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Don’t stand by as immense human tragedy unfolds: Pope

(AFP)
Filed on April 7, 2015
Don’t stand by as immense human tragedy unfolds: Pope

Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for an end to “absurd violence” in hotspots around the world .

Vatican City — Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for an end to “absurd violence” in hotspots around the world and said the international community must not stand by in the face of the “immense humanitarian tragedy” in Syria and Iraq.

In his traditional Easter message, the 78-year-old pontiff said he was praying for those killed in armed conflict, including the students massacred by Somali gunmen at a university in Kenya.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims huddled under a sea of umbrellas in a rain-soaked St Peter’s Square to hear the pope deliver his  “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and World) blessing, broadcast live to dozens of countries. In his third Easter message since his election as pope in 2013, the head of the Catholics prayed “for peace, above all, for Syria and Iraq, that the roar of arms may cease”.

He called on the international community to “not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees” created by the two conflicts. He also prayed for the victims of Thursday’s attack in Kenya that left 148 people dead. “I think in particular of the young people who were killed last Thursday at Garissa University College in Kenya,” he said.

The Argentine pope pleaded for “absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence” in Libya to be halted, and voiced his “desire for peace, for the good of the entire people” in war-battered Yemen and Ukraine. — AFP


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