Pope appeals for an end to violence in eastern Congo

Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from his window, at the Vatican, June 16, 2024.   PHOTO/ REUTERS 

What you need to know:

  • The pope deplored the "many Christians" killed in the conflict, saying "they are martyrs."

Pope Francis on Sunday pleaded for an end to violence and civilian deaths in North Kivu, a conflict-stricken province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

At least seven people were killed there on Friday and Saturday after people took to the streets to protest a surge in deadly attacks by suspected Islamist rebels.

"Painful news continues to arrive of attacks and massacres carried out in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo," Francis told crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"I appeal to national authorities and the international community to do everything possible to stop the violence and safeguard the lives of civilians," he said during his Sunday Angelus message.

The pope deplored the "many Christians" killed in the conflict, saying "they are martyrs."

Francis also renewed calls for peace in Ukraine, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Sudan, Myanmar "and anywhere people suffer from war."