Skip to content

Pope Francis Condemns “Economic Colonialism” as He Arrives in the DRC

Tens of thousands of people cheered, chanted and waved flags as he travelled from the airport into the capital, Kinshasa, in his popemobile. But the mood changed when the pope gave a speech to dignitaries at the presidential palace, condemning “terrible forms of exploitation, unworthy of humanity” in Congo, where vast mineral wealth has fuelled war, displacement and hunger. In the speech, Francis said the DRC’s history had been hobbled by conflict and a history of foreign domination. The pope criticised rich countries for closing their eyes and ears to the tragedies unfolding in Congo and elsewhere in Africa. “One has the impression that the international community has practically resigned itself to the violence devouring it [Congo]. We cannot grow accustomed to the bloodshed that has marked this country for decades, causing millions of deaths,” he said. Francis will stay in Kinshasa until Friday morning, when he will fly to South Sudan, another country grappling with conflict and poverty.