Thousands at Pope’s Kenya Mass

Kenyans braved Thursday morning rains and cold as they thronged the University of Nairobi grounds, ready for Pope Francis’ 10am public Mass.
Thousands of enthusiastic Kenyans filled streets in Nairobi from as early as 3am despite the rains that pounded the city the whole night.
Many others got stuck in early traffic as some roads were blocked, forcing motorists to look for alternative routes to access the central business district.
The venue
At 8am, the Pope was meeting interreligious leaders in Lavington, Nairobi.
Security officers were on high alert, screening everybody before being allowed to access the venue of the historic Mass.
President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at the venue at around 9:30am while former President Mwai Kibaki arrived earlier.
Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also arrived earlier for the mass.
Preach peace
The mass was also attended by faithful from foreign countries with two Burundi nationals appealing to the Pope to visit their country and intervene in the ongoing strife there.
Michael and Shanelle said they came all the way to Kenya because they want the pontiff to go and preach peace there as they fear the country could plunge into civil war leading to a genocide.
“The violence in our nation is escalating. I know the Holy Father can bring peace to our nation Burundi,” said Michael.