Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Nigeria's president absent from Friday prayers
  2. Ethiopia invites the head of the UN rights office for a visit
  3. Manchester United to honour Nigerian fans who died in Calabar accident
  4. Tanzania has 'nearly 10,000 civil servants with fake school certificates'
  5. President Magufuli moves to sack them
  6. Nigeria's Lagos state government has found 237 abandoned babies over past year
  7. UN peacekeeper in DR Congo accused of fathering a child with minor
  8. Pope Francis is in Egypt on his second African trip
  9. Email stories and comments to - Friday 28 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back next week on Tuesday after the May Day weekend

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page for this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast   or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of our proverb of the day:

The person who gossips with you will gossip about you."

Sent by Juneydii Abdirisak, Mogadishu, Somalia

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with a photo of Sapeurs or elegant people, who gathered in Ivory Coast to celebrate the life of musician and rumba legend Papa Wemba, known as the king of the Sapeurs, who died last year. 


You can see the rest of Africa's top shots this week here

Kenyan university awards Mbeki honorary degree

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has received an honorary degree from a Kenyan university for his role in the liberation of his country as well as the African renaissance. 

Dedan Kimathi University, which is named after Kenya's independence hero, awarded Mr Mbeki the degree during its sixth graduation ceremony, South Africa's state broadcaster SABC reports

In his acceptance speech, the former South Africa president lauded the role of Kenya's liberation heroes in South Africa's battle against the apartheid:

View more on twitter

Niger 'cleared' over Areva uranium deal

French nuclear giant Areva was solely responsible for a controversial $320m (£250m) uranium deal, a parliamentary investigation in Niger has said.

The 2011 deal, known as "uranium-gate", involved companies in Niger and abroad. Activists have begun legal proceedings.

It caused an uproar after a local paper said it had served as cover for officials to embezzle public funds.

The report did not find any evidence of wrongdoing by any officials. Areva says it cannot comment on the report.

The French company says it has not yet received the report. It has previously said it was co-operating with a French investigation into the case.

Niger is one of the world's biggest uranium producers and the metal is the country's largest export.

A protester against the Uranium deal
The "uranium-gate" case has fuelled protests in Niger

'The South Sudan we want'

The South Sudan We Want Campaign has uploaded a video of South Sudanese talking about their vision for the nation.

It comes as fighting in the civil war, which began in December 2013, continues and famine has been declared in parts of the country.

The campaign says: "these visions and dreams reflect aspirations of the South Sudanese people to create the nation they struggled and overwhelmingly voted for."  

Here's what some of the people say:

I want to live in a South Sudan where everyone is equal."

I want to see a South Sudan that belongs to all who live in it."

I want a South Sudan that's democratic."

View more on youtube

Pope Francis meets Coptic pope

Head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has met his counterpart from the Coptic church during his trip to Egypt.

A Catholic press service has tweeted this picture:

View more on twitter

Read more: Egyptian Christians living in fear for the future

How bad is the fall in cocoa prices in West Africa?

The slump in the cocoa price comes as the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) officially moved its headquarters from London to Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan. 

The BBC's Tamasin Ford sat down with Jean-Marc Anga, the executive head of the ICCO and asked him what impact the fall in cocoa prices is having:.  

How bad is the fall in cocoa prices in West Africa?

Nigeria's President Buhari misses Friday prayers

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has missed Friday prayers at the mosque in the grounds of Aso Rock, or state house.

This is unusual given that he is in the capital, Abuja, the BBC's Mohammed Kabir reports. 

Earlier this week he missed his second cabinet meeting in a row amid speculation about the state of his health.

Last month, he returned from London after spending seven weeks away on medical leave where he was treated for an undisclosed condition.

His office sent a statement  yesterday to explain his absence from cabinet saying it was "a last minute decision". 

It added that Mr Buhari was still carrying out his presidential duties:

Despite his lack of visibility, Nigerians should rest assured that President Buhari has not abdicated his role as Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria.

