No More Genocides Like Rwanda's, John Paul II Insists

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 28, 2004 ( Ten years after the outbreak of the conflict that gave way to genocide in Rwanda, John Paul II urged that such tragedies not be repeated.

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In just three months, 800,000 people were massacred and 3 million Rwandans fled their country, while corpses floated down rivers and in Lake Victoria, according to U.N. sources.

«Ten years have passed since, on April 7, 1994, in Rwanda, serious confrontations broke out between Hutus and Tutsis, which culminated in genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of people were brutally killed,» the Pope said before praying the Angelus today.

«Let us pray to the Lord that such a tragedy will not be repeated ever again,» the Holy Father implored before thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Pontiff appealed to religious and civil leaders, and members of the international community, «generously committed to taking peace to the beloved region of the Great Lakes.»

Various parties and countries are struggling for control of the African region’s vast natural resources.

«Don’t be discouraged! Be builders of the civilization of love, animated by the word of the Lord,» the Pope said, quoting Christ’s words «Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.»

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