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Pope worries about children pressured to "become soldiers"

Pope John Paul's appeal to the international community to get involved in crises in Sudan and Uganda included special concern for children, who "are too often forced to become soldiers".

"For over 18 years northern Uganda has been devastated by a brutal conflict touching millions of people, especially children," he told 2000 pilgrims in the courtyard of his Castelgandolfo summer residence for the Angelus yesterday. "Gripped by fear many of the children feel they must 'become soldiers'."

"I ask the international community and national political leaders to do something to bring this tragic conflict to an end and give the people of Uganda some real hope for peace," he said.

John Paul II concluded the Angelus prayer by drawing attention to his role and that of Christians "in facing these emergencies".

In Uganda, he said, bishops are "generously working for national reconciliation and lending a hand to those in need with the help of volunteer organisations and dioceses from around the world".

"I recently dispatched to the Darfur the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Msgr. Paul Josef Cordes, to express the spiritual and material solidarity of the Universal Church to its suffering people," he said. "After visiting the refugee camps in the region, Monsignor Cordes should be back in the Vatican to report on the situation."

Pope: The world should get involved and stop the war in Uganda and the Darfur ( 25/7/04)

Darfur: Papal Envoy in s to visit refugee camp (Missionary Service News Agency 24/7/04)
In Sudan, Fears of a "Slow-Motion Rwanda" (Zenit 23/7/04)
Pope Urging Khartoum to Help Solve Darfur Conflict (Zenit 22/7/04)
Pope Urges Peace in Uganda, Sudan (Voice of America 25/7/04)
Sudan rebels accused of blocking talks (Reuters 25/7/04)
World's worst humanitarian crisis in Darfur (Wel-com)
US Congress Declares Genocide in Darfur (Catholic Information Service for Africa 23/7/04)
Christian aid agencies unite for Sudan (Ekklesia 21/7/04)
Papal envoy wants public conscious of Darfur (Catholic World News 23/7/04)
Pope appeals for end to Sudan abuses (CathNews 23/7/04)
Pope's urgent plea for Darfur (Catholic Weekly 22/7/04)
Papal Envoy Heading to Sudan's Troubled West (Zenit 21/7/04)
Christian aid agencies unite for Sudan (Ekklesia 21/7/04)
Sudan and its wars: less conventional arms (hunger) less conventional soldiers (children) (Fides 16/7/04)
Peace talks for Darfur start in Ethiopia S. Egidio community observers among those present (Fides 16/7/04)
Rape used as a weapon in Darfur, rights group charges (Catholic World News 20/7/04)
Humanitarian crisis strikes Sudan (Catholic Leader 18/7/04)
Sudan accused of using rape as 'weapon of war' (London Daily Telegraph 20/7/04)
Sudan is getting away with murder (London Daily Telegraph 20/7/04)
Rape 'a weapon' in Sudan war (BBC 19/7/04)
Head of US church body arrested in protest over Sudan (Ecumenical News International 16/7/04)
Halt to Genocide in Darfur Region of Sudan Is Urged (Zenit 16/7/04)
Australian aid for Sudan (Insights 16/7/04)
Darfur Emergency Response (Act International/Caritas Internatlis)
Background to Sudan's conflicts (Christian Aid)
Darfur: A genocide waiting to be prevented (National Catholic Reporter 16/7/04)
US Catholic relief official says Sudan faces 'catastrophic loss of life' without aid (CathNews 8/7/04)
Aid begins to reaches Sudanese (CathNews 5/7/04)
CAFOD aid reaches Sudan (Reuters AlertNet 2/7/04)
Darfur Crisis: UN High Commission for Refugees continues to assist 100,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad (Fides 2/7/04)
Refugee crisis in Sudan (Caritas Aotearoa NZ)
Darfur bloodshed tests African Union's peace plans (ABC 4/7/04)
No blinking on Darfur (Christian Science Monitor 2/7/04)
Sudan pledges to disarm militias (BBC 3/7/04)
Aid begins to reaches Sudanese (Independent Catholic News 2/7/04)
Interview opportunity with aid worker in Sudan (Caritas Australia 1/7/04)
Chronology: Major events in Sudan's Darfur crisis (China View 2/7/04)
UK 'must do more to help Sudan' (BBC 2/7/04)
Darfur's inescapable horror (KRT/ 2/7/04)
US and U.N. have dwindling time to act in Sudan (Houston Chronicle 1/7/04)
Churches help Sudan emergency appeal - NCCA media release (Anglican Media 30/6/04)
Sudan Emergency Appeal (CAFOD)
Putting Pressure on Sudan (National Catholic Reporter 29/6/04)
US Holocaust museum shuts down to call attention to Sudan genocide (National Catholic Reporter 29/6/04)
Christian World Service
Emergency Aid Sought for Sudan (Zenit 29/6/04)

Religious Vows a Witness to Christ in Materialist World, Says Pope (Zenit 21/7/04)
Will of God Is Strength and Peace of Believer, Says Pope (Zenit 21/7/04)
Condolences Sent for Ukraine Mine Victims (Zenit 21/7/04)
Weekly Audiences a Chance to Give Joy, Says Preacher (Zenit 21/7/04)

26 Jul 2004