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Live Reporting

By Lucy Fleming and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday'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: Talk to a person who can understand and cook for a person who can be satisfied." from A Luvale proverb sent from Zambia by Erick Malambo and Evergreen Sazeka.
    A Luvale proverb sent from Zambia by Erick Malambo and Evergreen Sazeka.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And the Kenya Rugby Union has posted this photo on its Facebook page of its meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta today after the Kenyan team beat Fiji on Sunday to win their first Sevens World Series title:

    Kenya's rugby team hoisting up President Uhuru Kenyatta
  2. 'Barbie' saving Africa

    An Instagram account charting the African adventures of "Barbie Savior" was launched six weeks ago.

    The tongue-in-cheek entries seem to take a dig at aid workers who travel to Africa.

    "My bags are packed, my heart ready, and arms open to love on those sweet sweet orphans in the country of Africa. I hope they like me, because I already love them," the post announcing her departure says.

    A later entry says: "The country of Africa has captured my heart, and now, my heart has captured Africa!"

    View more on instagram

    Here are some other of her "snaps":

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  3. Kenya demands ICC witness cases

    Anthony Irungu

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Kenya has demanded that three Kenyans accused of interfering with witnesses at the International Criminal Court (ICC) be tried in Kenya.

    Kenya’s Attorney-General Githu Muigai said that Kenya's courts were able to prosecute “small cases”.

    His comments follow the collapse of the main ICC cases of those accused of organising violence following Kenya's 2007 election.

    He said that the process of Kenya withdrawing from the ICC would be dealt with at an African Union level and that the East African state has not yet started the process of withdrawing.

    Among the people against whom the ICC cases collapsed included President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

    A supporter of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (poster), celebrates in the streets of Nairobi following the International Criminal Court's ruling to drop crimes against humanity charges against him, at the ICC courts at the Hague, on December 5, 2014.
    Image caption: Mr Kenyatta's supporters celebrated after charges against him were dropped
  4. Analysis: How big is IS in Libya?

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    If Islamic State (IS) fighters have finally been pushed out of Derna, it will be a significant development and seen as evidence of the militant group’s faltering presence in Libya.

    Despite the alarm bells ringing over IS expansion in the North African state in recent months, many observers believe it remains a minor player in the bigger picture of Libya’s armed groups. 

    Libya’s rival armed groups are largely united on the need to fight IS – but are unlikely to unite together on the battlefield.

    Today, IS only has full control of the central city of Sirte and a stretch of territory on its outskirts.

    An image purported to show Islamic State militants in the Libyan town of Sirte - 18 February 2015
    Image caption: Sirte is the birthplace of killed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

      Read more: Guide to Libya's militias

  5. Touring Drogba's Abidjan hospital

    Last week Ivorian football legend Didier Drogba said he would launch legal action against the British Daily Mail newspaper, after it claimed his charity had used just 1% of £1.7m ($2.5m) raised in the UK on projects to help Ivorians.

    Some of their allegations centred on a hospital that the foundation built in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan.

    It was due to open last year but is still not operational. The BBC's Tamasin Ford went to find out what's going on:

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    In a statement the Daily Mail said: "Any suggestion that we did not visit the hospital or speak to the mayor is utterly unfounded. 

    "Our investigative team visited the clinic site a number of times including the day before publication and accurately reported it was neither equipped nor open. 

    "A locally based freelance journalist interviewed the Mayor, Paulin Claude Danho. The interview was taped with his permission and independently translated. We have not been served with any legal proceedings."

  6. Islamic State 'kicked out of Libyan town'

    Insurgents from the militant Islamic State group, also known as Daesh, have left the outskirts of Derna, residents in the Libyan town have told the BBC.

    “Daesh have all left Derna – they have no presence here anymore,” said Hafeth Al-Dabaa, a spokesman for an alliance of local jihadist groups opposed to IS.

    The BBC’s North Africa correspondent Rana Jawad says pictures on Facebook circulating since yesterday show residents celebrating in the small town on the north-eastern coast, which is some 720km (450 miles) from the capital, Tripoli.

    Meanwhile, local media is reporting that forces loyal to the eastern Libyan administration is carrying out air strikes against the fleeing IS fighters. 

    Image published by IS that the group says shows a billboard instructing women how to dress in Sirte
    Image caption: An IS image showing a billboard instructing women how to dress in its territory in Libya

      Read more: Control and crucifixions: Life in Libya under IS

  7. Diarrhoea deaths in Mozambique

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Eighteen people have died of diarrhoea in central Mozambique's Sofala province after drinking water from a contaminated well, officials say. 

    Mozambique’s national director of public health, Francisco Mbofana, said a team was on its way to investigate the deaths in Sofala's Mwanza district, amid allegations that the well was poisoned. 

    Thirteen other people who drank water have been hospitalised, but are out of danger, said local district administrator Admira Filimone. 

  8. Magic in the air in Ivory Coast

    Tamasin Ford

    BBC Africa, Abidjan

    Children at the Femua festival in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

    Femua, one of the biggest urban music festivals in Africa, has kicked off in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, this week.

