Rome, January 25 (askanews) – “A very important and long-awaited visit” that takes place at a difficult time for the Democratic Republic of Congo, with fighting on the eastern border of the country. An opportunity to draw attention to the African continent and the international community. Don Francesco Tedeschi, priest of the Community of Sant’Egidio and coordinator of activities in central Africa, explains in detail the meaning of the trip that Pope Francis will make to Kinshasa (DR) and South Sudan from January 31 to February 5.
“It is a very important visit and a much awaited visit – he insists -. It falls in a very difficult situation in the country. In recent days there have been signs of fighting on the border with Rwanda, above all in the east of the country now almost experiencing a situation of conflict which it’s been around for 20 years.”
“There is great hope for the population that the Pope’s visit will be able to revive the will and commitment of the international community to help this country get out of this situation”, adds Don Tedeschi. “But then the Congo is also a model country of Africa because through its history and its reality it is a combination of all the main conflicts of this continent. A country with great wealth but also with endless problems that are connected on the one hand with the internal reality of the country but also with the complex international situation we are facing”.
What role can Italy and the European Union play in the peace process? “Above all through the stability of the situation and great cooperation not guided by other interests – emphasizes the priest, an expert on the Democratic Republic of the Congo – because until now the problem of managing the Congo crisis has been to allow the international community to work through large projects which, however, it had no real impact on the population and on the reality they find”.
“I believe that the international community and the European Union can help countries to get out of this situation – insists Don Tedeschi – to get out of the crisis, including the economic one, by promoting growth that is no longer related to the exploitation of mineral resources but also in the growth of people’s rights”.
Sant’Egidio has many activities in the African continent with Project Dream in the fight against AIDS. A delegation from Kinshasa will meet the Pope, along with a delegation from Goma. “We are very happy with this arrival, the Dream program exists in many African countries and in Kinshasa we have a center to treat AIDS patients but we have also started to provide vaccines against Covid-19 and a health program to prevent all. ‘uterus. It is a promise of more of ten years with the people of Kinshasa. The Pope’s visit is an important recognition because the value that the Pope gives to the small and the poor is an important key to understanding that through this attention and this solidarity Africa can be reborn”, concludes the priest.