Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Police raid headquarters of Uganda's main opposition FDC party
  2. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye detained by police
  3. Air strike targeting Islamic State militants in Libya kills at least 30 people
  4. At least four lions escape from wildlife park in Kenya's capital
  5. Ghana bus company says speeding caused deadly bus crash
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive
  7. Email stories and comments to - Friday 19 February 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's it from us this week. 

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

Today's African proverb was: 

"The way you bring up a child is how it ends up being."

Click here to send your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of peace and love taken by the BBC's Ley Uwera at the Amani festival in Goma, DRC.

One love written on cheek
Ley Uwera

Uganda's opposition leader still in detention

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa Uganda correspondent

As night has fallen in Uganda, the opposition leader Kizza Besigye is still in police custody after he was arrested following a police raid on the offices of his party's headquarters in the capital, Kampala.

I have spoken to the police and they refuse to confirm where he's being held, but his wife has said on Twitter that he is at a police station in Nagalama, about 35km outside of the city - a long way from the tense situation here.

Mr Besigye's lawyer has also confirmed his whereabouts.

The police accuse Mr Besigye of trying to announce false results, and that's what they'll be charging him with.

Military police
Trouble broke out in Kampala after the arrest of Kizza Besigye

Emotions are running high in different parts of the country as we're hearing of similar scenes to the ones in Kampala in the eastern city of Mbale.

And in the west, in Kasese, there have been clashes between opposition supporters and security forces.

Some people are complaining that Thursday's election was not free and fair, and the election commission needs to address some of those concerns.

The commission says that it wants to see the evidence that the process has not been fair.

The girl who took her family to court to stop forced marriage

Balkissa Chaibou dreamed of becoming a doctor, but when she was 12 she was shocked to learn she had been promised as a bride to her cousin.

She decided to take her own family to court. 

The odds were against her as she is from Niger, the country with the highest rate of child marriage in the world.

But once in court, Balkissa's uncle denied he was forcing her into a marriage, saying it was a misunderstanding.

Read her full story: The girl who said 'no' to marriage

Balkissa Chaibou

How to insult a politician

When opposition politicians heckled South Africa's President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation speech last week it took Elizabeth Ohene by surprise.

As a former government minister in Ghana, she knows the affair is more muted in her country, Ghana.

Here's the scene in South Africa's parliament after opposition EFF MPs were told to leave:

walkout in South African Parliament
Getty Images

Compare it to the scenes in Ghana's State of the Nation address:

Ghana Parliament
Getty Images

She thinks that South Africa's politicians could learn a thing or two about subtle insults:

You are not allowed to call an honourable MP a liar, but everybody knows that when a parliamentarian says a colleague has been "economical with the truth", it means the person has told a lie.

Read her whole article: How to insult a politician

Six thousand Mozambicans flee to Malawi after fighting

Mozambique is one of Southern Africa's rising stars, rich in gas and coal, but despite this, it's been plagued by rising tensions and violence between the Frelimo government forces and opposition Renamo. 

In recent days more than 6,000 people have fled into neighbouring Malawi, to escape fighting in the north.

But, as the BBC's Karen Allen reports the Mozambican government is keen to play the situation down, refusing to recognise those leaving as refugees:

US air strike gives message to IS militants

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

If all or most of those killed in the US airstrike are indeed militants from the so-called Islamic state group, then it is a significant development.  

This is not the first time American jets have targeted extremist militants there.

But it is the single largest death toll inflicted on the group in Libyan territory.  

It will not significantly degrade their capabilities in the country, nor necessarily prevent future attacks and suicide bombings.  

However, in the short term, it could act as a deterrent for would-be militants from continuing to stream in from countries like neighbouring Tunisia.  

In recent months, Islamic State has increasingly viewed Libya as safe, and an easy territory to operate from. 

This air strike tells them otherwise.

Kerry urges Uganda's president to 'rein in police'

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called up Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni urging him to  "rein in the police and security forces".

A statement from the State Department said he emphasised that "Uganda's progress depends on adherence to democratic principles in the ongoing election process".

The call came after main opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested at his party's headquarters, and the security forces used tear gas to quell his supporters.

Uganda trouble

The police say Mr Besigye was detained because he was announcing results of the election when that was the role of the electoral commission.

'Bardo museum attacker targeted' by US in Libya bombing

Frank Gardner

BBC Security Correspondent

The US Department of Defence has said that suspected Islamic State member Noureddine Chouchane, who was targeted in this morning's air strike in Libya, was linked to the March 2015 Bardo Museum attack in Tunis, in which 22 people were killed.