    Vieux Farka Toure from Mali, Charlotte Dipanda from Cameroon and Elida Almedia from Cape Verde are just a few of the artists appearing on stage.

    While the main concerts begin tomorrow night, there's loads going on at the festival site in Anoumabo each day: Ivorian DJs, dance groups, comedians, face painters, fire eaters and bouncy castles.

    Organised by the Ivorian Zouglou group Magic System, this year the event is all about children and, for the first time, they had a special kids’ day on Wednesday.

    Hundreds of children turned up for a day of dancing and singing which ended with Magic System coming on stage to sing their international hit, Magic in the Air:

    Video content

    Video caption: Ivory Coast's Magic System
  9. Ethiopian children held in 'jungle' area

    More than 100 children abducted from Ethiopia last Friday were being held in an area of South Sudan which was "full of jungle", South Sudan's acting foreign minister Peter Bashir Gbandi is quoted by Associated Press news agency as saying. 

    South Sudan's army chief of staff Paul Malong would fly to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday, to co-ordinate operations to rescue the children, he added, it reports.

    "Those [the abductors] are criminals," the foreign minister added. 

    A picture taken on March 22, 2012 shows thatched huts in the town of Kir in Gambella, Ethiopi
    Image caption: The children were abducted from Ethiopia's Gambella region

    An Ethiopian official said their troops had crossed into South Sudan, and had encircled the area where the children were being held (see 09:04 post). 

    Ethiopia has blamed the abduction on South Sudan's Murle community, which has history of conflict with the Nuer group, which lives on both sides of the border. 

    The Murle have previously been accused of carrying out cattle raids, and abducting children to raise as their own. 

  10. Mixed reaction to rhino horn decision

    Wildlife groups are divided over the South African government's decision not to bush for the lifting of the global ban on the rhino horn trade. 

    Welcoming the decision, the World Wildlife Fund said: 

    Quote Message: Legal trade under current conditions would have been counter-productive."

    However, South Africa's Private Rhino Owners Association condemned the decision, AFP news agency reports. 

    Its chairman Pelham Jones said: 

    Quote Message: The poachers will certainly be celebrating this decision because it ensures only illegal trade will continue and all benefits going to the criminals."
    The carcass of a poached and mutilated white rhino lies on the banks of a river as a South African Police Services forensic investigator works on the crime scene on September 12, 2014 at Kruger National Park
    Image caption: Rhino horn is sold in powdered form as a supposed cure for illnesses such as cancer in Vietnam and China
  11. SA backs ban on rhino horn trade

    South Africa will not push for the lifting of the global ban on rhino horn trading, the government has said Thursday - rejecting pressure from some campaigners who say the ban encourages fuels poaching. 

    The government's decision comes ahead of a meeting in South Africa in September of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), where the global ban can be reviewed.

    A male white rhinoceros shows off his territury to another male at a game farm in Malelane 30 September 2004
    Image caption: Nearly 1,200 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa last year

    Rhino breeders want the demand for rhino horns in Asia to be met by horns sawn off anaesthetised live animals, arguing that a legal source of horn could end poaching deaths.  

    Last November, a South African court lifted a ban on the domestic trade in rhino horns in a case brought by two game farm breeders.

    The government has said it will challenge that ruling in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

    South Africa has around 20,000 rhinos, some 80% of the worldwide population.

    It has stepped up its campaign to protect rhinos, often killed by poachers for their horns which can be sold for up to $60,000 (£41,000) on the black-market in China and other Asian states where they are used in traditional medicines. 

  12. Sudan's girl band 45 years on

    The Nightingales performing in Sudan

    Sudan's best-loved girl band still raise whoops and cheers from their fans, 45 years after their debut, reports the AFP news agency after interviewing the three sisters who make up The Nightingales.

    Amal, Hadia and Hayat Talsam began their career in 1971 – and their stylish bobs, matching dresses and their soulful ballads caused a stir in socially conservative Sudan, it reports.

    "The Nightingales changed the way people looked at female artists in Sudan," Hadia is quoted as saying.

    Amal Talsam holds a picture of herself when the band started in the early 1970s in Sudan
    Image caption: Amal Talsam with a photo of herself taken in the early 1970s

    They broke up when two of the sisters moved away from Sudan in 1988, a year before current President Omar al-Bashir seized power in an Islamist-backed coup.

    But after two of them performed at a festival of Sudanese music in New York, the sisters decided to reunite in 2008 – and continue to draw large crowds in Khartoum.

    The trio are confident they can win fans abroad and are keen to travel. When asked how they compared to the Supremes, who were signed with the Motown label in the 1960s.

    “Honey, we're better than the Supremes. We came to their country, but they never came here,” Amal reportedly replied.

    An audience for the Nightingales in Khartoum, Sudan
    Image caption: The Nightingales have fans of all ages
  13. New TV channel launched

    Africanews, a 24-hour news TV station targeting viewers across the continent, has launched from studios in Congo-Brazzaville's port city of Pointe-Noire.

