Pope Francis prays for Nicaragua, Syria, and peace in Horn of Africa
After praying the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis on Sunday issued a series of appeals for prayers for peace in different parts of the world.
Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for the “beloved people of Nicaragua” saying he wishes
“to join the efforts of the Nicaraguan bishops and of the many people of goodwill who are acting as mediators and witnesses in an ongoing process of national dialogue on the road to democracy”.
He was addressing the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus Prayer.
Nicaragua’s Vice President this week reiterated the government’s commitment to dialogue and peace, and asked that international entities condemn the violence of opposition groups that has virtually halted the country in recent months and led to deadly clashes between protesters and police forces. The country’s Bishops’ Conference has also taken a strong stand urging entrenched sides to return to the peace talks table.
The Pope then decried the serious situation in Syria, mentioning in particular, recent attacks in the province of Daraa, “where military action in the past days has even struck schools and hospitals”, forcing thousands of new refugees to flee their homes.
“Together with my prayers, he said, I renew my appeal so that the population, which has been so badly stricken for years, may be spared further suffering.”
Ethiopia and Eritrea peace talks
“In the midst of many conflicts, the Pope said, I would like to highlight an initiative that can be described as historic and that is good news: in these days, after 20 years, the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea are talking of peace”.
The two countries, which share a common culture, language, and history, have been enemies since 1998 when they went to war over a border town. A peace deal was signed by both parties after two years, but neither side complied with it for the next 16 years. However, in an important breakthrough, Ethiopia’s new premier Abiy Ahmed, this week promised to fully comply with the accord opening the way to end hostilities between the two countries, and to pave the way for peace.
Pope Francis expressed his hope that the initiative be a “light of hope for these two countries of the Horn of Africa and for the entire African continent”.
Source: Linda Bordoni/Vatican News