The Islamist rebels have staged a string of attacks in Kenya, including an April massacre at Garissa university in which 148 people were killed, and a 2013 assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed 67.
– ‘Profound role to play’ –
As he landed in Nairobi on Wednesday evening, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics was greeted by joyous celebrations with choirs singing and dancers dressed in traditional feather headdresses, bright clothes and beads.
From there, he went to the presidential palace where he urged Kenya’s leaders to work with “integrity and transparency” and to battle inequality in comments alluding to the corruption and inequality that blights the country.
Francis also warned that the world was facing a “grave environmental crisis” just days before the start of a key UN climate summit in Paris. He will deliver further remarks on the environment later on Thursday when he visits the Nairobi headquarters of the United Nations.