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  1. Iran's president Rouhani 'calls Nigerian counterpart over alleged crackdown on Shia sect'
  2. African leaders call for better trade terms as world trade conference begins in Kenya
  3. Luxury hotel attacked in Mali's capital in November re-opens
  4. UN condemns CAR rebel leader’s ‘breakaway state’ declaration
  5. Hacked ANC account 'sacks South Africa President Zuma'
  6. South Africa's Thembu King Dalindyebo to be jailed
  7. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 15 December 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. For more stories listen to the Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with news from across the continent on our BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words: "It is better to walk than to curse the road." Sent by Victor Chilufya, Solwezi, Zambia.

    Click here to send in your proverb.  

    And we leave you with this photo of Focus on Africa TV's Peter Okwoche finishing this evening's programme in style, by dancing the cha-cha-cha with Oti Mabuse, the South African-born star of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing programme. 

    We're calling him Peter Okwo-cha-cha-cha from now on:

    Peter Okwoche dancing
  2. UN condemns 'breakaway move' by CAR rebel leader

    Voting in a constitutional referendum in the capital Bangui was extended into Monday after violence at some polling stations
    Image caption: Voting in a constitutional referendum in the capital, Bangui, was extended into Monday after violence at some polling stations

    The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca) has condemned a statement by a rebel leader declaring a breakaway state in the country's north-east. 

    It's less than a fortnight until the country, racked by sectarian conflict since a coup in March 2013, is due to vote in general elections. 

    Voting in a constitutional referendum, seen as a test of the country's readiness for elections, went ahead on Sunday and Monday, under heavy security. 

    In a statement, Minusca said it had intervened in Ndele, capital of the Bamingui-Bangoran, after members of the FPRC (formally the Seleka rebel group), raised their flag in the town's gendarmerie late on Monday night. 

    The UN peacekeeping mission issued a warning to any sectarian groups planning on disrupting elections that it was prepared to use force. 

    A link to the full Minusca statement (in French) can be found in the Tweet below: 

    View more on twitter
  3. Rouhani 'calls Buhari over Shia protests'

    Iranian media are saying that President Hassan Rouhani has called up Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari over a military crackdown on Nigeria's main Shia sect that, it is alleged, has left hundreds dead, the AFP news agency reports.

    Presidents Rouhani and Buhari

    Shia Muslims have been protesting in six northern Nigerian cities over the alleged killings.

    Mr Rouhani has been quoted as saying "minor disputes must not be allowed to turn into deep differences".

    On Monday, Shia-dominated Iran summoned a Nigerian diplomat in Tehran to protest against the crackdown.

  4. AU calls on Burundi to stop the escalation of violence

    An African Union mission which has just returned from Burundi says that the situation there is "of great concern".

    It says the members of the team heard reports of arbitrary killings, torture and the "arbitrary... closure of some civil society organisations and the media".

    The mission called on all parties to "stop the escalation of violence" and find a peaceful solution.

    Last Friday 87 people were killed in violence that broke out after three military sites were attacked in the capital, Bujumbura, the army said.

    It was the worst day of killing since the political crisis began after President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term in April.

    Kenya vigil
    Image caption: A vigil was held in Kenya urging a solution to the Burundi crisis
  5. Obiang junior can be tried for moneylaundering in France

    Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea's long-serving leader and one of the country's vice presidents, does not have immunity in the money laundering case against him in France, AFP news agency reports.

    Mr Obiang - who has a reputation for his lavish tastes - was charged in March last year.

    Officials seized possessions in his Paris home, including famous paintings, expensive bottles of wine and a $4.2m (£2.8m) clock, AFP reports.

    He is accused of stealing money belonging to the Equatorial Guinean state.

    Mr Obiang denies any wrongdoing. 

    Teodorin Obiang
    Image caption: Teodorin Obiang has a reputation for his lavish lifestyle
  6. Joy as Bamako hotel reopens after deadly attack

    Employees at the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital have been celebrating as they return to work for the first time since the hotel was targeted in a terror attack on 20 November, in which 22 people were killed. 

    Hotel manager Gary Ellis was mobbed by staff clearly delighted that the luxury hotel has reopened less than a month after the attack. 

