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World News

Pope appeals for peace in Niger

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis has appealed for peace in Niger after last month's coup overthrew democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum.

Representatives of West African bloc ECOWAS met Bazoum and held talks with junta leader General Abdourahmane Tiani in the capital Niamey at the weekend in diplomatic efforts to reverse the July 26 coup. Tiani said in a televised address to the nation later in the evening that he was open to dialogue.

The coup leaders' acceptance of the mission could signal a new willingness to negotiate after the bloc on Friday (August 18) doubled-down on its threat to use force as a last resort to restore democracy.

Speaking to a crowd while delivering his Angelus prayer in St Peter's Square Pope Francis said :

"I follow with concern what is happening in Niger. I join the bishops' appeal for peace in the country and for stability in the Sahel region. I accompany with my prayer the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful solution for the good of all as soon as possible. Let us pray for the dear people of Niger. Let us also pray for peace for all peoples wounded by war and violence. We pray especially for Ukraine, which has been suffering for so long."



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