Francis Asks Peace for Central African Republic

Rebel Fighters Have Taken Over Capital

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Francis made his first general audience appeal for a beleaguered nation today, asking for an end to violence in the Central African Republic.

In the latest chapter of that nation’s fighting, rebel forces have taken over the capital city, Bangui, and President François Bozizé has fled.

“I follow with attention what is happening in these hours in the Central African Republic and I wish to assure my prayers for all those who are suffering, particularly for the relatives of the victims, the injured and those who have lost their homes and have been forced to flee,” Francis said. “I appeal to cease immediately the violence and looting, and to find a political solution to the crisis, which may restore peace and harmony to that dear country, too long marked by conflict and division.”

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