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Summary

  1. Suicide attack at popular Egyptian tourist site
  2. Deal to create Africa's biggest free-trade zone
  3. Maggi noodles withdrawn in East Africa
  4. Study shows Guinea's chimps drink palm wine

Live Reporting

By Naziru Mikailu and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Listen to the

Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with stories from across the continent on the
BBC News website.

We leave you with this photo of French Minister of Foreign Trade, Matthias Fekl, standing amongst Maasai dancers in Kenya. He attended the inauguration of the Kenya Wildlife Service's digital radio network, purchased from France, to replace an analogue system at the Nairobi National Park on which poachers could eavesdrop.

French Minister of Foreign Trade, Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, Matthias Fekl, join Maasai traditional dancers on 10 June 2015, during the inauguration of the digital radio network at the Kenya Wildllife Service in Nairobi, in order to conduct mobile patrols present in the Nairobi National Park
AFP

'Progress' in Somalia

BBC World Service Africa editor tweets

New UK ambassador says #Somalia has improved but has 'so far' to go and is one of UK foreign secretary's top three priorities.

From Dubai to Hargeisa

Abdullahi Yussuf

BBC monitoring, Nairobi

Dubai-based carrier flydubai has become the first airline from outside Africa to launch direct flights to Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway republic of Somaliland.

The inaugural flight landed on

Wednesday afternoon.

The airline will be flying four times a weeks to the city which until now has only had direct flights from neighbouring Ethiopia.

Press photographers and cameramen cover the arrival on May 18, 2009 of the first of flydubai's 50 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft in the Gulf emriate.
Getty Images
Somaliland hopes to attract more visitors and investors.

South Sudanese risk 'starvation'

The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that hundreds of thousands of people face possible starvation in South Sudan, where fighting between government forces and rebels has intensified.

It says

in a statement that immediate and sustained action is needed by the warring parties, as well as aid agencies and foreign governments.

An estimated two million people have fled their homes since the conflict in South Sudan began 18 months ago.

An International Red Cross staff and volunteers prepare to organise the food distribution after an International Red Cross plane dropped emergency food supplies in Leer, South Sudan, on July 5, 2014.
Getty Images
Most South Sudanese rely on food supplied by international aid agencies

Zimbabwe vote marred by boycott

An elderly Zimbabwean woman casts her ballot during parliamentary by-elections on June 10, 2015 at a polling station in Bulawayo
AFP

Zimbabweans voted today in parliamentary by-elections which are likely to strengthen the dominance of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party after the main opposition boycotted the ballot, the AFP news agency reports.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) pulled out of the by-elections alleging intimidation, and being denied access to the electoral roll which it said was stuffed with the names of deceased voters.

The elections were held to fill 16 seats after the MDC fired 14 lawmakers who formed a splinter party, and Zanu-PF expelled two MPs linked to ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Your reactions

People have been reacting to some of our top stories on

BBC Africa Facebook page.

On the deal by 26 African countries to create the continent's biggest free-trade zone, Kopano Matsaseng says: "Has there been any benefits from other existing trade arrangements on the continent? Free trade is not always free as it protects the interest of multinationals at the expense of local industries."

On the story of a Namibian scientist investigating how proteins can help in the fight against cancer, George Y. Sharpe comments: "This shows that Africa is now competing with the rest of the world in terms of knowledge."

Firemen of Lagos

It is not uncommon for fuel tankers to burst into flames on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria's largest city:

Fireman
Akintunde Akinleye

For the last decade photographer Akintunde Akinleye has been

capturing the moment firemen turn up:

Firemen
Akintunde Akinleye

Islamists 'split' Libyan city

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent

Control of the Libyan city of Derna is split between Islamic State (IS) militants and the Abuslim Martyr's Brigade, following heavy fighting between the two sides, residents have told me.

One witness said people are scared and many are staying at home, with most shops and bakeries remaining closed.

The fighting broke out on Tuesday night after the killing of Nasser Al-Aker, a senior militant Islamist from the Abuslim Martyr's Brigade.

The Mujahadeen Shura Council of Derna, an umbrella group of local Islamist militias, has released a statement declaring war on IS and describing its leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, as a "criminal".

Still from Video showing ISIS chief Baghdadi in first video sermon, 4 July
Al-FURQAAN MEDIA
The IS leader declared a caliphate last year

Relocating Zimbabwean rhinos

Taurai Maduna

Africa Business Report, Johannesburg

Zimbabwe officials preparing to export rhinos to Bostwana
BBC

Zimbabwe has sent five rhinos to Botswana as part of a conservation programme aimed at increasing the animal population in the region.

