DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     November 13-15, 1998     vol. 9, no. 223

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In an address to the UN's commission on refugees, Archbishop Renato Martino-- the Vatican's permanent representative to the world body-- denounced the abuse of refugees that sometimes takes place when they are displaced within their own countries. He also spoke out against the arms traffic which helps to feed and intensify civil warfare.

          Archbishop Martino lamented the "abominable new techniques" of warfare which have been introduced in recent conflicts, such as "the immoral strategy of ethnic cleansing," the "attempts to annihilate entire communities," and the "armed pursuit of displaced peoples, to the point where they die of exhaustion."

          The archbishop pointed out that refugees in civil conflicts are often threatened by famine, epidemics, and human-rights abuses as well as by warfare itself. Laws which apply to international conflict are routinely violated in civil warfare, he said, through the blocking of humanitarian aid, attacks on refugee camps, and other outrages.

          While humanitarian aid is often insufficient to meet the needs of refugees, Archbishop Martino next observed, there is "never any lack of arms on the field of battle." Weapons, he said, "are the one thing that the countries at war always have in abundance." And certain developed nations are particularly "generous" in providing the means of advanced warfare, he noted. That imbalance between humanitarian and military aid is a gross injustice, the Vatican delegate said, and it indicates the exploitation of warfare for the profit of the arms merchants.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Nov 13-15, 1998       volume 9, no. 223


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