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OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Polls opened in Burkina Faso on Sunday in the first free election in three decades as the country chooses a replacement for President Blaise Compaore, who was overthrown a year ago in an uprising backed by the army. Compaore ruled for 27 years until protests at his attempt to change the constitution to maintain his tenure drove him from power. The polls were pushed back from Oct. 11 after an abortive coup in September by members of the now-disbanded elite presidential guard. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Kim Coghill)
By Aaron Ross KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila made a long-anticipated public call on Saturday for a national dialogue to prepare for elections next year, an idea regarded with suspicion by his opponents. A successful presidential election in 2016 would mark Congo's first-ever peaceful transition of power after decades of autocratic rule and civil conflict since independence from Belgium in 1960. In an address to the nation, Kabila announced the creation of a preparatory committee but did not specify who would serve on it, nor when the dialogue itself would begin.