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Live Reporting

By Naziru Mikailu and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for today's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.  

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: You can wash the basket in the stream but you can't carry water home with it." from Michael Dikibugerere Sisejubomiema Orupabo and Francis Obiorah, both from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
    Michael Dikibugerere Sisejubomiema Orupabo and Francis Obiorah, both from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

    We leave you with this photo of Zimbabweans celebrating 36 years of independence in the capital, Harare:

    Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) women"s league members sing before the 36th independence celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 April 2016.
  2. Drownings in Mediterranean

    Many people are feared to have drowned after the boat they were being transferred to by traffickers capsized in the Mediterranean, survivors say.

    The 41 survivors, migrants mainly from East Africa, spoke to the BBC in the southern Greek city of Kalamata, where they are being held after their rescue.

    They said up to 500 people had died in the incident, though there has been no official confirmation of these figures and a Somali official from the Somali embassy in Egypt, who was widely quoted after giving details of the incident, has since told the BBC that he does not have direct confirmation of the boat capsizing.  

    Earlier, six bodies were found after a separate incident off the Libyan coast.

    The boats used by migrants are often overcrowded and unseaworthy
  3. 'Deadly' Boko Haram attack on Nigeria's army

    Boko Haram fighters
    Image caption: Boko Haram is affiliated to the Islamic State group

    Fighters from Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram have inflicted heavy casualties on Nigerian forces after launching an early morning attack on their position in the north-eastern state of Borno, a soldier and a resident have told the BBC.

    The militants stormed the base in Kareto village in large numbers with "heavy weapons which we didn't have", said the soldier who spoke to the BBC Hausa on condition of anonymity.

    "We lost some men. I don't know how many, and many others were injured. Some of us fled in disarray. We realised that we were outnumbered and outgunned," another soldier is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

    However, a resident of Kareto, some 60km (37 miles) from neighbouring Niger, told the BBC Hausa service that troops managed to regain control of the village with the support of fighter jets.

    Several of the militants were killed in the fighting which lasted for several hours, the resident added. 

    Read: IS ties broaden Boko Haram threat

  4. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela 'recovering' in hospital

    WinWinnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela

    South Africa's anti-apartheid veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is recovering in hospital in the main city, Johannesburg, after back surgery for spinal stenosis, a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation has said.

    In a statement, Neeran Naidoo said: 

    Quote Message: Her first surgery, for compression of the spinal nerve and pain relief took place on 8 March. It was followed by a second procedure on 14 April to assist with her recovery.
    Quote Message: The family wishes to express its appreciation of the support they have received. They are grateful for the continuing respect for their privacy."
  5. Twitter reactions on Zimbabwe independence

    There is lots of reaction on Twitter about Zimbabwe celebrating 36 years of independence from colonial rule. 

    Here are some of the tweets:

  6. Protest against foreign forces in Mali


     At least one civilian has been killed during a protest against the presence of UN and French troops in the north Malian city of Kidal, multiple sources have told AFP news agency. 

    It also quotes a UN statement as saying that the airport in the city has been damaged. 

  7. Rwandans 'live in fear' in Zambia

    Rwandans own many of the shops in neighbourhoods where anti-foreigner violence broke out of in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, reports the BBC's Meluse Kapatomoyo from the city. 

    People have accused Rwandans of being behind recent ritual killings, but they deny this. 

    "We are living in fear," one Rwandan is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.  

    See our 15:10 post for more details

  8. UK offers financial aid to Libya

    National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters take part in a street battle in the center of the city on October 14, 2011 in Sirte, Libya
    Image caption: A five-year conflict has caused widespread destruction in Libya

    The UK has announced a $14m ( £10m) funding package to support the new UN-backed administration in Libya. 

    Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who made a surprise visit to the country, said it included $2m to tackle illegal migration, smuggling and organised crime.

    A further $2.5m would be used to support counter-terrorism activities.

    Mr Hammond also discussed the administration's plans for rebuilding the economy and restoring public services, his office said in a statement.

  9. Serbia's Nikolic fired over racial slur

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    Marko Nikolic

    The coach of Slovenia's league leaders has been sacked for racially abusing one of his own players.

