The AP reports:
In Cotonou, Benin's sleepy capital, public service announcements on TV and billboards enjoined citizens to clean their city ahead of Pope Benedict's visit. One billboard showed a picture of the pope next to three suggestions: Sweep your street, pick up the garbage and repaint your house.
Workers and residents say police forces destroyed the Zongo market in Cotonou without warning on Tuesday, citing an order from the city to make the area presentable ahead of the pope's arrival.
The lawns on the medians separating major boulevards had been removed, after the mayor's office determined that it was easier to simply rip out the grass rather than trying to pick out the thousands of cigarette butts and pieces of trash. It means that most of the highways are now separated by a band of dirt, decorated with fresh tractor tracks.