The rhinos were secured in crates loaded onto a camouflaged Botswana Defence Force plane at an airport near Chiredzi town in south-eastern Zimbabwe.

A Bostwana military plane getting ready to take rhinos from Zimbabwe
BBC

Botswana is seen as relatively safe from poachers who kill rhinos for their horns.

UK firm 'paid Congo major'

The BBC has seen evidence that UK firm Soco made payments to a Congolese army major accused of using violence to intimidate oil exploration opponents.

At the time of the payments, Soco was operating in Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company strongly rejects any suggestion that the payments were connected with the alleged abuse.

DR Congo soldier
BBC
Soco used Congolese government soldiers to secure staff and infrastructure in the volatile region

Swansea close in on Ayew

John Bennett

BBC World Service Sport

Ghana and Marseille's winger Andre Ayew, is getting very close to joining the premier league side Swansea on a free transfer.

I've heard one or two top-six Premier League clubs took a long look at him but felt he needed to prove himself in the division first.

Marseille's Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lens and Marseille on March 22, 2014 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.
Getty Images
Ayew has been link with other clubs in England

Lunchtime sex row

Richard Hamilton

BBC News

Comments by Uganda's minister for ethics - about his countrymen having too much sex at lunchtime - have caused a stir on social media and radio phone-ins.

Simon Lokodo said the owners of guest houses should be arrested for allowing office workers to have sex during lunchtime.

Correspondents say many people use the break to have sex with prostitutes or affairs with colleagues. There's been a mixed reaction to Mr Lokodo's comments - some say the minister should not interfere in people's private lives while others are supporting him.

Nigeria airport reopens

Nasidi Yahaya

BBC Africa, Abuja

The airport in Maiduguri, the main city in north-eastern Nigeria which has been frequently targeted by militant Islamists, has reopened.

It was closed for commercial flights in December 2013, following a deadly attack on a nearby air force base by Boko Haram militants.

"Security agencies have cleared the air for us to reopen the airport," a spokesman for Nigeria's airport authority, Yakubu Datti, told the BBC Hausa service, adding that flights have already started flying in and out of the city.

Joint Military Task Force (JTF) patrol the streets of restive northeastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri, Borno State, on April 30, 2013.
Getty Images
Maiduguri has been the epicentre of Boko Haram's insurgency

A taste for wine

A new study has shown that chimpanzees in Guinea-Conakry have a taste for alcohol - their tipple of choice is naturally fermented palm wine, produced by raffia palm trees.

bbc graphic
BBC

African players released

Nick Cavell

BBC Sport

Six African players have been released by their English Premier League clubs and are now available to join other teams without a fee.

Nigeria's Shola Ameobi by Crystal Palace, South Africa's 2010 World Cup captain Bongani Khumalo, from Tottenham Hotspur, DR Congo's Youssouf Mulumbu from West Bromwich Albion and the Ivorian duo Guy Demel from West Ham and Yannick Sagbo by Hull City.

Champions Chelsea also confirmed that former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba is to leave the club on a free transfer.

War against cancer

A young Namibian scientist has vowed to find a cure for cancer - one of the biggest killer diseases in the world.

Johanna Amunjela, a PhD scholar at the University of Aberdeen, in the UK, is among the first in the world to investigate the

role that specific proteins have in how the disease develops.

Johanna Amunjela
other

Boni rules out third term

Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi has ruled out running for a third term in next year's election, dismissing opposition concerns that he plans to seek office again in defiance of the constitution.

"My name will not appear in any ballot," he said on Tuesday following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, in Paris.

Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi speaks to the press after his meeting with the French president at the Elysee Palace on June 9, 2015, in Paris
Getty Images
Mr Boni came to power in March 2006 and was re-elected in 2011

This is not the first time President Boni has ruled out seeking re-election but suspicions that he would try to change the constitution have exacerbated political tensions in the country.

Mr Hollande praised "the vitality" of Benin's democracy and announced he will visit the country next month, reports the Associated Press news agency.

Exclusive interview

BBC Focus on Africa presenter tweets

Watch @iamseyishay talk about her music, and her new record deal on #BBCFocusOnAfrica @ 1730gmt #seyishay #BBCAfrica

Watch @iamseyishay talk about her music, and her new record deal on #BBCFocusOnAfrica @ 1730gmt #seyishay #BBCAfrica

Heavy fighting in Libya

Rana Jawad

BBC News, Tunis

There have been reports of heavy clashes between rival groups of Islamist militants in the eastern Libyan city of Derna.

The violence has come after a long period of tension between Islamic State fighters and a group called the Abuslim Martyrs' Brigade.

Witnesses told me that the city is divided between the two warring factions.

