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  1. Tanzania's president fires anti-corruption boss
  2. US concern over military crackdown on Nigerian Shias
  3. Protesters in South Africa demand president's removal
  4. Popular US rapper under pressure to scrap Angola tour
  5. Kidnappings in DR Congo "skyrocket"
  6. Ethiopia warns of attempt to "destabilise" country
  7. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 16 December 2015

Live Reporting

By Naziru Mikailu and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

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

    A reminder of today's wise words: "A loafer is better than an idler; usually a loafer finds something useful."

    Click here to send your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo of farmers protesting in Kenya's capital Nairobi, as a World Trade Organisation meeting takes place:

    Anti-World Trade Organisation (WTO) demonstrators from various civil society groups around the globe protest in Nairobi on December 16, 2015
  2. CAR protest against 'enemies of peace'

    A crowd of hundreds have protested at the headquarters of the UN peace keeping force in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, to demand the expulsion of the "enemies of peace" from the city's mainly Muslim area, AFP news agency reports. 

    The protest came after five people were killed and 20 hurt in an attack in the PK-5 district on Sunday, when a constitutional referendum aimed at ending two years of Christian-Muslim conflict was held.

    Pope Francis visited Bangui last month to appeal for peace, saying "Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters".  

    Pope Francis in Bangui last month
    Image caption: Both religious groups welcomed the pontiff in Bangui
  3. Tanzania anti-corruption chief fired

    Sammy Awami

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    The head of Tanzania's anti-corruption body, Edward Hoseah, has been sacked by President John Magufuli for negligence, the government says in a statement. 

    The president expresses his dissatisfaction at the body's conduct in fighting corruption in the country, it added. 

    Mr Magufuli has also suspended four top officers in the anti-corruption body who travelled abroad despite the government's recent suspension of all foreign trips for public servants.

    John Magufuli, CCM party's presidential candidate in Tanzania - July 2015
    Image caption: Mr Magufuli has a reputation of being hard-working

    Since coming to office in October, Mr Magufuli, who is nicknamed "The Bulldozer", has announced a range of cost-cutting measures, including a ban on unnecessary foreign travel by government officials.

    He also replaced the independence celebration with a clean-up campaign. 

    This suspension should send a clear message to other public servants who think the president was bluffing when he announced the ban on foreign trips, the government added.

    Read: John Magufuli profile

    Five challenges for 'The Bulldozer'

  4. Sudanese 'expelled' from Jordan

    Jordan has repatriated 800 Sudanese citizens who had sought asylum in the kingdom, Information Minister Mohammed Momani said, AFP news agency reports. 

    "The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Amman does not consider them to be refugees," he is quoted as saying.

    For the past few days, dozens of Sudanese have held a sit-in in tents they had pitched outside the UNHCR offices in western Amman, AFP says. 

    Media reports said security forces broke up the sit-in this morning and put everyone on buses for the airport, it added.

  5. Shia crackdown: Will new conflict erupt in Nigeria?

    Nasidi Adamu Yahya

    BBC Hausa Service, Abuja

    The clashes between Nigeria's army and the country's main Muslim Shia sect raises fears that another war front could open, jeopardising the government's fight against Sunni militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

    Of concern are reports that the military carried out extra-judicial killings against members of the sect - the Islamic Movement of Nigeria - during a weekend operation in northern Zaria city. 

    If this is true, it will damage President Muhammadu Buhari's credibility, and make it more difficult for the government to buy weapons needed to fight Boko Haram. 

    The US has so far refused to sell arms to Nigeria because of widespread allegations of human rights abuses against the military.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, talks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during their meeting in Tehran, Iran
    Image caption: Mr Buhari was hosted by his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Tehran

    Moreover, Mr Buhari recently visited Iran, the main backer of IMN, attending an international gas summit. 

    The two countries pledged closer collaboration in economic development. 

    Mr Buhari, a Sunni Muslim, also held talks with Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khameinei.

    However, since the crackdown on IMN members, the Iranians have been putting pressure on Nigeria's government to do more to protect the Shia population. 

