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Opinions of Monday, 7 December 2015

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Take a cue from peace moves by Pope Francis

Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Pope Francis of the Catholic Church has made a move that has caught the attention of all well meaning people of the world. Even those who are not Catholics would be moved by the feat chalked by the pope. The steps taken by this man of God requires recognition and support by all especially fellow religious leaders of the Christian and Muslim faiths. As part of his papal duty, he recently made a trip to East and Central African nations particularly Uganda and Central African Republic. Indeed his visit was meant to meet catholic and other Christian faithful in the nations he visited. However he also did so in order to help end the ethnic and religious conflicts in these areas that have claimed the lives of hundreds of millions of people. The statements he made to all those who thronged the stadia in all the nations were profound. He pleaded with all the people in the nations of Africa and by extension the world to be tolerant, patient and have fellow feeling for all. He expressed the belief that these attitudes are sure means of ending the wars and conflicts between factions’ thereby ensuring peace and stability. The Pope went further to join Muslims in prayers in the Central African Republic capital Bangui where he was well received and mobbed by thousands of Muslims. This indeed is a landmark feat meant to win the Muslims over for peace. The Muslims and their leaders were so happy with the visit of the pope that they promised to work closely with the Christians in the country to end conflicts between the two religious adherents. The role played by the Pope is timely as it complements the efforts being made by the United Nations General Assembly, political leaders of the central and east African countries and all their regional groupings. Since the arguments leading to wars in the areas concerned are religious and ethnically based, it required that all leading figures among Muslims and Christian faiths must take a cue from the steps taken by the pope by moving to all war zones to speak to the people. Being influential people the people especially the warring factions are likely to listen to their advice. Apart from the Central African Republic it advisable for the pope and the other religious leaders to move into Burundi where conflict is also ragging due to the insistence of the countries leader Mr. Ngurunziza to extent his rule in the country beyond a second term. As a result of the conflict more than 200,000 people have been killed in the country with many more fleeing daily into exile. We need to extend out thanks to Pope Francis for the feat he has chalked so far. We urge him to do more not only in the war zones of the world but United States of America which is currently experiencing deaths of innocent people through gun shots Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger where on regular basis Boko Harram forces are terrorizing people and seizing girls and in relatively peaceful nations like Ghana where the people require regular admonitions and advise to maintain peace and embrace each others as one people in one nation with a common destiny

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