    Workers celebrate with Radisson Blu hotel manager Gary Ellis after the hotel reopened in Bamako

    Three hotel workers were killed when Islamist gunmen stormed Mali's top hotel last month: 

    Hotel workers pose for a picture with Radisson Blu hotel owner Kome Cesse after the Radisson reopened in Bamako
    Hotel workers pose for a picture in the Radisson Blu hotel after it reopened in Bamako,

    The first guest since the attack received special treatment from hotel staff: 

    The first customer since an attack by gunmen in November, enters the elevator of the Radisson Blu hotel after it reopened in Bamako

          READ MORE:

  7. South Sudan moves to devalue currency

    South Sudan's central bank has abandoned its official exchange rate of 2.95 South Sudanese pounds to the US dollar.

    Maintaining that level has proved to be too difficult for the bank as the currency has steadily devalued since independence and the unofficial rate was closer to 16 to the dollar today, Reuters news agency reports.

    The BBC Africa business editor Matthew Davies says that as an oil exporter the economy has been hard hit by the decline in oil prices and the civil war, which broke out exactly two years ago today.

    South Sudanese pound notes depicting freedom fighter John Garang
    Image caption: South Sudanese pound notes depicting freedom fighter John Garang
  8. Call for more equitable treatment for Africa

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that the World Trade Organization (WTO) must ensure that poorer countries can benefit form world trade.

    View more on twitter

    He was speaking at the opening of the ministerial conference of the WTO which is being hosted by Kenya - the first time the meeting is being held in Africa.

    Mr Kenyatta said that "the consequences of the lack of economic opportunities are a leading driver of social as well as political instability which also helps drive extremism and violence".

    African leaders have been critical that some richer nations - including the USA and those in the European Union - have been reluctant to drop agricultural subsidies, which they argue affect their farming sectors.

    President Sirleaf

    Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told delegates that she was optimistic that the meeting can make changes "to ensure that the less developed nations of the world are given a better deal".

  9. African nations join new alliance 'against terrorism'

    Nineteen African countries are part of Saudi Arabia's new military alliance to fight terrorism.

    A joint operations centre is to be established in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, state media reported.

    Countries from Asia, Africa and the Arab world are involved in the alliance but Saudi Arabia's main regional rival Iran is not.

    The African countries involved are:

    Benin, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia.

    You can read more on the BBC story here

    Nigeria soldiers
    Image caption: Nigeria - which has joined the new alliance - is currently fighting the Boko Haram group in the north-east
  10. 'Three deaths' during Ethiopia protest

    The Blomberg correspondent in Addis Ababa, has been tweeting about clashes during a protest in a town to the west of Ethiopia's capital:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The demonstration is the latest in the unrest caused by a plan to merge Addis Ababa's administration with that of surrounding towns.

    The rights body the Ethiopian Human Rights Council said that protests have led to clashes over land rights in some areas.

    Activists campaigning for an independent state of Oromia - one of Ethiopia's regions, which would be affected by the changes - are also involved.

  11. Refugees in Uganda top half a million

    Uganda's disaster preparedness ministry has announced that the number of refugees and asylum seekers now living in Uganda has gone over 500,000 for the first time ever.

    The country took in 90,000 refugees in 2015 alone - most of those from South Sudan and Burundi - but overall, most of the refugees have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The BBC's Patience Atuhaire in Kampala says Uganda hosts the 3rd highest number of refugees in the region, after Ethiopia and Kenya. 

    She adds that the country has been praised for its policy of giving refugees a chance to live in the community and farm land.

  12. 'We are with you' Radisson Blu

    A Reuters news agency reporter in Mali's capital, Bamako, has been tweeting from the ceremony that marked the reopening of the Radisson Blu hotel after the attack last month in which 22 people died.

    President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was at the event:

    View more on twitter

    President Keita (or IBK) said: "Keep on Radisson Blu, we are with you."

    View more on twitter
  13. South Africa's Thembu King Dalindyebo to be jailed

    A South African king is set to go to jail after the country's highest court threw out his bid to overturn a 12-year prison sentence.

    King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was convicted of kidnapping, assault and arson.

    He has been ordered to report to police within 48 hours or risk arrest, sources close to the king have told the BBC.

    King Dalindyebo comes from the Thembu ethnic group, to which anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela belonged.

