"Distressing news is reaching us concerning the precarious humanitarian situation in Somalia,” Pope Benedict said today following his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
The Holy Father expressed his concern that “especially in Mogadishu, ever more profoundly afflicted by social insecurity and poverty,” the situation is continuing to worsen.
“I am following the development of events with concern and appeal to all those with political responsibility, at both local and international level, to find peaceful solutions and bring relief to that dear people,” he said.
The pontiff continued, “I also encourage the efforts of those who, though facing insecurity and discomfort, remain in the region to bring aid and comfort to the inhabitants."
Increasing hostility between the Somalian government and insurgents has been rising in Mogadishu since late 2006 when Ethiopian troops arrived. Their goal was to help the Transitional Federal Government drive out the Union of Islamic Courts, which had taken control of the south area of the country but fighting continues to escalate.