Pope Francis ushered in 2015 with an appeal for an end to war. “Let there be no more wars,” he said as he addressed the crowd at St Peter’s Square in January.
“Peace is always possible but we have to go and look for it.”
Apparently in a search for world peace, Pope Francis announced in September that he would visit Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic (CAR) during a six-day tour from November 25 through 30.
The apostolic journey of his holiness starts with Kenya where he is expected to arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport on Wednesday. He will travel to Uganda on Friday where he will be until Sunday when he departs for CAR.
The papal visit is expected to come with a renewed hope of peace in a region where violent crises have led to the loss of several lives and slowed development.
Uganda has also been on alert since militant group Al-Shabaab, which carried out the Kenya attacks vowed to storm the East African nation for the presence of its troops in Somalia.
Things are worse in CAR where both Christian and Muslim militia have wreaked havoc over the years. The latest attack in the country happened last week when suspected Seleka fighter killed 22 people in a string of raids on villages. Dozens have been killed in inter-religious fighting since September but the government and Christian leaders have assured the Pope Francis that his visit would be peaceful.
The religious leader seems not perturbed by the situation of things in the countries he is visiting as he plans to meet with the Muslim Community in the central Mosque of Koudoukou in Bangui and, according to reports, he will not be wearing bullet proof vest.
Pope Francis’s search for peace is on and as his body language portrays, not even the fear of attack in Uganda, Al-Shabaab in Kenya or violence in CAR will deter him. However, according to Associated Press, the Vatican secretary of state has hinted that Pope Francis’s security team will decide at the last minute whether to change his Africa itinerary.
Apart from suing for peace, Pope Francis is also expected to talk about climate change, immigration, poverty and religious tolerance.
View Pope Francis’s itinerary here.