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  1. Libyan rivals sign deal to form unity government
  2. UN accused of 'gross institutional failure' over CAR sex abuse case
  3. Africa will not allow a genocide in Burundi, says AU
  4. Ethiopia’s leader warns Oromo protesters
  5. Rwandans abroad vote on third term for President Kagame
  6. Niger is the worst place in the world, according to UN report
  7. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 17 December 2015

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday'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: "The shade of the tree will always come back." A Kalenjin proverb sent by Kipkoech Titus Rutto in Kericho, Kenya

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.  

    And we leave you with this photo of a woman in Nairobi holding inflated condoms during a march organised by Kenya's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers:

    A Kenyan female sex worker plays with inflated condoms as she walks with supporters and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Nairobi, Kenya
  2. Angolan justice minister defends treason trial

    Angola's human rights record hit the headlines this week after a row between US rapper Nicky Minaj and rights groups, who have asked her to cancel a concert planned for Saturday. 

    The highest profile case is the ongoing treason trial of 15 young Angolans, accused of "preparing a coup", which Amnesty International has described as "a travesty of justice". 

    They say they were arrested at the home of the Angolan rapper Luaty Beirao, while studying non-violent techniques of protest against repressive governments. 

    Independent journalists and diplomats are reportedly not being allowed access to the court to observe the trial. 

    Focus On Africa radio's Audrey Brown has been discussing the case with Angola's Minister of Justice Rui Mangueira:

    Video content

    Video caption: Angola's Minister of Justice responds on arrests and torture claims of 'book' activists.
  3. 'Gross institutional failure' by UN over CAR child abuse

    The UN has been accused of "gross institutional failure" for its mishandling of child sex abuse allegations by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR).

    A Canadian Judge, Marie Deschamps, led an independent panel review of the UN's actions, following charges that French and African troops had sexually abused street children as young as nine in exchange for food.

    The independent panel found that the accounts of sexual abuse by children in 2014 were "passed from desk to desk, inbox to inbox, across multiple UN offices, with no-one willing to take responsibility", AP quotes the report as saying.

    In August, the UN chief forced the UN head of the mission to CAR to resign over the forces' handling of the allegations. 

    Foreign Policy magazine is also reporting that Anders Compass, the senior UN official who first brought the allegations to light, has been cleared of wrongdoing following his suspension for leaking internal documents detailing the alleged abuse:

    View more on twitter
  4. Re-inventing African food for Londoners

    The BBC’s Peter Okwoche has been eating his way round London and Paris this week as part of the BBC Africa’s African food in Europe series.

    Here he meets those behind The Groundnut Cookbook at a south London market:

    Video content

    Video caption: Re-inventing African food for Londoners
  5. Your views: Mourinho sacking

    Jose Mourinho

    "Mourinho", "Chelsea" and "Sacked" are three words trending on Twitter across the continent after the news that "the special one" has been given his marching orders by the club. 

    We asked for your reactions to the decision, and hundreds of you have been getting in touch via Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. 

    The early results of our Twitter poll suggest that the majority of you think the Blues made the wrong call:

    twitter poll

    Here is a very small sample of your comments:

    Mohato Letsie Theko: "They should've fired the whole team...I'm a United fan but come on, Jose Mourinho is a great manager!!  

    Tazzy Hicheal Pulkol: "This decision may be the beginning of the end for Chelsea. I won't be surprised if they end up being relegated."

    Okwii Salim Swahabah: "Let them bring their legend Didier Drogba and he takes over the job, to save them from relegation."  

    Many of you have also been reacting on Twitter: 

  6. Analysis: Burundi's troubles not linked to ethnicity

    Ally Yusuf Mugenzi

    BBC Great Lakes service editor

    Soldiers in Burundi with a building on fire behind them
    Image caption: Unrest began in April when President Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term

    Although international diplomats have warned about a possible return of genocide in Burundi (see 11:00 post), this dispute has not split the country along ethnic lines. 

    Neither the government, nor the opposition have used ethnicity in their public statements, although each accuses the other of doing so.

    Under the 2005 peace deal which brought former Hutu rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza to power, his fighters were integrated with the then Tutsi-dominated army and government.

    This remains the case today, with Tutsis occupying several high-level positions and remaining loyal to their former enemy.

    Those opposed to President Nkurunziza, who survived a coup attempt in May and won a controversial third term in office in July, are also ethnically mixed.

    For example, Gen Godfroid Niyombare, the leader of the failed putsch, is a Hutu.

    Read more:

  7. Rwanda referendum: How long could Kagame stay in power?

    There's been a steady stream of Rwandans going to vote in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, today, reports the BBC’s Peter Njoroge.