Islamic State's efforts to infiltrate Libya began in Derna, with its loyalists first surfacing there late last year.

fighter of Libya's Fajr Libya group (Libyan Dawn) fires his gun during clashes in the hill village of Kikla, southwest of Tripoli on 21 October 2014
AFP
Rival militias have been fighting for power since 2011

'Rare attack in southern Mali'

Richard Hamilton

BBC News

Armed men have attacked a police base in southern Mali, near the border with Ivory Coast. A local official said a group of about 30 attackers raised a black flag and shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) as they briefly took control of the camp at Misseni.

He said that at least one policeman was killed.

Such incidents are rare in southern Mali but there have been recurrent clashes between the army and Islamist insurgents in the north.

Museveni statue 'divides'

BBC Monitoring

Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper is reporting that a newly erected statue of President Yoweri Museveni at a market in the northern town of Gulu has caused a dispute among residents.

Screengrab of Daily Monitor article
Daily Monitor

The statue shows Mr Museveni flashing the ruling National Resistance Movement's thumbs-up sign, raising fears among some that it was aimed at gaining votes ahead of elections next year, it reports.

However, Gulu mayor George Labeja said that Mr Museveni's statue could be put up "anywhere" because he was the president and the decision should be respected.

Free-trade zone agreement 'signed'

African leaders have signed a deal to form the largest free-trade zone on the continent, the AFP news agency reports.

The deal to integrate three regional blocs, representing 26 countries, was reached in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm-el-Sheikh (see 09:02 post).

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn were among the leaders who signed the agreement.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) attends the closing session of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh alongside Zimbabwe"s President Robert Mugabe (L) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (R), on 10 June 2015
AFP

The Southern African Development Community, the East African Community and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa hope the pact would ease movement of goods.

The deal has to be ratified by individual countries before it comes into force.

How big are your potholes?

BBC Nigeria correspondent tweets about Jaguar's new pothole-spotting technology: 

That's not a pothole it's a scratch. New car technology detects potholes. Try that in Lagos. bbc.in/1Tap82E

That's not a pothole it's a scratch. New car technology detects potholes. Try that in Lagos. bbc.in/1Tap82E

Senegal win on penalties

Nick Cavell

BBC Sport

Senegal's goalkeeper Ibrahima Sy celebrates after the penalty shoot out of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2015 round of 16 soccer match between Ukraine and Senegal in Auckland, New Zealand, 10 June 2015
EPA

Senegal had goalkeeper Ibrahima Sy, who is on the books of French club Lorient, to thank for their victory over Ukraine on penalties at the Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Sy saved three spot kicks to give his side a 3-1 win on penalties after the two teams drew 1-1 after normal time and 30 minutes extra time.

Senegal join Mali in the quarter-finals of the tournament after they beat former winners Ghana 3-0 earlier in the day.

What Nigeria's papers say

Nasidi Adamu Yahya

BBC Africa, Abuja

Copies of Nigerian newspapers
BBC

Most of today's newspapers in Nigeria have supported lawmakers over their decision to reject the governing All Progressive Congress' nominations for top parliamentary posts.

Newly-elected Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representative Speaker Yakubu Dogara defeated their party's preferred candidates after reaching a deal with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Popular online newspaper

Premium Times says their election has balanced the power equation among Nigeria's geo-political zones.

How Egypt attackers were 'repelled'

The governor of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor has been speaking about the suicide bombing outside the famed Karnak temple.

Mohammed Sayed Badr told the Associated Press news agency that three suspected militant Islamists carrying bags got out of a car in the temple's parking lot.

Police and people stand near the scene of a foiled suicide attack in Luxor, Egypt, June 10, 2015
Reuters

Police were immediately suspicious and ordered them to stop. One of the three then began running, so the police fired at him and an explosive belt he was wearing blew up, Mr Badr said.

A second man had a gun and started firing at the police before he was shot dead while the third man, the governor said, was arrested by an undercover policeman after he was wounded in the exchange of fire.

Ghana disaster 'killed 152'

Sammy Darko

BBC Africa, Accra

Ghana's President John Mahama has said that 152 killed were killed in the fire and floods which swept through the capital, Accra, last week.

Search and rescue operations were now over, he added.

Mr Mahama has been speaking at a memorial for the dead at State House.

The memorial has been emotional, with relatives and friends of the dead wailing with grief.

People gather around destroyed cars swept into a gully by flash floods in Accra, Ghana, Friday, 5 June 2015
AP
A fire started at a petrol station in the midst of heavy flooding

Maggi noodles withdrawn

Nestle says it has ordered all its Maggi noodles to be taken off shelves in East Africa, after the product was banned by several supermarkets, amid concerns over food safety.

