Rome – Pope Francis has called for more international attention on the many bloody conflicts taking place around the world in an address to the faithful in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

The pope said his thoughts were with the most recent victims in Congo in an address during the Angelus prayer on Monday.

Some 40 people in eastern Congo were confirmed dead on Sunday after gun and machete-wielding militants from the Uganda-based rebel group ADF launched an attack at the southern edge of the city of Beni.

Around the world there are other innocent people being victimized “without finding any attention from us,” Francis said. He said there was a “shameful silence” on the subject.

The head of the Catholic Church pointed especially to the fate of women who became the slaves of ruthless rulers. Children were even being forced to do inhuman work, he said.

Women were being made to surrender their bodies and souls to the lasciviousness of men, Francis said.

On Friday, Francis paid a surprise visit to 20 former prostitutes who had been liberated from their pimps.

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