    He snapped these shots of those deciding on President Kagame’s future as leader (see  17:01 post):

    Rwandan voter in Kenya
    Rwandan voter in Kenya getting their finger marked
    Rwandan voter in Kenya with marked finger

    If the referendum goes President Kagame's way, he would be permitted to run for another seven years in 2017, after which he would be eligible to stand for further two five-year terms - meaning he could still be in power in 2034.

  8. Nigerian senator believes Shia leader Zakzaky 'is still alive'

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

    The Nigerian senator and prominent human rights activist Shehu Sani has called for an "impartial, neutral inquiry" into the alleged killing of hundreds of members of a minority Shia sect in northern Nigeria. 

    Mr Sani told the BBC's Newsday programme that he thought the military had used "disproportionate force against unarmed people" in the clashes in the northern town of Zaria. 

    The alleged killings triggered protests in six northern Nigerian cities earlier this week. 

    Asked about rumours over the fate of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, head of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), who the army has said is in its custody, Mr Sani said:

    Quote Message: I believe that he is still alive... if he is dead that could not be hidden for a long time"

    The military has not given casualty figures for the clashes, but has said it was forced to act following an alleged attempt on the life of Nigeria's army chief Gen Tukur Buratai.

    Video content

    Video caption: Senator Sani is concerned about violence against Nigerian Shia Muslims in Kaduna state.

    Mr Sani warned the military not to repeating mistakes made against Boko Haram in 2009, when the army was accused of widespread abuses in its crackdown on the Islamist militant group.

  9. Photos - Somali army beat police in historic televised match

    Photos of the winners of Somalia’s football cup final have just come in. 

    Celebrating Somali footballers
    Image caption: Military club Horseed were the victors
    A Hoseed footballer being handed the gold cup
    Image caption: They beat police team Heegan FC 2-1

    Somalia is recovering from decades of conflict – and fans see the live broadcast as an important step marking a return to normalcy.

    But large areas of the country are under the control of the Islamist group al-Shabab, which isn’t too keen on the sport and has strict laws regulating it:

    • Footballers have to wear trousers
    • Women aren’t allowed to watch football
    • People are banned from watching international matches on TV.
  10. What’s the question in Rwanda’s referendum?

    Rwandans will be voting in a referendum tomorrow on whether to allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term in office in 2017.

    The question being asked refers to a constitutional amendment passed by parliament last month:

    Quote Message: Do you accept the constitution of the Republic of Rwanda that was amended in 2015?"
    Photo of the referendum question
    Image caption: “Yego” means yes and “Oya” no.

    Today about 37,000 Rwandans registered to vote in the diaspora were able to cast their ballot.

    The BBC’s Robert Misigaro went down to Rwanda's London embassy, where there wasn’t a huge turnout, but the voters looked enthusiastic:

    Voters at Rwanda's London embassy
    Voters at Rwanda's London embassy
  11. Cholera breaks out in world's largest refugee camp

    An MSF staff member attending to a patient in Dadaab

    Cholera has broken out in the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says.

    It said seven people had died from the disease in Dadaab and more than 540 people had become sick.

    The charity said heavy rains could exacerbate the outbreak: 

    Quote Message: The fact that this outbreak has occurred further highlights the dire hygiene and living conditions in the camp and a lack of proper long-term investment in sanitation services" from MSF Kenya's Charles Gaudry
    MSF Kenya's Charles Gaudry

    Dadaab is home to more than 300,000 refugees, mostly from the conflicts in Somalia and South Sudan.   

  12. Trial of suspected killers of former Ivorian leader opens

    Tamasin Ford

    BBC Africa, Abidjan

    Suspected killers of former general and junta leader Robert Guei, assassinated in September 2002, stand before judges during their trial on 17 December 2015 in Abidjan

    Thirteen years after Ivory Coast's former leader, General Robert Guei, was murdered, a trial has opened to try his alleged killers.

    The general was the country's military ruler for a year in 1999.

    He was shot dead, along with his wife and children in 2002, the first night of the armed rebellion that divided the country in two for a decade.

    At the time the government, led by Laurent Gbagbo who's now in The Hague awaiting a war crimes trial, said he had died leading a coup attempt.

    But later the story changed and it was clear he had been assassinated.

    When current President Alassane Ouattara came to power in 2011, one of his promises was to investigate his death. 

    Twenty four soldiers have been charged with his murder.

    Former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan will be testifying, although at a press conference yesterday he said he would be appearing as a witness not as a defendant.

    Today the charges were read out and the case has been postponed until 21 January.

