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Vatican spokesman: Do not forget Somalia

July 18, 2011

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to Somalia, a land where “countless victims” have suffered from “fundamentalist hate.”

“The drought in the Horn of Africa has created a dramatic humanitarian emergency and the Somali people are its main victims,” said Father Federico Lombardi. “Hunger and thirst are pushing countless people to a desperate search for help, many fleeing to neighboring countries, to refugee camps, at a rate of almost two thousand people a day. There are reports of exhausting marches on foot under the threat and attacks of predators, and even of children attacked by packs of hyenas.”

Recalling the 1989 assassination of the Archbishop of Mogadishu and the more recent murders of a nun and a lay volunteer, Father Lombardi added that “even if the Pope remembers Somalia every year in his speech to diplomats, there is a widespread perception that world public opinion and the international community have resigned themselves and have left this country to its unfortunate fate. Do we also try to forget it, will the horrific images and the anguished appeals of these days succeed in awakening our sense of responsibility and solidarity?”


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