Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Pope Francis will not visit Nigeria – Vatican

Pope Francis will not visit Nigeria, the west African country hit by the incessant attack of Islamist sect, Boko Haram, but will meet slum dwellers and refugees and call for dialogue between Christians and Muslims when he visits Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic next month, the Vatican said on Saturday.

The trip to Kenya, which will be his first to Africa, is fraught with security concerns and the pope will spend about two days in each country and visit only the capitals.

Since his election as the first Latin American pope, Francis has met the most needy on each of his 10 foreign tours. In Nairobi, he will visit Kangemi, a slum that is home to 650,000 people.

He will also hold an inter-religious meeting and say a Mass at a university in the capital.

The Kenya stop had been in doubt in the initial planning of the November 25-30 trip.

Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall was the scene of a four-day siege in September 2013 that left at least 67 people dead in an attack by gunmen of the Somalia-based Islamist group al Shabaab.

Last April, militants attacked the Garissa University College in eastern Kenya, killing 148 people, most of them Christian.

In Uganda, Francis is scheduled to visit a home for the disabled in Nalukolongo, a suburb of the capital Kampala.

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