VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has offered a prayer in St. Peter’s Square for an end to violence in the deeply impoverished Central African Republic, which he visited 2½ years ago.
Francis during his traditional Sunday blessing recalled the serious violence in recent days that left many, including a priest, dead. He called for an end to vendettas “to construct peace together.”
At least 19 people were killed and 98 wounded in the renewed sectarian violence in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, with targets including a church, a mosque and health facilities. The country has faced deadly interreligious and intercommunal fighting since 2013, with thousands of people killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.
During his November 2015 visit, the pope delivered a message of reconciliation.