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In Kangemi, pope slams rich elite over 'dreadful injustice' to poor

27 November 2015, 11:04

Nairobi -Pope Francis lashed out at wealthy minorities who hoard resources at the expense of the poor as he visited a crowded slum Friday in the Kenyan capital.

"These are wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries," the 78-year-old pontiff told crowds in the Nairobi shanty town of Kangemi.

Francis, whose visit to the slum is a highlight of his three-nation Africa tour, condemned the "dreadful injustice of urban exclusion."

Wild singing and ululating broke out as he arrived early on Friday, his popemobile weaving through streets in a sea of tin-roofed homes.

"I am here because I want you to know that I am not indifferent to your joys and hopes, your troubles and your sorrows," Francis told the packed congregation in the church of St Joseph the Worker in Kangemi.

"I realise the difficulties which you experience daily. How can I not denounce the injustices which you suffer?"

People arrived long hours before dawn in the hope of catching a glimpse of the pope, who has made efforts for social justice a hallmark of his tenure.

Francis criticised the lack of "infrastructures and basic services", including sewerage, electricity, good roads, school and hospitals.

"They are a consequence of new forms of colonialism... countries are frequently pressured to adopt policies typical of the culture of waste," he added.

"This situation of indifference and hostility experienced by poor neighbourhoods is aggravated when violence spreads and criminal organisations, serving economic or political interests, use children and young people as 'cannon fodder' for their ruthless business affairs," he added, singling out the role women play in binding such societies together.

"I also appreciate the struggles of those women who fight heroically to protect their sons and daughters from these dangers."

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