Pope appeals for peace in Africa


VATICAN CITY, April 28 -- Pope Benedict on Sunday appealed to the world not to forget the "tragic" conflicts in Somalia, Darfur and Burundi

and called on authorities to "honor their commitments" to bring an end to the violence. "The news from several African countries continues to give reason for deep suffering and acute concern," the Pope told the crowd in St Peter's square after his weekly Sunday address. He said ongoing violence in Somalia was making the situation "more and more dramatic" for a population, which has "been oppressed for too many years under the weight of brutality and misery." Darfur, despite some brief hopes of peace, "remains a tragedy without end for hundreds of thousands of defenseless and abandoned people," Benedict said. Warning that Burundi faced the risk of "a new civil war," he said the Vatican embassy had been hit by bombing in the last few days in the capital city of Bujumbura. Referring to all three nations he called on local political authorities and those of the international community to "honor the commitments made to lay solid foundations for peace and development." - AFP

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