CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS): Pope John Paul II has urgently appealed for an end to worldwide indifference to ongoing conflicts in Uganda and Sudan.
Before praying his Angelus on July 25, the Pope made his appeal to more than 1000 pilgrims who gathered in the courtyard of his papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome.
He called on the international community to help resolve the bloody conflicts on the “beloved African continent” and offer “a real prospect for peace” in the region.
Thousands of civilians have been killed and more than 1 million others displaced by the fighting in northern Uganda alone.
The Pope also highlighted the dire humanitarian situation in western Sudan’s Darfur region.
In the past year, rebels and government-backed Arab militias have been pitted against one another in Darfur, forcing some 200,000 people to flee to neighbouring Chad and displacing more than 1 million others to makeshift camps in Sudan.
The Pope sent his papal envoy, Archbishop Paul Cordes, who is head of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, the Vatican’s charity arm, to Sudan and Darfur from July 22-25 as a sign of “spiritual and material solidarity”.