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Pope Francis arrives in Kenya for historic tour

By Standard Reporter | Published Wed, November 25th 2015 at 16:50, Updated November 26th 2015 at 08:47 GMT +3
Pope Francis (left) disembarks from his plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi on November 25, 2015. (Photo: AFP)

Nairobi, Kenya: Pope Francis landed in Kenya to begin his first tour of Africa to a rousing welcome from Kenyans who thronged the Jomo Kenyatta International airport to receive him.

Kenyans welcomed the Pope with song, dance as President Uhuru Kenyatta led Government, diplomats and religious leaders in receiving him.

His touched down shortly at 4.30pm, ahead of schedule, via an Alitalia flight with Kenyan and Vatican flag fluttering amid ululations and Christian choruses from dozens of faithful and elated citizens who wanted to catch a glimpse of him.

The doors to his flight were opened at exactly 4.50pm before he stepped out and waved to the crowd and went ahead to be received by President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret. He was later introduced to leaders among them Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and a host of Catholic Arch bishops.

A band of traditional dancers performed rhythmic moves in full customary regalia as Pope, in acknowledgement, waved back with two hands.

The Pope was then ushered into the VIP pavilion with the President and the black-robed Archbishops in toe.

His entourage later left the airport for State House, Nairobi where he would address about 2,000 invited guests who had been waiting for his arrival since 3pm.

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Millions of Christians - Catholics and others - are expected to turn out for public celebrations of Mass on Thursday, a day that has been declared a national holiday.

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