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A cardboard cutout of Pope Francis stands behind the choir during Mass at the Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi, Kenya (AP)

The Pope will celebrate Mass in the grounds of the University of Nairobi on Thursday

Pope Francis will begin his visit to Africa on Wednesday (CNS)

Pope Francis has released video messages ahead of his visit to Central African Republic, Kenya and Uganda

Fr Federico Lombardi briefs the media on Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Africa (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Neither will popemobile have bullet-proof shield, despite violence in country

The Pope's planned visit to Central African Republic later this month is raising alarm (PA)

The Vatican has hinted that Pope Francis’s security team will decide at the last minute whether to change his Africa itinerary

A French peacekeeping soldier patrols the streets of Bangui, Central African Republic (Photo: CNS)

Church leaders say visit will go ahead despite warning from French government officials

Peacekeeping troops escort a humanitarian aid convoy in mid-February in Bangui, Central African Republic. (CNS photo/Legnan Koula, EPA)

UN officials say at least five people are dead and thousands have fled a camp for displaced people

The UN will send hundreds of troops to Central African Republic  ahead of next month's elections (AP)

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the war-torn country later this month

A French soldier stands guard at St Joseph Cathedral in Bambari in Central African Republic (Photo: CNS)

Comboni missionary says he hopes Pope Francis will renew ‘this beautiful country drenched in blood’

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French peacekeeping soldiers patrolling the city of Bangui in Central African Republic in September (PA)

Francis is due to visit the troubled country later this month