    Olimpija Ljubljana boss Marko Nikolic has been widely reported as calling Blessing Eleke a "black idiot" after he felt the Nigerian, 20, spent too long celebrating an equaliser.

    He has apologised to Eleke. The Slovenian soccer association earlier suspended Nikolic for seven matches.

  10. Get involved: African identity abroad?


    View more on twitter

    Many of you have been commenting on BBC Africa Facebook on our theme of the day: Do Africans living abroad have a stronger sense of identity?

    Peter Goch Anyang-majongdul in South Sudan says:

    Quote Message: I'm proud of my Dinka tradition. Wherever the Dinka are they keep telling people living with them about Africa and South Sudan in particular. So kudos to my fellow Dinka men across the globe."

    Mugajju Ronald in Uganda says: 

    Quote Message: African are weak minded and can't stick to their traditions as opposed to their Western counterparts who are inseparable from their traditions. We have seen the likes of Michael Jackson who renounced being African to the extent of opting for plastic surgery to change his looks."
  11. 'Alarming' rise in Burundi torture cases

    A protester stands in front of a burned barricade during a protest against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi May 13, 2015
    Image caption: Burundi plunged into turmoil about a year ago

    The UN human rights chief has described as shocking the sharp increase in the use of torture in Burundi, with nearly 400 cases recorded so far this year, the AFP news agency reports. 

    The UN team in the country had registered "at least 345 cases of torture and ill-treatment" since January, and nearly 600 since the conflict began a year ago, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said, warning the actual numbers were likely higher.

    Mr Al Hussein  said most of the incidents were taking place in facilities run by Burundi's intelligence service. 

    "These shocking figures are a clear indicator of the widespread and growing use of torture and ill-treatment by government security forces," he added in a statement.

    The country descended into chaos last April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced a controversial plan to run for a third term, which he went on to win.

    The violence has killed more than 400 people and displaced more than 250,000 from their homes.

  12. Zambia police move to stop looting

    Meluse Kapatamoyo

    BBC Africa, Lusaka, Zambia

    Riot police have been deployed in parts of Zambia's capital, Lusaka, where shops belonging to foreigners were looted over suspicion that they were involved in ritual killings. 

    Police spokesperson Charity Chanda said a total of four shops had been broken into and officers were ready to stop the looting. 

    See our 12:39 posts for more details

  13. When will Machar be in Juba?

    South Sudanese rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar (C) sits in an army barracks in South Sudan's Upper Nile State on April 14, 2014
    Image caption: Mr Machar (C) has signed a peace deal with President Salva Kiir

    There's been a lot of confusion about whether South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar will arrive in the capital, Juba, today, after fleeing at the outbreak of a civil war two years ago. 

    The latest is that he will  be flying in tomorrow from neighbouring Ethiopia, reports the BBC's Charlotte Attwood from Juba. 

    Read: The city that vanished

  14. Chad 'deports' French author

    A French author who is a strong critic of Chad's President Idriss Deby has been expelled from the central African state, a day after his arrival, AFP news agency reports. 

    Before boarding a flight to Cameroon, Thomas Dietrich alleged that he had been beaten up and deprived of his money and mobile phone after his arrest, AFP adds.

    It says that Mr Dietrich had announced his visit to Chad on Facebook, and had criticised "the dictatorship that oppresses Chad".

    Idriss Deby arrives to cast his vote at a polling station in N"djamena for the presidential election on April 10, 2016
    Image caption: Mr Deby ran for re-election on 10 April

    He is the author of "Les enfants de Toumai" ("The Children of Toumai"), a love story between a Chadian Muslim girl and a Maoist student from a Christian background. 

    Chad is still awaiting the official results of a 10 April presidential election in which a dozen candidates challenged Mr Deby's 26-year rule. 

  15. 'Deadly bombings' in Congo-Brazzaville

    Residents of the southern districts of Brazzaville flee clashes between Congolese security forces and unknown assailants on April 4, 2016
    Image caption: Residents fled the capital after violence broke out on 4 April

    Congo-Brazzaville's military has carried out air strikes in residential areas in the south-eastern Poole region, reportedly causing deaths and destroying churches, schools and medical facilities, Amnesty International has said. 

