As Pope Francis visits South Sudan today, 27 people, including five children, were killed in clashes between cattle herders and militia members Thursday. The Vatican said the pope’s visit came in the hopes of reinvigorating a troubled peace process following a decade of conflict in South Sudan since its establishment in 2011. The pope’s visit comes after he spent the week in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than a million worshipers attended his Mass in Kinshasa. He condemned the simultaneous exploitation and neglect of the region by Western powers.
Pope Francis: “The poison of greed has smeared its diamonds with blood. This is a tragedy to which the economically more advanced world often closes its eyes, ears and mouth. Yet this country and this continent deserve to be respected and listened to. They deserve to find space and receive attention. 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.”