CAR president hopes pope will visit

2015-11-12 21:54
Pope Francis gestures from the top of the stairs of his plane as he departs the airport in Santiago, Cuba. (Ismael Francisco, AP)

Pope Francis gestures from the top of the stairs of his plane as he departs the airport in Santiago, Cuba. (Ismael Francisco, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The acting president of the Central African Republic said on Thursday she hopes Pope Francis will go ahead with his visit to the conflict-hit country this month despite security concerns.

France, which plays a key peacekeeping role in the country, has warned that international forces will struggle to cope with the added security needed for the visit, which is scheduled for November 29 and 30.

But transitional president Catherine Samba Panza told France's RTL radio that she met with a member of the pope's team and pushed for the visit to go ahead.

"I said the pope must come," she told France's RTL radio.

"The arrival of the pope would be a great benediction. I believe that by the grace of God, the pope will come and nothing will happen," she said.

Ahead of elections in December, tensions have once again mounted in the Central African Republic, which has suffered more than two years of sectarian violence.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that international peacekeepers would struggle to cope with the thousands flocking to see Pope Francis from around the country and its neighbours.

There are currently 900 French troops and 12 000 UN peacekeepers deployed in the country.

It will be the first African visit by Pope Francis, who will also travel to Uganda and Kenya.

Read more on:    samba panza  |  pope francis  |  france  |  central african republic  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.