    Robert Guei in 2000
    Image caption: Robert Guei was not in power when he was shot dead
  13. Oxford college mulls removing Rhodes statue

    An Oxford college is considering removing a statue of the 19th Century British imperialist Cecil Rhodes, in response to a student anti-racism campaign.

    Protesters have argued that the views of the colonial politician are incompatible with an "inclusive culture" at the top UK university.

    Oriel College says it will consult on the statue's future - and has decided to remove a plaque to Rhodes.

    The college says it does not "condone his racist views or actions".

    The campaign to remove the statue follows a university protest in South Africa, which pulled down a statue of Rhodes at the University of Cape Town.

    Read more:

    A necessary anger?

    Do colonial relics matter

    Cecil Rhodes statue
    Image caption: The Cecil Rhodes statue was removed in
  14. UN to send investigators to Burundi amid escalating violence

    The UN's top rights body has agreed to send investigators to Burundi to probe widespread abuses there amid warnings the country is sliding towards civil war, AFP news agency reports. 

    The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva decided without a vote to ask UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein "to urgently organise and dispatch on the most expeditious basis possible a mission by independent existing experts," AFP adds.        

    police in burundi
    Image caption: Protests erupted in Burundi earlier this year against President Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid
  15. Your views: Jose Mourinho sacked as Chelsea manager

    Many had been predicting it, but it's finally happened - The Special One has been sacked as the manager of the Blues, seven months after he led them to the English Premier League title.

    Read the full BBC story here

    What's your reaction to Mourinho's sacking? And who do you think should replace him? You can get in touch on the new Africa Live WhatsApp number. 

    All you need to do is save +44 7341070844 as a contact to your phone, then look for us under "Africa Live Page Submissions" in your WhatsApp contact list.   

    Or you can email 

    Here's how the BBC Sports Editor broke the story:  

    View more on twitter

    Chelsea FC have now confirmed Mourinho's departure in an official statement: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  16. Analysis: Libya deal

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    rival militia
    Image caption: Rival militia groups continue to fight for control of Libya

    The signing of the Libyan deal draws a line under a 14-month political process that gained more prominence in recent months because of the large influx of refugees and migrants to Europe, and the growing threat of Islamic State militancy in the country. 

    Diplomats put extra pressure on the Libyan delegates in recent weeks because in order to address those issues they need a single government to work with. 

    Some observers sounded alarm bells ahead of the signing, cautioning that it could further divide Libya if it did not include all the key players - and not everyone was present at the ceremony in Morocco. 

    A security plan to protect the new unity government - which at the moment only exists on paper - is crucial, and this does not exist. 

    This latest step is a huge gamble. It could yet prove to be a springboard for a wider agreement that eventually unites Libya.

    But if it fails, it may lead the country into a darker spiral of violence over legitimacy and control.

    Muammar Gaddafi
    Image caption: Libya has descended into chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi
  17. Somali fans' joy at televised football match

    The match that has made football history in Somalia (see 12:52 post) is over – with military club Horseed winning the cup final against police club Heegan 2-1.

    “I am really emotional and happy,” one fan told BBC’s Ibrahim Aden in Mogadishu about being able to watch a domestic game live on television – the first time this has happened in Somalia.

    Another said it was so much easier than travelling all the way to the stadium:

    Quote Message: I am watching it in a hotel, while seeping my tea
    Quote Message: There are people who worked hard to take us to this level of development in our country. We request that they continue with it
    Quote Message: This is just the beginning, we are expecting more
  18. Libya unity deal: Who are the rival parliaments?

    Here's a reminder of who the two main signatories are to the deal to form a national unity government in Libya: 

    1. The internationally recognised government has a parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

    2.In the capital Tripoli, another body - the General National Congress (GNC) - claims to be the legitimate government. 

    Both parliaments are backed by rival militia groups.

    The map below shows Libya's rival power bases (as of August 2015):

    map of rival power bases in libya
  19. What next after Libya national unity deal?

    An initial line of analysis from the BBC's North Africa correspondent in reaction to the deal:  

    View more on twitter
  20. Excitement and relief as Libyan rivals sign deal

    There is reaction flooding in to the signing of the national unity deal by Libya's rival parliaments in Morocco in the past few minutes. 

    Excitement and relief appear to be the two dominant reactions to the hard-won deal:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Some are more sceptical:

    View more on twitter

    The British ambassador to Liyba tweets: 

    View more on twitter

    Even the person running the official UN mission in Libya appears to have got caught up in the excitement:

    View more on twitter

    Footage from inside the hall shows many standing to applaud the signing: 

    View more on twitter