Rabat - The personal safety of Pope Francis during his African tour was secured by Moroccan intelligence services, in collaboration with their French counterparts.
Rabat – The personal safety of Pope Francis during his African tour was secured by Moroccan intelligence services, in collaboration with their French counterparts.
Morocco and France deployed armed secret service officials to the Central African Republic (CAR) to safeguard the Catholic leader during his two-day visit to the war-torn country, according to Le Mag citing local medial.
Moroccan and French intelligence aided in keeping the pontiff’s November 30 visit safe in a volatile Muslim neighborhood in Bangui, CAR. The trip is considered the riskiest moment in his papacy.
Despite death threats from Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and Boko Haram, the Pope traveled in an open Pope-mobile with no bulletproof vest.
Moroccan intelligence, which has helped thwart terrorist attacks in France and Spain in recent weeks following the November 13 Paris attacks, has been recognized in the fight against terrorism as foreign governments request its services to help protect their countries.
In CAR, the pontiff delivered a message of hope, peace and unity as he met Muslim leaders at the Koudoukou mosque in the PK5 Muslim enclave.
“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” he said, denouncing the recent violence between both religions.
“Christians and Muslims and members of traditional religions have lived peacefully for many years. Together, we say no to hatred, to vengeance and violence, especially that committed in the name of a religion or God,” the Associated Press quoted him as saying.
“One cannot write off a religion because there are some groups — or sometimes many groups — of fundamentalists,” he said to the press on the plane leaving Bangui.
“How many wars, and not only wars of religion, have we Christians waged? The Muslims were not responsible for the sack of Rome!” Francis stressed.
“[Muslims] have values, and these values are constructive … One can dialogue with them,” he added.