He receives daily briefings on the activities of government, and confers regularly with his Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

His private residence, in which he has been spending the majority of his time recently, also has a fully equipped office."

President Buhari

Pope preaches against extremism

On his trip to Egypt, Pope Francis wants leaders of all faiths to come together to renounce religious extremism, the Reuters news agency reports.

He said:

Let us say once more a firm and clear 'No!' to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God."

Pope addressing meeting

The two-day visit comes just three weeks after 45 Coptic Christians were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Egypt.

The Pope also denounced demagoguery, reports the AFP news agency:

It is disconcerting to note that, as the concrete realities of people's lives are increasingly ignored in favour of obscure machinations, demagogic forms of populism are on the rise."

The Pope has been tweeting his message as well:

View more on twitter

During the visit, the pope has also met Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi:

Pope with Egyptian president

Experts meet to plot response against armyworm invasions

Alastair Leithead

BBC Africa correspondent

Scientists and agricultural experts are meeting in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, to work out a strategy to tackle crop-destroying caterpillars.

The Fall Army Worm has arrived in Africa from the Americas for the first time, and within months has spread across half the continent. 

Both the worms and their moths are having a devastating impact on crops. 

Some pesticides are effective, but they’re expensive and the caterpillars are hard to kill as they burrow inside crops like maize

They are voracious eaters of pretty much anything, lay up to 2,000 eggs a month and have spread from Zambia to Ethiopia in three months. 

Large parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa have been affected and scientists fear there’ll be a devastating impact on the harvest across southern Africa in the next few weeks and in eastern Africa later in the year. 

Many areas there are already suffering food shortages through drought. 

Read:Why are armyworms attacking Africa's crops?

New book on Goodluck Jonathan excites Nigerians

Nigerians on Twitter have been discussing a new book, #AgainstTheRunOfPlay , which looks back at the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. 

The book, written by journalist Olusegun Adeniyi, is described on Amazon as "an intense look at Nigerian politics at a time when an entrenched political party was defeated in a presidential election after 16 unbroken years in power". 

View more on twitter

A review of the book by Azu Ishiekwene published by Sahara Reporters refers to the book as an "eloquent ... repository of why former President Goodluck Jonathan had to go". 

Mr Ishiekwene says the book gives an account about Mr Jonathan's shortcomings while in office and paints him as consumed in his own insecurity: 

From his first day in office, Jonathan was determined not to succeed. Even though forces beyond him may have also conspired to remove him – the same way they conspired to install him."

That siege mentality governed Jonathan’s presidency most of the time. The first nine of the 12-chapter book carefully documents Jonathan laying his bed."

Warning to South Sudan's army

BBC World Service

The head of the international body monitoring the peace agreement in South Sudan has issued a warning to the national army to stop all on-going violence in the country immediately. 

Botswana's former President Festus Mogae said that if the fighting did not stop it would be clear who was responsible. 

The medical charity MSF said on Thursday that up to 25,000 people had fled the north-eastern town of Kodok because of intense fighting. 

The ceasefire monitoring body said it had received reports that the army was moving towards areas where civilians had fled to. 

There was no immediate response from the army. 

Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan receive a portion of sorghum at the Ngomoromo border post, in Ugandan side, on April 10, 2017
Millions of people have fled the fighting in South Sudan

Africa's week in pictures - Papa Wemba remembered

This week in our selection of the best photos from the continent we feature the Sapeurs - or dandies - who gathered in Ivory Coast to remember Papa Wemba who died a year ago.

Tamasin Ford

Ivory Coast photo exhibition pays tribute to market traders

Ivorian market trader Madame Constance is one of the subjects of a new outdoor exhibition in Ivory Coast's town of Grand Bassam, reports the BBC's Alex Duval Smith.

People standing in front of the picture

Alex snapped the trader along with with photographers Armand Gauz (right) and Dorris Haron Kasco 

The photographers decided to create the outdoor exhibition, which features 20 large portraits lining the road, to support the traders and crafts people of Grand Bassam, a popular weekend destination for professionals from the main city Abidjan. 