    This is not surprising - Nigeria probably has the largest numbers of Shias in sub-Saharan Africa, and could help Iran expand its influence across the continent. 

    So, if Nigeria's government does not handle the crisis well, relations between two countries could become strained. 

  6. US rapper told to scrap Angola tour

    US singer Nicki Minaj takes part in the TV broadcast show 'Le Grand Journal' on Canal Plus channel, on January 24, 2011, in Paris.

    A human rights group has asked award-winning US rapper Nicki Minaj to cancel her performance in Angola on Saturday.

    The letter from Human Rights Foundation (HRF) says the money to pay her comes from "government corruption and human rights violations".

    It comes as imprisoned Angolan rapper Luaty Beirao and 14 other rights activists are on trial in Angola on charges of plotting a rebellion. 

    They deny the charges. 

    The HRF has tweeted about Minaj's planned visit to the southern African state, which has been ruled by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos for the past 36 years:   

    View more on twitter

    Angola - one of Africa's leading oil producers - is striving to tackle the physical, social and political legacy of a 27-year civil war that ravaged the country after independence.

  7. Rescuing Ivory Coast's trafficked children

    Gramboute Ibrahima

    Almost every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. Children are particularly at risk, often sold across borders to work in brothels or on farms.

    In Ivory Coast, an organisation called CREER has opened the region's first centre to help rehabilitate trafficked children.

    The BBC's Chris Parkinson went to the small town of Abengourou to meet Gramboute Ibrahima, a local man who rescues children..

    You can watch his report here

  8. Somalia football in historic TV debut

    The General Da'ud Cup final between Somali military club Horseed and Somali police Football Club Heegan FC will be screened on Somali National Television.

    History will be made in Somalia this week when a football match played in the country will be broadcast live on television for the first time.

    The General Da'ud Cup final between Somali military club Horseed and Somali police Football Club Heegan FC will be screened on Somali National Television.

    Read the full BBC story here

  9. Call to scrap 'draconian' Tunisia law

    Human rights groups have called on Tunisia to repeal a law criminalising homosexuality in the country, AFP news agency reports.

    Six students were given six-year jail terms last week in the central city of Kairouan, after they were forced to undergo anal examinations.

    The authorities should "abrogate Article 230 and revise all draconian provisions of the Tunisian Penal Code" stating that homosexuality is illegal, 13 non-governmental organisations said in a joint statement.

    Campaign group Amnesty International described the verdict as "a shocking example of deep-rooted state-sanctioned discrimination".

    In September, a court in the resort city of Sousse sentenced a student to a year behind bars on charges of homosexuality.

    After the judgment, then-Justice Minister Salah Ben Aissa made a controversial call for Article 230 to be scrapped and was sacked a month later, AFP reports.

  10. #ZumaMustFall: Is president a political liability?

    Karen Allen

    BBC Southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

    Anti-government protesters in South Africa

    "It feels like the start of something big," Lianda, a woman in her 50s, told me.

    It's the first protest she has been on since she saw friends and family killed during the 1976 Soweto uprising.

    For her it was important to join the demonstrations with her teenage daughters "for the sake of their future". 

    So, along with thousands of others she came to register her displeasure at President Jacob Zuma, who some increasingly see as a political liability.

    But unlike the groundswell of protest that led to the recall of President Thabo Mbeke in 2008, Mr Zuma still appears to have support within the top leadership body of the governing African National Congress (ANC).

    Earlier this week, the party's top brass went on TV to deliver a message to a South African public still reeling from the events of the past week, that they still support their president.

    Yet privately there is said to be considerable disquiet within the ANC.

    This may not be an Arab Spring but watch this space. The discontent is growing louder.

  11. Female bombers blow themselves up in Nigeria

    At least six people have been killed, including five female suicide bombers after they blew themselves up at a security check point in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, emergency officials say. 

    The girls were travelling in a group when they approached civilian vigilantes helping the Nigerian military fight Boko Haram.

    "Two of the girls detonated their explosives instantly and the rest fled the scene," Muhammad Kanar from the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency told the BBC Hausa service.

