|Vatican||POPE SAYS AFRICA CANNOT BE ABANDONED TO WARS AND AIDS|
Pope John Paul II has made a heartfelt appeal to the world 'not to abandon Africa' to its wars, AIDS and famine.|
The Holy Father made the appeal in a message to the African bishops meeting near Rome last week for the plenary assembly of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.
He lamented the lack of improvement in the African situation since his exhortation 'Church in Africa' at the first ever African synod five years ago.
He said: "These [armed] conflicts are an abuse of the human person, his rights, and dignity. This attitude is to a large extent the cause of the other scourges that afflict the continent, like economic underdevelopment, poverty, forced migrations, the spread of AIDS, and epidemics that are regarded as definitively eradicated, the plunder of natural wealth and degradation of the environment."
He said that Africans are responsible for their own destiny. "In order to construct the reconciled world toward which all aspire," he implored, "it is Africans themselves, first of all, who must take into their hands the future of their nations."
But the Holy Father appealed "once again to the international community not to abandon" the continent.
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|10 Oct 00|