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Make food “solely an instrument of peace”- Pope

Pope Francis has urged “those who hold political responsibilities” to lead the way to make food “solely an instrument of peace”.

He stated this in his annual Christmas Day message from the Vatican.

The Pontiff called for a end to the “senseless war” in Ukraine, condemning what he said was the use of “food as a weapon” of war.

While the war in Ukraine occupied much of his 10-minute speech, he spoke of “a grave famine of peace also in other regions and other theatres of this Third World War”.

The 86-year-old Pope lamented the human cost of war.

“We know that every war causes hunger and exploits food as a weapon, hindering its distribution to people already suffering.”

“The war in Ukraine has further aggravated this situation, putting entire peoples at risk of famine, especially in Afghanistan and in the countries of the Horn of Africa,”

He also prayed for “reconciliation” in Iran, where mass anti-government protests have swept the country for more than three months. The protests there have been met by a crackdown, with more than 500 people, including 69 children, killed, human rights groups say.

Writing by Hadiza Abdulrahma; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino