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Pope backs work of national reconciliation commission in Ivory Coast

Catholic World News - November 04, 2011

Meeting on November 4 with a new ambassador from Ivory Coast to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI applauded the African nation’s efforts to achieve reconciliation after a bloody civil war.

Voicing his hope that a national reconciliation commission would carry out its work diligently, the Pope told the new envoy, Joseph Tebah-Klah: “You must not be afraid to discover the truth behind all the crimes and violations committed against the rights of the people. It will only be possible to live together harmoniously by striving after truth and justice.’

Pope Benedict said that the Vatican had watched with alarm as Ivory Coast burst into violence following contested elections earlier this year. A bloody conflict erupted when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to leave office despite the electoral victory of his rival, Alassane Ouattara. Both sides of that conflict have been accused of human-rights violations.

The Pope’s meeting with the new ambassador took place on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Ivory Coast and the Holy See.

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