It adds that samples have been taken for analysis and the company was working "in close collaboration with the authorities in Kenya to resolve the confusion".

Maggi noodles would remain off shelves until tests were concluded, Nestle said in a statement.

An Indian shopkeeper arranges packets of Nestle 'Maggi' instant noodles from the shelves in his shop in Siliguri on June 5, 2015.
Getty Images
Maggi noodles are popular in many countries

"The trust of our consumers and the safety of our products are our first priorities across all the markets in which we operate," the statement said.

On Monday, East Africa's biggest supermarket, Nakumatt, withdrew the noodles from its shops in five countries, after a partial ban in India, where regulators described the product as "unsafe and hazardous".

Nkurunziza issues poll decree

Burundi's leader Pierre Nkurunziza has issued a decree, delaying presidential elections from 29 June to 15 July, his spokesman has said, Reuters news agency reports.

Opposition parties have already rejected the date, saying Burundi was not ready for free and fair elections.

The central African state has been hit by unrest and a failed coup since Mr Nkurunziza announced in April that he will be running for a third term.

A woman stands near a house that was set on fire by protestors opposed to the Burundian President's third term in Butagazwa, Mugongomanga on June 5, 2015
AFP
Mote than 100,000 people have fled Burundi

Egypt bombing update

Egyptian media reports that three assailants were killed and four bystanders wounded in the suicide attack near the ancient Temple of Karnak in Luxor city.

The assailants reportedly tried to storm a barricade at the temple, one of Egypt's most popular tourist sites.

Two of the attackers are believed to have been shot dead by police, but a third passed through barricade and detonated an explosive device.

A file picture taken on December 21, 2013, shows the Temple of Karnak, in the historic town of Luxor in Upper Egypt
AFP
Millions of people visit the temple every year

World Cup 2026 bidding delayed

The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup has been postponed amid allegations around the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

The decision was due to be made in Kuala Lumpur in May 2017.

Swiss prosecutors are investigating alleged financial irregularities around the awarding of the events to Russia and Qatar respectively.

South African President Thabo Mbeki (L) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter hold up the Trophy of the Football World Cup, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (C) looks on.
Getty Images
South Africa denied paying bribes for the 2010 World Cup

The USA are considered favourites to host the 2026 competition, but Canada, Mexico and Colombia are also thought to be interested.

Thoughts and laughter from a legend

Hugh Masekela (2012)
BBC

South Africa's music star Hugh Masekela is currently touring the UK and took time to talk to

BBC Newsday about jazz, punk and his student days in New York spent watching the great and the good of music at the time.

Africa free-trade zone welcomed

Business leaders have welcomed plans to create the largest free-trade zone in Africa (See 09:02 post).

Yusuf Dodia, the chairman of Zambia's private sector development association, says it will significantly reduce the difficulties businesses have been facing on the continent for many decades.

"It helps Africa to really integrate... to allow free movement of goods and people across our borders," he told the BBC's Newsday programme.

But the sizes of the economies means there are trade barriers to overcome.

"It's going to take a while for these to be brought down and this really is a 20-year programme," he added.

A textile trader stores his wares in his shop in Kantin Kwati textile market on May 17, 2015 in Kano, northern Nigeria.
Getty Images
Businessmen hope that it will become easier to import and export goods

Egypt 'attackers killed'

Two assailants were killed in the suicide attack near an ancient temple in the Egyptian city of Luxor, local media reports say.

'No tourists injured'

No tourists have been injured in the suicide attack near Egypt's ancient Karnak temple in the southern Luxor city, state media is quoting an interior ministry source as saying, Reuters reports.

Egypt bombing update

Egyptian officials say police have foiled two other suicide attacks targeting the ancient temple of Karnak in Luxor, a city popular with tourists, the Associated Press news agency reports.

One suicide bomber blew himself up near the temple.

Several people were wounded, Reuters new agency reports.

In this 30 November 2014 photo tourists look out at the ruins of the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt
AP
The temple is a major tourist attraction

Egypt suicide attack at ancient temple

Egyptian officials say a suicide bomber has blown himself up near the ancient temple of Karnak in Luxor, a southern city frequented by millions of foreign and Egyptian tourists every year.

Some people were wounded, but the extent of the casualties were not immediately clear, Reuters news agency reports.

Ghana memorial

Sammy Darko

BBC Africa, Accra

Ghana's President John Mahama is expected to be the keynote speaker at a memorial service today for at least 150 people killed in the fire and floods which swept through the capital, Accra, last week.

Family members wait to visit victims of the gas station explosion at the police hospital morgue in Accra, Ghana, Monday, June 8, 2015
AP
The disaster has left many people traumatised

The service will be held at State House, as three days of official mourning ends today.