    Eyewitnesses told the organisation that on 5 April, helicopters dropped at least 30 bombs on residential areas, including in the town of Vindza where the target was a house which used to be the residence of Pastor Frederic Ntumi, the leader of the Ninja militia group.  

    “Government forces have deliberately and unlawfully attacked people. It is shocking that they bombed residential areas in response to the violence that occurred in Brazzaville on 4 April," Amnesty said in a statement.

    Pastor Frederic Bitsangou 'Ntumi,' a former ninja rebel fighter who fought the Congolese government from 1998 to 2003 and who recently converted his rebel movement into a political party, poses 20 June 2007 in the southeastern Congolese town of Kinkala
    Image caption: Pastor Ntumi's whereabouts are unkown

    Militia fighters raided the capital, Brazzaville, on 4 April, attacking an army position and four police stations, the government said at the time. 

    The Ninjas were a major anti-government force in the 1997-99 civil war in Congo-Brazzaville, but disbanded after a peace deal was signed in 2003.

    They were loyal to former Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas, the father of Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who stood in the presidential election in March and got 15% of the vote.  

  16. Guarding Mugabe

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe inspecting guard of honour

    The 92-year-old President Mugabe inspected a guard of honour at the stadium in the capital, Harare, where celebrations to mark 36 years of independence are being held. 

    Before he stepped off the vehicle, his security entourage formed a tight ring around him to make sure he did not fall, and if he did the moment will not be captured by cameramen. 

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe inspecting guard of honour

    After he got off, the security officers loosened their ring, allowing him to walk back to the dias. 

    Mr Mugabe has increasingly looked frail, and has stumbled and fallen before in public:

    Robert Mugabe
  17. Mugabe: 'Shun corruption'

    Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe speaks during the burial of two national heroines, Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita, at the National Heroes Acre on April 13, 2016 in Harare
    Image caption: Mr Mugabe's critics accuse him of being authoritarian

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has called on people to shun corruption, tribalism, and nepotism, in a speech he delivered in the capital, Harare to mark 36 years of independence from white rule, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

    Mr Mugabe apologised for late payments to pensioners, as well as delays in paying salaries and bonuses to government employees, it adds.

    Future payments would be "more predictable and on time", he is quoted as saying. 

    Mr Mugabe also praised the security forces, saying they had been "resolute" in defending Zimbabwe's sovereignty, the Herald reports.

    Mr Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe, which is gripped by an economic crisis, since independence.  

  18. TP Mazembe in danger as they host Wydad

    Fans of TP Mazembe

    TP Mazembe of DR Congo face a difficult task in their bid to retain their African Champions League crown as they bid to overcome a 2-0 deficit against visiting Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

    The two clubs meet on Wednesday in the second leg of their tie with the winners progressing to the group stages of the tournament.

    For the first time continental club matches are being played in midweek. 

    On Tuesday ex-Birmingham City and Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish guides Egypt's Zamalek as they defend a 2-0 lead over Mouloudia Bejaiain Algeria.

    Also on Tuesday,  Zambia's Zesco United host Stade Malien of Mali holding a 3-1 advantage.

    Another Algerian club Entente Setif, who won the title in 2014, scored two vital away goals in a 2-2 draw in Sudan against Al Merreikh.

  19. 'Foreigners attacked' in Zambia

    Hundreds of people have hurled stones and broke into shops owned by foreigners in Zambia's capital, Lusaka,accusing immigrants of being involved in ritual killings, police have said, Reuters news agency reports. 

    "Four shops have been looted so far on suspicion that they (the owners) were involved in the recent murders which have been happening in area," police spokeswoman Charity Munganga-Chanda is quoted as saying.   

    At least six people have been killed in Lusaka in the past four weeks and police said some body parts including ears, hearts and genitals had been removed, raising suspicion of ritual killings, Reuters reports. 

    Police detained four suspects on Sunday for questioning on suspicion of carrying body parts, which were being put through forensic tests to establish whether they belonged to humans, it adds.