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Pope prays for peace in Sudan, and Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province

Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024.   -  
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Andrew Medichini/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


Pope Francis called for peace during the Angelus prayer on Sunday (Feb. 18) and asked the faithful not to forget conflicts in war-torn African countries.

He urged the warring Sudanese military, and the paramilitary group RSF to cease hostilities.

"It has now been ten months since the outbreak of armed conflict in Sudan, which has resulted in a very serious humanitarian situation."

"I again call on the warring parties to stop this war that is doing so much harm to the people and to the future of the country. Let us pray that ways of peace will soon be found to build the future of dear Sudan."

The war in has killed at least 12,000 people and forced 1.5 million people to flee into neighbouring countries.

Francis mentioned theatres of conflict including Palestine, Ukraine and Mozambique.

"Violence against defenceless populations, destruction of infrastructure, insecurity, are again rampant in the province of Cabo Delgado, in Mozambique, where in recent days the Catholic mission of Our Lady of Africa in Mazeze was also set on fire. Let us pray for peace to return to that tormented region."

Rich in natural gas, the province of Cabo Delgado has been gripped for nearly 6 years by an insurgency led by fighters linked to the Islamic State group. 

Last August, the conflict-monitoring organization ACLED estimated that the fighting had claimed at least 4,737 lives, almost half of them civilians, according to the and around a million inhabitants have fled their homes.

The Pontiff urged the faithful to ask God for "the gift of minds and hearts dedicate themselves to peace in a concrete way."

"Let us not forget: war is a defeat, always. Wherever there is warfare, the populations are exhausted, they are tired of war, which is always pointless and inconclusive, and brings only death, only destruction, and will never lead to the solution to problems," the 87 year-old priest said.

Conflicts on the continent were high on the agenda of African leaders at the 37th AU summit which ended Sunday (Feb. 18).

The launch of the second 10-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 marked the beginning of a new decade of efforts to realise the vision of a prosperous, peaceful and integrated Africa.

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