In front of 183 diplomats, Pope Francis spoke about his international priorities for the year 2023 and took stock of the ongoing conflicts. The Sovereign Pontiff again evoked “the third world war in pieces”, noting a multilateralism in crisis. The opportunity to underline his “apprehension” around certain conflicts on the African continent, a few weeks before his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, on January 31.
This papal visit to Kinshasa, the first in 43 years, has been described as a “pilgrimage”, “with the hope that the violence in the east of the country will cease and that the path of dialogue and the will to work for security and the common good prevails”.
François also mentioned South Sudan, the second leg of this trip.“I am also following with apprehension about the situation in West Africa, which is increasingly afflicted by the violence of terrorism. I am thinking in particular of the dramas experienced by the populations of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria, and I hope that the transition processes underway in Sudan, Mali, Chad, Guinea, and Burkina Faso will take place with respect for the legitimate aspirations of the populations concerned. »
The DRC, the largest Catholic country in Africa, was initially to welcome the sovereign pontiff last July. The visit had been postponed for health reasons.