The seaside resort also was the scene of a militant gun attack last year in which 16 people died.

Ms Constance, who sells carved wooden souvenirs, hopes the exhibition will improve business. 

We have suffered a drop in custom since the shootings on the beach last year. People don't stop at my shop so much these days."

Alex also snapped Hamidou, who makes and sells bronze objects, next to his portrait:

Marjet trader next to his potrait

Gauz said he hoped the exhibition would raise the profile of the traders and artisans along the road into Grand Bassam.

He said:

People admire artists. They look down on artisans. We're asking the question 'what's the difference between us?'"

South Africa's alleged conspirator formally charged

Karen Allen

BBC southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

A man who investigators in South Africa suspect is behind an elaborate assassination plot allegedly targeting cabinet ministers and possibly President Zuma, has appeared in court in Johannesburg.

Elvis Ramosebudi, 32, appeared briefly to be formally charged with conspiring to murder, in a case which has drawn much speculation. 

Elvis Ramosebudi in court

The state is basing its case on an investigation by the elite crime fighting unit - the Hawks - which claims the suspect was intercepted as he tried to raise donations for his plot. 

Mr Ramosebudi appeared calm under the glare of media spotlight in court as the charge was read out to him.

But the prosecution has raised concerns about the 32 year old's state of mind and says it might request a psychiatric evaluation. 

The case has captured the imagination of some South Africans at a time when the police and intelligence services have been accused of becoming involved in political point scoring as President Zuma fends off calls by critics for him to resign.

How do you get a fake certificate in Tanzania?

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has sacked nearly 10,000 civil servants who have been found to have forged secondary school certificates.

There isn't a particular place which is well known for making fake ones here, but it's easy enough to get hold of a certificate on the black market.

And it is very common for people to use fake certificates in Tanzania.

Police raided a house in the main city Dar es Salaam last year and found two individuals with machines, stamps and piles of templates for fake secondary school, birth and even business licence certificates stacked up in a room. 

It is also very common for people to use their friends' or family members' certificates.

In this case, when someone gets a job or goes on to higher education, they will actually change their name to match the one on their certificate.

Presidential candidate John Magufuli laughs as microphones are set up during a ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) rally in Dar es Salaam
President Magufuli has a reputation for being a no-nonsense leader

Man Utd to honour Nigeria electrocution victims

Manchester United has revealed plans to honour the Nigerian fans who died in a freak accident last week while watching the team on television at a viewing centre in the south-eastern city of Calabar.

At least seven people were electrocuted after a high-tension cable fell on the crowded shack showing the Europa League quarter-final between Manchester United and Anderlecht.

View more on twitter

UN human rights chief to visit Ethiopia

The UN's human rights chief is set to visit Ethiopia next week after being invited by the government, according to a statement from his office.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein's trip comes just over a week after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn dismissed calls to allow independent investigators look into the security forces' response to the recent wave of anti-government protests in which hundreds of people died.

Mr Al Hussein has himself called for an independent inquiry but it is not clear whether his trip will lead to UN investigators being allowed in.

The UN statement says he will meet the prime minister "to discuss the human rights situation in Ethiopia".

A fortnight ago, Ethiopia's state-affilated human rights commission released a report saying that 669 people died, including 63 policemen, in the protests that began in November 2015.

Right groups have given much higher figures. 

People at a funeral in Ethiopia
Ethiopia rejected calls for independent investigations into the deaths of hundreds of prtesters

Pope Francis arrives in Egypt

Pope Francis has landed in the Egyptian capital, Cairo to start his 72-hour trip in the country. 

Ahead of the trip, the Pope said he hoped his visit would support the region's Christians and send a "message of brotherhood" to Muslims. 

Egyptian Christians have been targeted by jihadists with a recent attack on Palm Sunday killings dozens. 

The Pope is scheduled to meet Muslim and Christian leaders before visiting a church that was bombed in December, the Reuters news agency reports. 

He will lead a mass tomorrow. 

