Pope's plea for peace in Somalia

Pope Benedict has appealed to politicians to broker a peaceful solution in war torn Somalia after escalating violence has forced over a million people to flee their homes.

Catholic News Service reports that the Holy Father said he has been following the recent unfolding events with "trepidation" as clashes between Islamic insurgents and allied Ethiopian-Somali government troops have recently flared.

"I have heard the painful news about the precarious humanitarian situation in Somalia, especially in Mogadishu, increasingly stricken by social insecurity and poverty," the Pope said.

"I encourage the efforts of those who, despite the insecurity and difficulties, remain in that region in order to bring aid and relief to the inhabitants," he said.

Mogadishu's apostolic administrator Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti said the people could not take anymore of the new wave of fighting between the transitional national government and Islamic militia groups which had turned into "a rebellion to every effect.".

Somalia has been without an effective national government since 1991. An agreement was reached in 2004 to create a transitional national government, but that body has been unable to impose order on the country.

Pope urges political leaders to find peaceful solution in Somalia(Catholic News Service, 21/11/07)
Pope appeals for peace in Somalia, (Catholic World News, 21/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Somalia (Wikipedia)

Mogadishu nun speaks of optimism in Somalia (CathNews, 14/10/04)
"I forgive" whispers dying Italian nun (CathNews, 20/09/06)
Time to end scandal of hunger, Benedict says (CathNews, 09/01/07)

22 Nov 2007