Pope Benedict XVI Has praised all those who have raised their voice against violence and hatred, and have contributed to a negotiated search for peace in Northern Uganda.
The Pope was speaking at a reception in honor of Nyine Bitahwa, Uganda's new ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. In his address Pope Benedict encouraged all involved in the northern Uganda peace process to take part generously in the task of repair and rebuilding the region after so many years of turmoil and abandonment. He said the population's strong desire for peace should inspire the Government to continue to carry out its responsibilities to ensure stability and reconciliation throughout the country.
Pope Benedict also hailed Uganda for its efforts in the struggle against poverty. He noted that human development, through the availability of employment, suitable housing and the extension of educational opportunities, is an indispensable factor in the economic and social progress of a nation. He particularly paid attention to Uganda's achievements in the fields of education, development and health care, especially in the struggle against HIV/AIDS.
The Pope welcomed Ambassador Bitahwa to the Vatican and accepted his Letters of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda.
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