    The other three blew themselves up as they were being chased by security forces, he said.

    The girls were aged between nine to 13, he added. 

    One other person was killed and four wounded in the incident. 

    Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has been using young girls to carry out suicide attacks especially in Borno state - the birthplace of the group.

  12. How to cook African food with a European twist

    Cooking African food with a European twist is London-based Ghanaian cook Fafa Gilbert's big passion.

    She has set up a YouTube channel - Ndudu by Fafa – to teach people her recipes. "Ndudu" means food in Ghana's Ewe language.

    BBC Africa's Peter Okwoche visited her kitchen to sample her creations.

    Video content

    Video caption: How to cook African food with a European twist on YouTube
  13. Zuma calls for 'true reconciliation'

    Jacob Zuma {archive photo)
    Image caption: Mr Zuma says the suffering caused by apartheid should not be trivialised

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says his government will press ahead with plans to tackle racial inequality in Africa's second-biggest economy. 

    More than two decades after apartheid ended, the income of the average white household remained six times higher than that of the average black African household, Mr Zuma said at a Day of Reconciliation rally in Port Elizabeth city.

    "We should also remember that very few companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are black owned. This then indicates that we have a long way to go still," Mr Zuma added. 

    He warned that true reconciliation could not be achieved without tackling the inequalities, and acknowledging the suffering of people who were oppressed under minority rule.

    Quoting South Africa's Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mr Zuma said: "There are erroneous notions of what reconciliation is all about. 

    "Reconciliation is not about being cosy; it is not about pretending that things were other than they were. Reconciliation based on falsehood, not on facing up to reality, is not reconciliation and will not last."

    His prepared speech made no reference to the #ZumaMustFall protests which took place in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

    Read: Is the 'rainbow nation' coming to an end?

  14. Zuma loyalists want to 'eat carcass of state'

    Allies of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma had made a bid to seize the treasury through last week's appointment of a former mayor, Des van Rooyen, as finance minister, in order to "blunt the instruments of democracy", says Zwelinzima Vavi, the former general-secretary of trade union federation Cosatu.  

    "They were wanting to grab the treasury for the interests of [those] who are eating from the carcass of our state," said Mr Vavi at the #ZumaMustFall march in the main city, Johannesburg. 

    Mr Zuma dismissed the respected Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister on Wednesday, and replaced him with Mr Van Rooyen. 

    After an uproar, he fired Mr Van Rooyen and gave the portfolio to Pravin Gordhan, a former finance minister held in high regard by many South Africans.  

    Demonstrators display placards calling for the resignation of South African president Jacob Zuma as they cross Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg on December 16, 2015
    Image caption: The protests took place on the Day of Reconciliation
  15. Tutu's daughter backs #ZumaMustFall campaign

    Demonstrators display placards calling for the resignation of South African president as they cross Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg on December 16, 2015
    Image caption: Demonstrations have been held in all the major cities

    The daughter of South Africa's Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has added her voice to calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign, the local DispatchLIve news site reports

    "We choose our leaders and we can send them away,” Mpho Tutu told several thousand people at a #ZumaMustFall rally in Cape Town. 

    “We pray now and put our shoulders to the wheel to end the corruption that is now our country,” she added.

    Mr Zuma's critics say corruption is worsening under his rule, with government money being wrongly used to upgrade his private home and to enrich his business allies.

    He strongly denies any wrongdoing. 

    Read: Zuma's 'careless blunder' 

  16. BBC star learns to cha-cha-cha

    Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse convinces Focus on Africa's Peter Okwoche to put his best foot forward for the cha cha cha.

    Mabuse is from South Africa, where ballroom dancing is the third most popular leisure activity after football and boxing.

    Video content

    Video caption: Strictly star Oti Mabuse shows Focus on Africa's Peter Okwoche how to cha-cha-cha
  17. US worried about Shia conflict in Nigeria

    The US says it is deeply concerned about the violent clashes between Nigerian government troops and the main Shia sect in Africa's most populous state. 

