Pope Francis brought a message of peace to divided Central African Republic on Sunday, visiting people displaced by months of bloody sectarian violence and calling for unity. "I come to the Central African Republic as a pilgrim of peace and as an apostle of hope," the 78-year-old pontiff said on arriving in one of Africa's poorest and most unstable countries for a 24-hour visit fraught with safety concerns. Crowds burst into cheers and singing as his plane touched down in Bangui from Uganda on the final leg of his three-country tour of Africa, which he hailed as "the continent of hope." He began his visit Wednesday in Kenya.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Flanked by Vatican bodyguards in flak vests and machine-gun-toting U.N. peacekeepers, Pope Francis plunged Sunday into conflict-wracked Central African Republic to bring a message of peace and reconciliation to a country where Christian-Muslim violence has divided the capital and forced nearly 1 million people to flee their homes.