Pope In War-Torn Congo Tells Rich To Keep 'Hands Off' Africa

Pope Francis gave a message to the rich world on his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said, “Hands off Africa.”

What Happened: The pontiff commenced his tour of Congo on Tuesday and said the rich world should value people more than precious minerals in the earth below them, reported Reuters.

“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,” said the 86-year-old Francis. 

“It is a tragedy that these lands, and more generally the whole African continent, continue to endure various forms of exploitation.”

He made a specific reference to Congo and said, “The poison of greed has smeared its diamonds with blood,” reported Reuters.

Why It Matters: Congo holds rich deposits of diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, and lithium, noted Reuters.

The eastern part of the country has been rocked by violence arising out of the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda, according to the report. 

The violence has displaced 5.7 million people internally, while 26 million people face severe hunger, reported Reuters, citing United Nations data.

The Pope reportedly said that the international community has “practically resigned itself” to violence devouring Congo. He said that the African nation was fighting to preserve its territorial integrity “against deplorable attempts to fragment the country.”

The Argentinian-born pontiff is set to fly to South Sudan next, another nation mired in conflict and poverty, according to the report.

Read Next: Former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Dies At 95, Funeral To Be Held Jan. 5

Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.