needs to be made for diplomacy that is authentically human, for a diplomacy where peoples are concerned for other peoples, for a diplomacy centred not on control over land and resources, expansionism and increased profits, but rather on providing opportunities for people to grow and develop.”
Pope Francis stated that there is a need for transparency in the African political process, saying it would promote credible elections and the greater good of the people.