Pope Francis
Pope Francis disembarks from a plane in Cairo

Two more succumb to Liberia 'mystery disease'

Two more people have died from an unknown illness that infected people who attended a funeral earlier this week in Liberia's Sinoe county, south-east of the capital, Monrovia.

The deaths bring the total to 11. 

Five people remain in isolation and four others have been discharged after being stabilised, Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Francis Kanteh has told BBC's Focus on Africa programme. 

The authorities have said this is not another outbreak of Ebola. 

Further tests have yet to show the cause of the strange illness but the health ministry plans to send more blood specimens to laboratories outside the country, including in the US, which have the capacity to identify the cause of the infection. 

Officails have advised the public to observe precautions implemented during the recent Ebola breakout, including washing of hands. 

Washing hands

'I saw my sister drown'

The BBC's Martin Patience has been talking to Nigerian Kelvin Imasuen who has a tragic tale to what happened when he tried to cross the Mediterranean in a bid to reach Europe.

He left his home in Benin City with his sister, Augustina, in search of job opportunities elsewhere.

They travelled across the Sahara but they were put on separate boats for the crossing to Europe.

Augustina's boat capsized and she drowned. Kelvin's boat, which also got into trouble was rescued by the Libyan coastguard.

The International Organization of Migration then took him back to Nigeria.

You can read more about the story here and in this video a Nigerian people smuggler talks about what he does:

Two Kenyan athletes 'fail doping test'

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The BBC has learned that Kenya’s athletics association has received a report indicating that two long-distance runners, who have yet to be publicly named, have failed a doping test.  

The association is delaying identifying the runners so as not to spoil a planned reception for long-distance runner Mary Keitany, who won the London Marathon women’s race last weekend, breaking the world record.  

Only three weeks ago, another Kenyan, former London Marathon winner Jemima Sumgong was suspended for failing a drugs test. 

Some of Kenya’s elite athletes are said to be worried that the doping scandals could severely dampen their successes and they will be demanding decisive action against the offenders.

Kenya athletics vest
Getty Images

UN peacekeeper in DR Congo accused of sexually abusing a minor

A UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been suspended over allegations that he had a child with an underage girl.

Under Congolese law, anyone under 18 is considered a minor.

The military observer is among five peacekeepers accused of acts of sexual abuse and exploitation in the first three months of 2017, a senior UN official told the BBC.

UN peacekeeping missions have been hit by a raft of child sex abuse scandals.

The underage girl involved in the first case has been put under the care of the UN children's agency Unicef, Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline team for the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, Monusco.

United Nations peacekeepers stand deployed with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in the eastern city of Goma

Magufuli sacks 10,000 civil servants over fake qualifications

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has sacked nearly 10,000 civil servants for holding fake education certificates. 

He ordered that they leave their work stations by 15 May or else they will be arrested and prosecuted. 

Mr Magufuli was reacting to a report by a task force listing 9,932 government employees with dubious secondary school qualifications.  

That’s just over 2% of the country’s civil servants.

The civil servants could also be prosecuted and if found guilty of fraud could face up to seven years in jail.

The investigation only looked into secondary school qualifications of officials in local government, public institutions and government agencies and has not examined university degree certificates.

100 Days: The Gambia under President Barrow

When he was sworn in earlier this year, President Adama Barrow said the Gambian election, which saw his predecessor Yahya Jammeh ousted after 22 years in power, was "a victory for democracy".

He told Gambians they had the power to control their own destiny. He also promised to free political prisoners and improve press freedom.

So how does he view his first 100 days in power?

The BBC's Umaru Fofana caught up with President Barrow.

Where is The Gambia in the first 100 days of Adama Barrow's presidency?

Pope Francis to visit Egypt as 'messenger of peace'

Pope Francis is beginning a visit to Egypt aimed at improving dialogue with Islam three weeks after bomb attacks on two Coptic churches killed 45 people.

He will meet the Egyptian president and speak at al-Azhar University, a key centre of Sunni Islamic learning.

So-called Islamic State said it was behind the Palm Sunday bombings.

