Pope Francis Expected in Sub-Saharan Africa

POPE Francis, the head of the Catholic Church ( File Photo).

POPE Francis, the head of the Catholic Church is expected in the eastern African nation of Mozambique for a three day visit beginning September 4, reports said.

After Mozambique, the pope will visit Madagascar and Mauritius.

The Pope’s voyage to Mozambique comes after the recent signing of a peace accord between government and the guerrilla Renamo movement.

In Mozambique, the pope will address President Filipe Nyusi just five weeks before voters go to the polls, deciding whether to re-elect Nyusi or choose one of two main opposition leaders.

One of those opposing Nyusi is Ossufo Momade, whose National Resistance party (Renamo) is a former militant group. Although the government signed a peace accord with the group August 1, the European has expressed concern in the past that the election, if not conducted properly, could undermine efforts for lasting peace.

In Madagascar, Francis will speak with President Andry Rajoelina, who first came to power in 2009 after military-backed protests ousted elected leader Marc Ravalomanana. Rajoelina later won his country’s 2018 election with about 55 percent of the vote.