Pope calls for peace in Libya in the Easter message
Pope Francis in his traditional Easter message “Urbi et Orbi” called for peaceful solutions to the conflict in Libya and to ensure that Syrian refugees can return home. The pope also expressed his pain and sadness after the attacks in Sri Lanka.
“Weapons must stop causing massacres in Libya, where helpless people have died again for several weeks and where numerous families have to leave their homes,” said the pope from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. “I call on the parties involved to opt for dialogue instead of repression, so as to avoid reopening the wounds of a decade of conflict and political instability.”
The violence flared up at Tripoli yesterday after the troops loyal to the government of national unity had announced an attack phase against the troops of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, to conquer the Libyan capital.
The Pope also regretted in his Easter message that the Syrian people are the victims of a war that lasts and which we risk responding with indifference. “The time has come to renew the commitment to a political solution that leads to freedom, peace, and justice, to face the humanitarian crisis and to ensure that the displaced persons can return home safely,” said Pope Francis.
Conflict in South Sudan
The pope also spoke about the conflict in South Sudan, and again called on President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to work on the reconciliation of the nation. Both leaders recently met during a spiritual retreat in the Vatican. Even then, the pope said he hoped the hostilities in the country would stop and the truce would be respected.
Attacks in Sri Lanka
After his “Urbi and Orbi” (for the city and for the world), the pope also returned to the Sunday morning attacks in Sri Lanka, including three churches, killing more than 190 people. “I want to let the Christian community affected while they were together praying, and to let all the victims of the terrible violence know that I stand with their whole heart,” said Francis.