It added that "it would be safe to say he was also linked to the Sousse beach murders [in Tunisia] of July 2015".

Sousse maemorial
Thirty-eight people were killed in the attack in Sousse, Tunisia

Museveni still winning with 62% as count continues

More results from Uganda's presidential election are being announced by the electoral commission, with the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni maintaining roughly 62% of the vote:

View more on twitter

Ivorian FA 'deplore' Aurier's homophobic comments

Tamasin Ford

BBC Africa, Abidjan

Serge Aurier

The Ivorian Football Federation has come out against Ivorian footballer and Paris St Germain player Serge Aurier for making homophobic comments about his teammates and manager.

They released a statement saying: 

The president of the Ivorian Football Federation and the executive committee deplore the attitude of the player Serge Aurier; an attitude that is unpleasant for the offended people and for the club."

It went on to say they understand Aurier's punishment but they call on the sympathy of the club to make sure the "talented young player" doesn't make the same mistake again.

This statement is in contrast to compatriot Didier Drogba who came out to defend his former teammate.

The defender was suspended indefinitely on Sunday and has apologised.

Kenya's plan to deal with doping

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

The Kenyan government has outlined its timeline to implement an anti-doping bill that it hopes will see the nation avoid a possible ban from this year's Olympics. 

While it admitted there have been delays to the passing of the bill it hopes parliament will now approve the law as early as next Wednesday.

Last week the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) gave Kenya two months to bring in new legislation in order to bring it into line with its anti-doing guidelines.

This followed Kenya missing an initial deadline to prove they were doing enough to combat drug taking.

Newspaper frontpages
Explusion from the Olympics would be a big blow for Kenya after the country topped the medals table at last year's athletics world championships

Arrest warrants lifted for 15 accused of plotting Burundi coup

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Burundi's prosecution has lifted the arrest warrants for 15 people who were wanted for their alleged role in last May's attempted coup.

The news originally broke when this notice was circulated on social media:


Prosecutor General Valentin Bagorikunda has confirmed that it is true.

The people whose warrants for arrest have been lifted include an opposition coalition leader, the speaker of the national assembly and the deputy president.

Many of them went in exile following repression of their protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in April.   

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is visiting Burundi next week.

So it could be a concession by the government which has been under pressure to hold inclusive dialogue with the opposition.

Besigye was 'stopped from announcing results'

Uganda's police say that the country's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested along with two party colleagues to stop them from "announcing purportedly final results of the presidential election".

In a statement, spokesperson for the police in the capital, Kampala, Patrick Onyango said that this was in accordance with electoral law saying that it amounted to "disturbing public order".

He also called on "peace-loving Ugandans to exercise restraint" while waiting for the final results from Thursday's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Police van taking Mr Besigye away
Kizza Besigye was driven away in a police van after his party's headquarters were raided

Cameroon market attackers 'kill 19 people'

In our 10:57 post we reported that two explosions had gone off in a market in the far north of Cameroon. 

At least 19 died in the attack local sources have told AFP news agency.  

Two female suicide bombers carried out the attack, the officals added. 

No-one has said they were behind the attack yet.

Painted at Niger election rallies

Ishaq Khalid

BBC Africa, Niamey, Niger.

Today is the final day of campaigning in Niger ahead of Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections and people are out at rallies:


Some have even covered themselves from top to toe in body paint:

boy in body paint
body paint

President Muhamadou Issoufo is being challenged by 14 candidates. 

One of the opposition candidates, Hama Amadou is in detention for alleged child trafficking from neighbouring Nigeria.

He denies the allegation, and his supporters say his detention is politically motivated. 

If you want to catch up quickly on the country's big issues, this video explains that in 60 seconds:

Besigye 'arrested over press conference'

The wife of the arrested Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye says she has spoken to him.

He told her why he thinks he was detained: 

View more on twitter

US embassy in Uganda in tells US citizens to 'stay off' Kampala streets

The US embassy in Uganda's capital, Kampala, has told US citizens to "stay off the streets for the remainder of the day", in an announcement on Facebook.

Screen grab

This comes after police raided the headquarters of the main opposition FDC party and arrested its leader Kizza Besigye.

The US embassy has also tweeted a message to the police and army:

View more on twitter
Police at FDC offices
The police forced their way into the FDC compound

Many Ugandan ministers lose parliamentary seats

Our attention has mainly been focussed on the fallout and results from Uganda's presidential election, but there has been another story developing in the parliamentary election.

