John Paul II Sees End of Wars in Africa as Hopeful Sign

Peoples Are Trying to Find Solutions to Their Problems, He says

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 13, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The end to some armed conflicts in Africa signals hope for the troubled continent, says John Paul II.



The Holy Father alluded to this hope when he met today with ambassadors from around the world accredited to the Vatican.

Among the reasons to "rejoice" about Africa, the Pope made the following list: "Angola has begun its rebuilding; Burundi has taken the path which could lead to peace and expects from the international community understanding and financial aid; the Democratic Republic of Congo is seriously engaged in a national dialogue which should lead to democracy."

"The Sudan has likewise shown good will, even if the path to peace remains long and arduous," he added.

The Pope said that we "should, of course, be grateful for these signs of progress and we should encourage political leaders to spare no effort in ensuring that, little by little, the peoples of Africa experience the beginnings of pacification and thus of prosperity, safe from ethnic struggles, caprice and corruption."

"For this reason, we can only deplore the grave incidents which have rocked Côte d'Ivoire and the Central African Republic, while inviting the people of those countries to lay down their arms, to respect their respective constitutions, and to lay the foundations for national dialogue," the Holy Father said.

"It will then be easy to involve all the elements of the national community in planning a society in which everyone finds a place," he added.

The Pope also expressed his satisfaction "that Africans are increasingly trying to find the solutions best suited to their problems, thanks to the activity of the African Union and effective forms of regional mediation."