The 80-year-old pontiff says he is travelling as a "messenger of peace" and, despite the security concerns, will not use an armoured car.

The two-day visit is the first papal trip to Cairo in 20 years, and comes as Egypt's Coptic Christians - who make up 10% of the country's mainly Muslim population - face increased threats. 

The majority of the Copts are Orthodox, with less than 150,000 of them Catholic.

Read more from BBC News Online.

The Pope is seeking to improve relations with the key Sunni Muslim institution al-Azhar
Pope waves boarding a plane

Happy birthday to Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda, one of the continent's last surviving leaders of the anti-colonial struggle, turns 93 today.

Mr Kaunda led Zambia to independence in 1964 and became its first president.

Some Zambians have been sharing pictures of the country's founding father.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

We've found this archive shot of Mr Kaunda in 1961 during negotiations with the British:

Kenneth Kaunda, leader of the Northern Rhodesian African Nationalists, arriving at the Colonial Office for talks with the British Government about his country's constitution.
Getty Images

Kenyan bishop detained for disrupting election

A Kenyan religious leader, who was a candidate in the political party primaries, is being detained for a further four more days after being arrested on Wednesday for disrupting a voting exercise, private Standard newspaper reports. 

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, a popular religious leader who runs her own church, faces two charges of malicious damage and disrupting a voting exercise.

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ordered that Bishop Wanjiru is to be held until 2 May when she will appear in court and could be released on bond, the report says. 

Local TV station KTN reports that if she is found guilty she could face two years in prison:

View more on twitter

Nigerian government official trolls New York Times

The person who runs digital communications for Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has been trolling the New York Times after it tweeted a picture of the president with a story about Ghana.

View more on twitter
Screen grab of the tweet
New York Times

The New York Times has realised the error and has published an apology in the piece that the tweet links to.

But Mr Ogunlesi has come up with a salty riposte: 

View more on twitter

Magufuli urges newspapers to publish names of civil servants with fake certificates

We've been reporting about the revelation that nearly 10,000 Tanzanian civil servants have been found to have fake school certificates (see earlier post).

President John Magufuli, speaking at a ceremony where he received the details, has given the officials with fake certificates a few weeks to resign or face legal measures.

He has also asked newspapers to publish the names of the officials.

The president's comments are being streamed on YouTube.

John Magufuli
Millard Ayo

Obese Egyptian woman to move to UAE after 'losing 250kg' in India

An Egyptian woman believed to have been the world's heaviest is to be moved to the UAE after a row over her weight loss at the Indian hospital where she was being treated.

Mumbai's Saifee hospital said Eman Abd El Aty had weight loss surgery and was free to go as she now weighed 172kg (380lbs), down from an estimated 500kg.

But her sister accused doctors of lying and pleaded for her to stay.

She will now go to Burjeel hospital in Abu Dhabi.

A statement released by Ms Abd El Aty's doctors said she would receive "secondary physiotherapy" there as the hospital is "closer to home for Eman and her family".

Read the full story

Eman Abd El Aty
Eman suffered a stroke at the age of 11 and her weight meant she was unable to leave her home for 25 years

Somali trader's life in South Africa

Somali Mohamud Gedi Ire escaped the violence in Mogadishu in 2008 and went to live in South Africa, where he runs a shop with his sons. 

He has been the target of xenophobic violence but also knows that he has freedoms in South Africa that he would not have in his birthplace. 

Video journalist: Christian Parkinson 

Thousands of Tanzanian civil servants found with fake school certificates

Nearly 10,000 Tanzanian civil servants have fake school certificates, according to a report received by President John Magufuli.

The details released in the capital, Dodoma, show that 9,932 government employees were found to have fraudulent secondary school qualifications.

The BBC's Sammy Awami says that this is just over 2% of the country's 435,000 civil servants.

President Magufuli, seen here in the right at his inauguration
President Magufuli, seen here in the right at his inauguration, has a reputation for being a no-nonsense leader

Cycling: Africans reaching new heights

South Africa-based cycling outfit Team Dimension Data is making history at the ongoing Tour de Romandie in Switzerland. 