A large number of cabinet ministers have lost their  seats.

These include:

  • Defence Minister - Crispus Kiyonga
  • Justice Minister - Kahinda Otafiire
  • Information Minister - Jim Muhwezi
  • Education Minister - Jessica Alupo
  • Attorney General - Fred Ruhindi

Uganda's New Vision newspaper is reporting that 17 ministers and junior ministers have lost their seats in all.

But the BBC's Patience Atuhaire says that this does not mean that the ruling NRM is about to lose its majority.

Ugandan voter

'Thirty-eight killed' in US air strike targeting IS in Libya

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

A military source in Sabratha, western Libya, which was hit earlier by a US air strike, has told the BBC that 38 people have been killed, and most of them were Tunisian nationals. 

He was unable to confirm if all were part of the so-called Islamic State group, but said he believed many were.

Ghana bus crash survivor found among dead bodies

Charles Ekow Izeme, a survivor of yesterday's bus crash which killed 71 people when it crashed into a lorry, was found among the dead bodies.

Charles Ekow Izeme

Mr Izeme recounted to the BBC's Sammy Darko how the crash happened:

The vehicle hit three bulls and the driver lost control and ran into the tomato lorry.

The bus company has put the problem down to the driver going too fast rather than there being a fault with the vehicle.

Mr Izeme said that before he was rescued he remembers hearing shouts of "Jesus" and then he saw people removing bodies on top of him.

He was taken to a hospital in central Ghana and treated for head injuries, and his clothes were drenched in blood.

'The police came and surrounded the building'

There have been riots in some parts of Uganda's capital, Kampala, following the arrest of opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

The army and police raided the headquarters of his FDC party just before Mr Besigye was to address a press conference. 

The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga filed this video report from outside the FDC offices:

Uganda's opposition leader arrested

US condemns Uganda police action

The US embassy in Uganda has criticised the police following the raid on the headquarters of the opposition FDC:

View more on twitter

US ambassador makes fun of idea he is planning a coup in South Africa

The US ambassador to South Africa has started tongue-in-cheek plans for a coup in South Africa in response to an accusation that the US is plotting regime change.

The accusation came from the Secretary General of South Africa's ruling party the ANC.

Times Live reportedGwede Mantashe accused the US Embassy of meeting daily to plana change in government.

He dismissed the accusation in a unique fashion:

I wish that someone would invite me to these meetings. Let's not blame others for our own challenges.…

But then he started getting into the idea:

I'm so disappointed as I always imagined that if I organized a coup it would look like Mardi Gras - food,music,dance…

After he received an unsolicited application for minister of sport, once the revolution was complete, he carried on poking fun:

This led to an application for minister of breweries, which he used to refer back to the original accusation:

These are the fruits of sowing anarchy and counter revolutions:…

Escaped lions return to Nairobi park

One lioness and her two cubs, which escaped from a wildlife park in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, have been recaptured and two others are believed to have gone back into the park of their own accord.

But it is not clear if more lions remain on the loose.

The BBC's Emmanuel Ignunza in Nairobi says some residents of Kibera, near the park, are angry that the Kenya Wildlife Service is taking so long to capture the lions.

There has been confusion about how many lions escaped and wildlife officials are currently verifying numbers inside the park, our reporter says.

KWS senior warden Nelly Palmeris said three lions were found in a housing complex at a military barracks near the park.


Uganda's Museveni maintains poll lead

With results from nearly half of all polling stations now in, Uganda's electoral commission has announced that President Yoweri Museveni is still in the lead.

View more on twitter

The head of the electoral commission has also commented on the arrest of opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

He said that while he did not know the details "if he was trying to make announcements he should know the status of the law [which bans party's from announcing their own tallies]".

View more on twitter

The spillage after fatal Ghana bus crash

We mentioned in previous posts that the BBC's Sammy Darko in Ghana is investigating the aftermath of Wednesday's bus crash in which 71 people died.

He has just sent these pictures of the tomato truck the bus crashed into:


Police presence at Uganda opposition leader's house

The BBC's Ruth Nesoba in Uganda's capital, Kampala, is nearby the house of Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi.

She says that police have sealed off the road leading to his residence for security purposes, and they are checking vehicles coming in.

Vehicle being checked by police

Mr Mbabazi was one of seven candidates challenging President Yoweri Museveni in Thursday's elections.

His main challenger, Kizza Besigye, was detained by police earlier.

