“At this time, there are too many scandals and injustices, too much corruption and greed, too many errors and lies, too much violence which leads to misery and to death,” he said in a speech at Benin’s presidential palace.
“These ills certainly afflict your continent, but they also afflict the rest of the world. Every people wishes to understand the political and economic choices which are made in its name. They perceive manipulation and their revenge is sometimes violent.”
He added later in the speech before politicians, religious figures and diplomats: “From this place, I launch an appeal to all political and economic leaders of African countries and the rest of the world.
“Do not deprive your peoples of hope! Do not cut them off from their future by mutilating their present!” He also seemed to make reference to uprisings in the Arab world and spoke of the independence of South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation.
“During recent months, many peoples have manifested their desire for liberty, their need for material security, and their wish to live in harmony according to their different ethnic groups and religions,” he said.
“Indeed, a new state has been born on your continent. Many conflicts have originated in man’s blindness, in his will to power and in political and economic interests which mock the dignity of people and of nature. Human beings aspire to liberty,” the pontiff said. AFP