Following the recitation of the Angelus at noon on Sunday, 14 September, Pope Francis spoke about the UN Peacekeeping Mission which begins on Monday, 15 September in the Central African Republic [CAR]. The aim of the UN mission is to promote peace and protect the people who are suffering due to the ongoing conflict and unrest in CAR. 1,500 UN troops will join with the already-existing peacekeeping group of 4,800. This is only half of the total promised by the UN Security Council last April. Their troops will take over responsibility from the African Union [AU] peacekeepers, who come from several African countries.
Pope Francis said, “I assure the peacekeepers of the support and prayer of the Catholic Church, and encourage the efforts of the international community to come to the aid of Central Africans of good will. May the violence give way to dialogue as soon as possible, and may the opposing forces set aside their particular interests and make the necessary provisions to ensure that every citizen, of every ethnic and religious group, may collaborate in constructing the common good. May the Lord accompany this work for peace!”.