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Pope Francis slams Western firms, nations exploiting minerals in Congo



Pope Francis, on Tuesday, delivered an explicit warning to businesses and governments to stop exploiting the African continent’s people and resources.

The Pope delivered his fiery message during his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Francis, the first pope to travel to the Congo since 1985, has frequently used his position as head of the Roman Catholic Church to draw attention to the suffering of the world’s impoverished.

“Torn by war, the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to witness within its confines conflicts and forced migrations, and to suffer from terrible forms of exploitation, unworthy of humanity and of creation,” the Pope said during his speech.

“This country, so immense and full of life, this diaphragm of Africa, struck by violence like a blow to the stomach, has seemed for some time to be gasping for breath,” he continued.

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“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,” the Pope declared.

According to a December 2022 report from the UN, at least 131 people had been killed by Congo M23 militants. The report also listed over twenty rapes and kidnappings against women and girls that the gang was responsible for.

Concerns have been voiced that the nation’s resources and people are being exploited by Western firms for profit, in addition to internal strife that changed Francis’s travel plans and forced his team to cancel a portion of his trip.

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