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Pope pleads for end to fighting in Ivory Coast

March 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has sent Cardinal Peter Turkson to Ivory Coast to “express my solidarity and that of the universal Church” to the victims of a continuing struggle for power in the African country.

Cardinal Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has been charged by the Pope to seek an end to the fighting between the supporters of two rival leaders: Alasanne Ouattara, who was certified by UN officials as the winner of presidential elections last November; and Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president, who has refused to surrender his power.

Pope Benedict told his March 30 public audience that he has been preoccupied with the battle in Ivory Coast, a country “traumatized by painful internal strife and serious social and political tensions.” He pleaded for an end to the violence—which the November elections had been designed to resolve. “No effort should be spared” to stop the bloodshed, the Pope said.


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