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The Journal Gazette

  • Women look at Pope paraphernalia at a stall in Antananarivo Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Joe)

  • Father Giorgio gives communion during an early evening mass at the cathedral, which Pope Francis will visit later this week, in the capital Maputo, Mozambique Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • A nun browses in a store with Pope paraphernalia in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Joe)

  • A woman prays during an early evening mass at the cathedral, which Pope Francis will visit later this week, in the capital Maputo, Mozambique Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Wednesday, September 04, 2019 10:50 am

Pope makes strategic visit to Mozambique after peace deal

Associated Press

 

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is opening a three-nation pilgrimage to southern Africa with a strategic visit to Mozambique, just weeks after the country's ruling party and armed opposition signed a new peace deal and weeks before national elections.

Thirty years after St. John Paul II begged Mozambicans to end their civil war, Francis is expected to endorse the new Aug. 1 accord and urge its full implementation when he meets with government authorities on Thursday, his first full day in the region. He arrives Wednesday evening.

Francis will later travel to Madagascar, where deforestation is threatening ecosystems and wildlife that are unique to the Indian Ocean island nation.

He also makes a daylong stop in Mauritius before returning to Rome Sept. 10.