    King Dalindyebo
    Image caption: King Dalindyebo conducted a reign of terror, judges say

    Read the BBC story for more

  14. Mali's top hotel reopens after deadly attack

    radisson blu hotel in bamako

    Less than a month after Islamist militants killed 22 people in an attack on the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital, Bamako, it has reopened its doors to the public. 

    In an official statement, the hotel's operators thanked the Malian president, as well as security officials and emergency services for their help in handling the "devastating terrorist attacks". 

    man rescued by malian special forces
    Image caption: Malian special forces stormed the hotel where 170 people were being held hostage
  15. Shia sect protests hit Kaduna and Kano

    Aliyu Tanko

    BBC Hausa

    Hundreds of young members of Nigeria's main Shia Muslim sect are protesting on the streets of the major northern cities of Kaduna and Kano, residents have told the BBC Hausa service. 

    Followers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) are protesting at what they describe as abuses by the Nigerian army, who they say killed dozens of their members at the weekend. 

    The clashes followed allegations that IMN members had attempted to assassinate Nigeria's army chief on Saturday in Zaria. 

    Tension is high in Kaduna state where the sect headquarters is located. 

    IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky
    Image caption: IMN leader Sheikh Zakzaky is inspired by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini

    Many businesses are closed and people are mainly staying indoors to avoid trouble, a local journalist told me. 

    Armed security officers have been stationed in strategic locations in Kaduna city centre, he said.

    An unverified picture showing the IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky sitting on the ground with a bloodied face has gone viral on social media. 

    The Nigerian army said on Monday that the leader was in military custody. 

  16. Tanzania's top unversity rolls out #WhatWouldMagufuliDo catering policy

    Tanzania's new President John Magufuli has been making lots of headlines with his no-nonsense approach since taking office. 

    Last week, pictures of the president picking up rubbish went viral, after he had cancelled independence day celebrations and ordered a national clean-up.

    Tanzania's top university has now taken steps to fall in line with the president's calls for "strict frugality". 

    Under the Dar es Salaam university's new regime, there will be no more money wasted on "unnecessarily heavy refreshments" at meetings, according to a letter addressed to staff from administrators. 

    Lunch for those attending meetings will only be served under "rare and exceptional services"

    View more on twitter
  17. WTO meeting opens in Nairobi

    The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has been snapping delegates as they arrive for the World Trade Organization meeting in Kenya's capital, Nairobi - including this man looking a bit surprised at the stilt walkers who were entertaining those people turning up:

    Stilt walkers at WTO summit

    The meeting - the first of its kind to take place in Africa - has now formally got under way, according to this tweet from Kenya's foreign minister:

    View more on twitter
  18. The one dollar Nigerian company

    Matthew Davies

    Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

    South Africa's Business Day is reporting that the South African company Tiger Brands is selling its stake in a Nigerian flour mill for just $1 (£0.66).

    Screen grab

    When Tiger Brands paid almost $200m for a 65% stake from Dangote Industries, it seemed like a way for the South African company to get a secure foothold in Nigeria. 

    But Tiger Brands never made money out of the deal and decided it was time to cut their losses.

    The problem may have been poor management or the poor state of Nigeria's economy.

    But in the process of selling off its Nigerian division for $1, Tiger Brands will also pay off around $400m of debt. 

    That will probably have a material impact on the company's bottom line - a shame, given that Tiger Brands has been doing fairly well in its home market of South Africa. 

    But the market reacted positively to the deal, with the company's shares jumping by more than 6% on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.  

  19. Van Rooyen: 'I'm ready to serve South Afrifca'

    Des van Rooyen - the man who was South Africa's finance minister for two working days - has given his first press briefing in his new post as local government minister.

    According to the government's Twitter account he had no problem with his brief tenure at the treasury:

    View more on twitter

    And why is he now Des rather than David van Rooyen, which is how we've been referring to him up to now?

    Des is his preferred name apparently:

    View more on twitter
  20. Noisy welcome for WTO delegates

    The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has been snapping away as delegates are being welcomed to the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

    Musicians at WTO meeting
    Musicians at WTO meeting

    And if you want to hear what the drummers sound like:

    Video content

    Video caption: Drummers entertain people arriving at WTO meeting

    It's the first conference of its kind to be held in Africa, and continental leaders are hoping that they can address the issue of Western countries subsidising agriculture.

    They say that it is damaging agriculture on the continent.