‘Hands Off Africa,’ Pope Francis Says As He Demands Foreign Powers Stop Plundering Africa’s Resources

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Pope Francis on Tuesday demanded that foreign powers stop plundering Africa’s natural resources for the “poisons of their greed.” 

The pope arrived in Congo amid a roaring welcome from the Congolese people, who expressed their gratitude for the pope’s actions which they believe, draw the world’s attention to their forgotten plight.

Tens of thousands of people lined the main street into the capital, Kinshasa, to greet Francis after he landed at the airport, some with three or four people standing, children in school uniforms in the front row.

Pope Francis

“The Pope is 86 years old, but he came anyway. It is a sacrifice we will not forget,” said Sultan Ntamboye, a 30-year-old bank teller, as he awaited the arrival of Francis in a scene reminiscent of some of his previous trips to countries of similar Catholic density. Congolese.

Francis dove into his agenda for the first time since his arrival, condemning the centuries-old exploitation of Africa by colonial powers, today’s multinational extractive industries and the interference of neighboring countries in Congo affairs that have led to the escalation of fighting in the east.

Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Stay away from Africa!” Francis said In his inaugural address to Congolese government officials and the diplomatic corps in the gardens of the National Palace in Kinshasa.

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Pope Francis called Congo’s vast natural wealth a “diamond of creation” and demanded that foreign interests stop dividing the country for their own interests and recognize their role in the economic “enslavement” of the Congolese people.

“Stop choking Africa: it is not a mine to be stripped or a land to be plundered,” said Latin America’s first pope, who has long criticized how rich countries exploit poor people’s resources for their own gain.

The six-day trip, which also includes a stop in South Sudan, was originally scheduled for July but was postponed due to Francis’s knee problems, which are still so bad as of Tuesday that he couldn’t face having reporters on board to Kinshasa and forced him to use a wheelchair on the ground.

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