Ghana bus wreckage towed to Kumasi

The BBC's Sammy Darko has sent this short video of the wreckage of the bus that crashed on Wednesday night killing 71 people.

It has been towed to Ghana's second city, Kumasi:

Police 'asked Uganda opposition to stop announcing results'

An official from the Ugandan opposition FDC party says they were told before the police raid that the party should stop announcing results from Thursday's election:

View more on twitter

The raid happened shortly before the FDC was scheduled to hold a press conference.

FDC leader Kizza Besigye has been detained by police.

BreakingIslamic State: Bombing strikes militants in Libya

Air strikes against so-called Islamic State militants in, Libya, have killed at least 30 people.

The New York Times newspaper cited an anonymous official saying US planes had carried out the air strikes.

The city's mayor told Reuters news agency that a building in the city, west of the capital, Tripoli, had been hit. It is near the Tunisian border.

Recent reports say top IS commanders - followed by many fighters - have moved to Libya from Iraq and Syria.

Two radio stations re-open in Burundi

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Two radio stations that were destroyed in the wake of last May's coup attempt in Burundi will official re-open today.

The head of the National Council of Communication, who made the announcement, did not specify which two stations will re-open.

But some sources say one of the stations is Rema FM, a radio and television station sympathetic to the ruling party, which was destroyed by pro-coup mobs.  

The other one is thought to be Isanganiro, which was one of four stations shut down allegedly by security forces, after they broadcast a declaration announcing the coup.

The government said the stations had remained closed pending an investigation into the role they played in the coup and the circumstances in which they were destroyed.

But they have not released any report from the investigation.

Leon Masango, editor at Bonesha Radio,on May 15, 2015
Getty Images
The editor of Bonesha Radio said his station had also been ransacked in the days after the attempted coup

Heavy police presence at Uganda opposition HQ

A BBC reporter outside the offices of the main opposition FDC party in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, has tweeted a picture of the military and police presence there.

View more on twitter

Uganda police: "FDC shouldn't announce results'

The head of the police in Uganda's capital, Kampala, has been talking to the Daily Monitor newspaper about the reasons behind the raid on the opposition FDC party.

Felix Kaweesi has told the newspaper that the raid had something to do with the party announcing results:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

'Military police surround my home', Ugandan opposition leader

Ugandan opposition leader Amama Mbabazi has tweeted a video which he says is of a military vehicle driving around his home.

View more on twitter

Mr Mbabazi - a former prime minister - was one of the seven candidates who ran against President Yoweri Museveni in yesterday's election.

Another candidate, and Mr Museveni's main rival, Kizza Besigye was detained by police earlier.

Explosions in Cameroon market

Two explosions have gone off in a market in the far north of Cameroon, two witnesses have told the BBC.

They added that casualties have been taken to Mora hospital, near the blast site in Meme market.

It is not clear who is behind the explosions or the extent of the damage.

Boko Haram militants have carried out several attacks in the area in the past as Nigeria and Cameroon's army's work together to end the insurgency on their border areas.

BreakingUganda's opposition leader driven away by police

The leader of Uganda's main opposition party Kizza Besigye has been driven away from his party's headquarters in a police vehicle, the BBC's Patience Atuhaire reports from the scene.

Uganda police presence stepped up around opposition party HQ

A BBC reporter in Uganda's capital, Kampala, has tweeted a video from outside the main offices of the opposition FDC party, which was raided by police earlier.

View more on twitter

A freelance journalist in Kampala has also tweeted this short film of what's been happening at the FDC headquarters:

View more on twitter

Tear gas fired to disperse crowds at Uganda opposition office

The BBC's Patience Atuhaire is at the headquarters of Uganda's main opposition party, which has just been raided by police.

She says that tear gas was fired earlier to disperse supporters.

She adds that a police helicopter is circling above the scene.

Police outside FDC HQ

The raid comes a day after the presidential election.

Results announced so far show that President Yoweri Museveni has taken an early lead.

More pictures of raid at Uganda's opposition HQ

Ugandan media outlets are sharing more pictures of the police raid on the headquarters of the main opposition FDC party.

It is not yet clear what triggered the raid.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ugandans still voting day after polls were meant to close

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

getting finger inked
Once people have voted their finger is dabbed in ink

People are still voting in Uganda's elections.

Polls were meant to close at yesterday evening, but long delays in opening the polling stations, followed by clashes with the police in one place, meant some voting centres were closed.

A queue of people waiting to vote formed in this polling station in Ggaba, Kampala

Around 24 polling stations were still open this morning.  

European Union observers were at the scene