For the first time at the top level of the sport, they are fielding a squad featuring only African riders. 

Four Eritreans, a Rwandan, two South Africans and an Algerian make up their team for the event. 

Team Principal Doug Ryder spoke to the BBC's Newsday programme:  

Problems for Kenya's opposition power-sharing plans

Thursday's unveiling of Kenya's opposition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, and a proposed government structure, among the leaders of five opposition parties, continues to elicit debate. 

The Nasa coalition has pledged top government positions to the leaders of the main parties in the coalition.

But political analyst Kaamotho Waiganjo has said on local TV station Citizen that holders of the proposed roles of premier cabinet secretary and two deputies will still have to be vetted by parliament - and this could present a problem.

View more on twitter

Which means that if Raila Odinga wins the presidency but the opposition coalition fails to get a parliamentary majority it is likely that his opposition counterparts would be blocked from assuming the roles agreed as part of the deal.  

Another high-profile Kenyan athlete 'fails drugs test'

Another Kenyan high-profile athlete has failed a drugs test according to the Reuters news agency, which is quoting the chairman of Athletics Kenya (AK).

The news comes three weeks after news that Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong tested positive for a banned substance.

She has been suspended from cpmpetition but is still waiting for the results of a test on a B-sample before permanent action is taken.

AK chairman Jackson Tuwei said he could not yet say who this latest athlete is, Reuters reports.

The sport in Kenyan has been hit by several doping scandals in the past few years.

Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women's Marathon on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Sumgong is waiting on the results of the B-sample to see if she will face further sanction

Magufuli to receive report on civil servants with 'fake school certificates'

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania's President John Magufuli is set to receive a report by a task force he commissioned to investigate civil servants who allegedly have fake academic certificates.

By February the government had discovered that about 300 public servants had fake degrees.  

Immediately after assuming office Mr Magufuli temporarily suspended recruitment for government jobs and ordered an audit of state workers. 

Top governmental officials are attending the event. 

John Magufuli

'We have defeated a Chadian dictator'

An appeals court in Senegal on Thursday upheld the life sentence given to Chad's former leader Hissene Habre for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture. 

The ruling was issued by a special court set up by the African Union. 

Victims of atrocities committed under Habre welcomed the court decision. 

Souleymane Guengueng is a Chadian who was imprisoned and tortured in Chad in the 1980s. 

He was in Dakar to hear the court's decision and spoke to BBC Newsday.

Lagos government rescues over 200 abandoned babies

The government of Nigeria's Lagos state has said it has rescued 237 abandoned babies - 106 male and 131 female - over the past year.

According to Lagos' Youth Commissioner Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, quoted by the Punch and Guardian newspapers, this was a rise from the number found in the previous 12-month period.

This year so far 53 babies have been rescued.

The Guardian reports that just this week an abandoned baby was found near a refuse dump in the Alagbado area of Lagos.

Hand of baby girl

Egypt prepares to welcome Pope

Martin Bashir

Religious Affairs correspondent, BBC News

Cars drive past welcome banners bearing a portrait

Pope Francis arrives in Egypt today for a short visit in which he hopes to foster inter-religious dialogue while addressing the issue of persecution of Christians across the Middle East. 

The Pope will meet the President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and make a speech at Al-Azhar University, a leading academic centre of Sunni Islam. 

This is the first Papal visit to Cairo in almost 20 years and comes at an urgent moment for Christians in Egypt. 

Just three weeks ago, on Palm Sunday, so-called Islamic State said they were behind two bomb attacks on Coptic churches, that killed dozens of Christians and injuring more than a hundred. 

Pope Francis, in a letter to the people of Egypt, said his visit was intended to comfort all Christians in the Middle East and to continue dialogue with the followers of Islam. 

Several Catholic commentators have criticised the Pope's approach to Islam, saying he is naive and should demand more from the leaders of Muslim-majority countries where Christians are being persecuted.