‘Hands off Africa’ Pope says on visit to DR Congo

Shortly after landing in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pope Francis delivered a speech full of stinging condemnation of the exploitation over centuries – not just of this country, but also the continent.

He talked of political strangleholds giving way to “economic colonialism”, which he said was equally enslaving.

In the best-received section of the speech he told the outside world to acknowledge the catastrophic things that have been done in the country and to fully respect people here.

“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,”

Pope Francis said to applause, referring to the rich resources that have brought so much conflict and death to the country.

However, the Pope did not specifically refer to the role played by Catholic colonisers, backed by historic edicts from the Vatican, and the atrocities they committed here.

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