'Lay down your arms', pope says in divided Central Africa

Pope Francis on Sunday urged the warring factions in Central African Republic to lay down their weapons as he brought a message of peace to a country ravaged by sectarian violence. As his plane touched down, those waiting burst into cheers and singing as he began a 24-hour visit to one of Africa’s poorest and most unstable countries on a trip that has had his security detail working overtime. For the short ride to the presidential palace, Francis travelled in his open-topped popemobile, with huge crowds, many of them children and young people, cheering wildly as he passed, some waving branches in a sign of peace.

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