    While many details of the clashes which began on 12 December remain unclear, “we are dismayed to learn of multiple civilian deaths", said James Entwistle, the US ambassador to Nigeria. 

    "It is essential that all sides refrain from actions that further destabilize the situation,” he added. 

    The pro-Iranian Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) says hundreds of its members have been killed by the security forces in Zaria, its stronghold in the north of the country. 

    Shia protesters in northern Nigeria
    Image caption: Shias protested against the military in six cities yesterday

    Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau visited Zaria yesterday, after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani phoned his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, to express concern about the crackdown.

    “Speaking as a friend of Nigeria, I’m sure Minister Dambazau’s trip to Zaria was the first step in the timely, transparent investigation to which I’m sure Mr President and his administration are committed,” Mr Enwistle said. 

    The military says it launched an operation against IMN after its members tried to kill army chief Gen Tukur Buratai.

  18. Eto'o handed first managerial chance

    Former Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o
    Image caption: Eto'o is one of the most high profile African footballers

    Former Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o has been appointed interim player-manager at Turkish side Antalyaspor.

    The 34-year-old striker, who joined Antalyaspor on a three-year contract in June, has been given three matches to impress at the helm.

    He takes over from Yusuf Simsek, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent on 7 December.

    Antalyaspor will make a decision about whether to give Eto'o the role permanently after the winter break.

    Read more on BBC sport here

  19. Nigeria Shias reject government probe

    Destroyed Shia building in NIgeria
    Image caption: Troops are accused of attacking the Shia headquarters in Zaria city

    Shia Muslims in Nigeria have rejected a panel set up by the government to investigate a military crackdown in which they say hundreds of their members were killed in northern Zaria city.

    The military accuses the pro-Iranian sect, known as the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), of trying to assassinate army chief Gen Tukur Buratai. 

    But IMN denied the allegation and said its unarmed members were attacked and its shrine destroyed by security forces at the weekend. 

    Yesterday, Nigeria's Minister of Interior, Abdurrahman Dambazau, asked a local police chief to investigate what happened and report back to the government.

    However, an IMN leader, Malam Yakubu Yahaya, told the BBC that they will not co-operate with the investigation panel, and demanded an immediate release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who is being detained by the military.

    "We are not represented in the committee and we are not convinced with low-level officer asked to head the panel," he told the BBC's Yusuf Ibrahim Yakasai in Kano city.

    "We want to know his [Sheikh Zakzaky's] condition. We need to speak to him," he added.

    Hundreds of Shia followers took to the streets in six major northern cities yesterday to express their frustration over what happened.

    Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky
    Image caption: Sheikh Zakzaky, leader of the IMN, is inspired by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini

    Shias in Nigeria

    • Shias are minority but their numbers are increasing
    • The IMN, formed in the 1980s, is the main Shia group in the country
    • They operate their own schools and hospitals in some northern states
    • They have a history of clashes with the security forces
    • The IMN is backed by Shia-dominated Iran and its members often go there to study
    • Sunni jihadist group Boko Haram condemns Shias as heretics who should be killed
  20. South Africans should 'elect president'

    Zwelinzima Vavi speaks on August 16, 2013 during a press conference in Joahannesburg
    Image caption: Mr Vavi is a vocal critic of Mr Zuma's government

    South Africa's electoral system should change so that voters can elect the president, says Zwelinzima Vaviva, the former secretary-general of South Africa's trade union federation Cosatu. 

    He was the keynote speaker at a march in the main city, Johannesburg, calling for the sacking of President Jacob Zuma following last week's fiaco over the appointment of a finance minister. 

    The president is currently elected by parliament, where Mr Zuma's governing African National Congress (ANC) commands an overwhelming majority.

    The ANC has ruled out firing Mr Zuma, saying he heeded public concerns by dismissing the inexperienced and mostly unknown Des van Rooyen as finance minister - four days after appointing him. 

    Mr Van Rooyen's appointment led to South Africa's currency, the rand, plunging to a record low, and raised fears of a recession in Africa's second-biggest economy.