'Hands off Africa!': Pope Francis decries Western exploitation
Congo is rich in diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, tin, tantalum, and lithium. Mining projects, as a result, have produced inhumane conditions for workers, especially children, not to mention environmental massacres.
On his trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Tuesday, Pope Francis denounced the West's exploitation of natural resources and "economic colonialism" of Africa.
During his speech in the capital of Kinshasa, he said, "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," as he condemned the "terrible forms of exploitation, unworthy of humanity" in the Congo.
The pope further described what is currently happening in the DRC a "forgotten genocide", calling the country a "diamond of creation".
"It is a tragedy that these lands, and more generally the whole African continent, continue to endure various forms of exploitation," he continued, as he demanded foreign powers to recognize their economic "enslavement" of the Congo.
Congo is rich in diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, tin, tantalum, and lithium. Mining projects, as a result, have produced inhumane conditions for workers, especially children, and environmental massacres.
The world turns a blind eye to Africa when it doesn't need it
On a separate yet related note, the Pope took a jab at wealthy nations for not batting an eye at the tragedies occurring in the African continent.
"One has the impression that the international community has practically resigned itself to the violence devouring it (the Congo). We cannot grow accustomed to the bloodshed that has marked this country for decades, causing millions of deaths," he said.
The DRC has been plagued with violence and conflict for quite some time, especially with the presence of severely armed groups such as the M23. This has led millions of people to flee their homes.
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According to UN statistics, approximately 5.7 million people are displaced in the Congo, and 26 million suffer from hunger as a result.
"The poison of greed has smeared its diamonds with blood," the pontiff said, moving on to the West and the rest of the world for the "catastrophic things that were done over the centuries to the detriment of the local peoples".