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Kenya not included in Pope Francis’ 6-day peace mission in Africa

The head of the Catholic church Pope Francis, is expected to land in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, ahead of his six-day pilgrimage for peace in the African continent.

In his earlier address, the Pope urged Christians to pray for his Apostolic Journey to DRC and South Sudan.

The Pope will be in DRC from Tuesday to February 3rd, staying in the Congolese capital Kinshasa.

During his stay in DRC, the Pope will meet civil authorities, victims of conflict in the east, and the Church’s local ministers.

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He will then travel to South Sudan until February 5th to seek a lasting peace solution for the world’s youngest nation.

The Pope said that African nations have suffered greatly from lengthy conflicts and that it’s time to pray for peace.

This will be his 40th Apostolic Journey abroad since he took over in 2013.

On Sunday, during Angelus’s address, the Pope lauded the civil authorities and Bishops in DRC and South Sudan for their invitations and the preparations that they have put in place ahead of his visit.

“I greet with affection those beloved peoples who await me. I ask everyone, please, to accompany this Journey with their prayers,” the Pope said.

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He said that DRC and South Sudan had suffered greatly from lengthy conflicts, which have led to the loss of lives and displacement of thousands of its residents who have moved to neighboring countries in search of shelter.

“These lands have suffered greatly from lengthy conflicts.”

According to the Vatican, the Pope will accompany Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Dr Iain Greenshields in South Sudan.

“In South Sudan, I will arrive together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Together, as brothers, we will make an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace.”

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In DRC, the government has been battling with the armed group M23 for years, a conflict that has forced both the African Union (AU) and the East Africa Community (EAC) to intervene.

This time, the Pope will not visit Kenya after his first visit to the country, which was also his first mission to the African continent in November 2015.

Pope Francis was the second pontiff to visit Kenya after John Paul II who visited Kenya 3 times.

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