While forgiveness and reconciliation were the central themes of his speech on Thursday, the pontiff also highlighted «corruption, which never seems to stop spreading.»
He continued to lead the stadium in an impromptu chant of «no to corruption.» As most of the crowd chanted in unison with him, he led the audience with his right hand moving gently upwards.
In an address to dignitaries at the presidential palace on Tuesday, he condemned those who use the country’s mineral wealth to fuel war, death, displacement and famine.
“Hands off Africa. Stop suffocating Africa: it is not a mine to be dispossessed or land to be looted,” Francisco said, according to Reuters. “The poison of greed has stained your diamonds with blood,” he added, referring specifically to the Congo.
Sabra Mpoyi, a Kinshasa-based lawyer and political analyst, said she hoped the pope’s visit would be a wake-up call to the international community about the violence created by the battle for control of Congo’s natural resources.
“The international community has an obligation to demand the traceability of minerals and compel all major economic operators to legally work with the Congolese government in a win-win partnership,” he said.
Mpoyi, 42, added that the international community must no longer turn a «blind eye» to companies that support armed groups fighting over resources.
“It is unacceptable that the Congolese people live in misery when the country has a lot of wealth,” he said.
Kenny Katombe Butunka reported from Congo and Aina J. Khan from London.