Pope Francis was due on Sunday to the begin the final leg of his first African trip in Central African Republic where he will deliver a message of reconciliation and peace to a nation racked by years of violence between Muslims and Christians. The capital Bangui has seen a surge in clashes that have left at least 100 people dead since late September, according to Human Rights Watch, and security has been ramped up ahead of the papal visit. France, which has around 900 soldiers deployed in Central African Republic, warned the Vatican earlier this month that the visit could be risky, and the pope's exact itinerary has remained uncertain even in the final days before his arrival.
Burkina Faso voted on Sunday in an election which will choose the first new president in decades after long time leader Blaise Compaore was overthrown a year ago in an uprising backed by the army. Compaore ruled the West African country for 27 years until he was ousted by protests against his attempt to change the constitution to maintain his tenure. "I am proud to have accomplished my duty as a citizen ... It's the first time that I can be really sure that we won't end up with Blaise Compaore," said Ousmane Ouedraogo, as he cast his ballot in the capital Ouagadougou.