Pope leads Congolese youth in anti-corruption call

STORY: Abandon ethnic rivalries, and reject corruption.

That was Pope Francis' message as he addressed young people in Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Thursday, the pope spoke to more than 65,000 young people from a stadium in Kinshasa, urging them to forge a future devoid of the ethnic rivalries, corruption and distrust that have fueled so many bloody conflicts in Africa.

"Beware of the temptation to point a finger at someone, to exclude another person because he or she is different; beware of regionalism, tribalism, or anything that makes you feel secure in your own group."

Leading chants of "no to corruption", the pontiff struck a hopeful tone as he spoke of potential new horizons for Congo rather than of its bloody past and present.

His words were met with such applause that at one point, an organizer had to urge for quiet to allow the pope to continue delivering his message.

The 86-year-old pope, who arrived in Congo on Tuesday, flies to neighboring South Sudan on Friday (February 3).

He will be visiting jointly with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of Scotland Moderator, in what the three Christian leaders have described as an unprecedented "pilgrimage of peace."