    Veronica Narkwor Kwabla, deputy chief editor of new pan-African news channel Africanews, is pictured during an online press conference following the launch of the Africanews TV station in the channel"s studio in Pointe-Noire, Congo, on April 20, 2016

    The station is a subsidiary of established France-based network Euronews and broadcasts via satellite, digital terrestrial TV and online.

    It says it is carried by pay-TV providers across Africa, reaching 7.3 million homes in 33 countries.

    Read the full BBC story here

  14. Get Involved: Zambia anti-foreigner riots

    A Zambian Policeman apprehends an alleged looter in the Zingalume Compound where residents have attacked broken and looted foreign-run shops in Lusaka on April 18, 2016
    Image caption: More than 250 people were detained over the riots

    Opinion is divided among our Facebook readers on the xenophobic violence which hit Zambia's capital, Lusaka, on Monday and Tuesday, with some even taking issue with our coverage. 

    The riots started after rumours that Rwandans were behind recent ritual killings in the city.  

    Prince M Kajila comments: 

    Quote Message: BBC Africa should be preaching peace, not this nonsense I have seen in the past couple of days. Only two people died during the riots and looting (not that I am playing down the lives lost) but how many of our brothers and sisters been killed through the ritual killings."

    Ernest C Sinyinza says:

    Quote Message: Zambia remains a peaceful nation, no foreigner has been killed. But a few Zambians have been brutally killed and their private parts, hearts and kidneys removed."

    Josephat Okeke disagrees: 

    Quote Message: Zambia are now second to South Africa on xenophobia. What a shameful thing this is."
  15. Dead Nigerian asked to referee game

    A dead referee has been appointed for a football match in Nigeria on Sunday, says BBC football reporter Oluwashina Okeleji. 

    Wale Akinsanya was appointed to referee the match between Warri Wolves and Giwa FC in the southern city of Warri, Nigeria's Punch newspaper reports

    This is despite the fact that he died on 22 January 2016 during a Fifa Cooper Test, which assesses the fitness of referees, in Ibadan in south-west Nigeria, it adds.   

    The appointment was made by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) faction led by Chris Giwa. 

  16. Ansar Dine 'holding Red Cross workers' captured in Mali

    Ansar Dine militants in 2012 in Mali
    Image caption: Ansar Dine militants have kidnapped foreigners in the past

    Militant Islamist group Ansar Dine has said it is holding three Red Cross workers captured in north-eastern Mali last weekend.

    "We have three people who work for the Red Cross," Nourredine Ag Mohamed, a senior militant in the group, told the AFP news agency.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed that four of its workers were intercepted on Saturday 16 April, and that one has been freed, the agency reports.

    The aid group has not released the names or nationalities of those being held.

    The workers had been camped in an area where French anti-terror forces were carrying out operations.

    Ansar Dine was part of the jihadist alliance that took over northern Mali in 2012. France intervened to oust the groups from major towns but the insurgents still operate in the vast desert region.

  17. Burundi confirms Fifa plan to remove President Nkurunziza

    President Pierre Nkurunziza heading a football
    Image caption: President Pierre Nkurunziza is a trained football coach

    Burundi's presidential spokesman has confirmed to the BBC Great Lakes service that President Pierre Nkurunziza was indeed approached last year by ex-Fifa boss Sepp Blatter, who tried to convince him to step down from power (see 10:46 post).

    But Willy Nyamitwe said the plan did not work:

    Quote Message: Some who tried it through Fifa... didn’t know that it wasn’t Nkurunziza’s decision. He didn't want to run to cling on power, it was the will of the political party members and many Burundians who wanted him to run because they saw him as legitimate.
    Quote Message: So those who thought it was his decision rushed to persuade him from not running. But they were wrong… They thought he might be someone materialistic and if they offered him certain things he’d give up his duty to serve Burundians." from Willy Nyamitwe
    Willy Nyamitwe

    Mr Nkurunziza’s spokesman also said Mr Blatter was being used by powerful Western nations, including some in European Union.  

    The football-loving president announced his plans to run for a controversial third term in April 2015, sparking unrest. He went on to win elections in July.

  18. Burundi officer killed 'on motorbike'

    Three men armed with rifles and grenades shot dead Burundian army Colonel Emmanuel Buzubona while he was on his way home on a motorbike, his neighbour has told AFP news agency. 

    Army spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza confirmed yesterday's shooting in a northern suburb of Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, saying the attackers first fired at the officer and then hurled a grenade at him, AFP reports. 

    "A police inquiry is under way to try to find the assassins," the spokesman is quoted as saying.

    AFP says Col Buzubona's driver was also killed in the attack. 

  19. Zulu king's budget cut

    The budget of South Africa's powerful Zulu king has been slashed by more than 15% as part of the government's cost-cutting drive, the local Daily News newspaper reports

    King Goodwill Zwelithini 's household will receive 48.8m rand ($3.5m) during the 2016/2017 financial year, down from the 54.2m rand and 57.6m rand in the two previous financial years, it adds. 

    The decision of the Kwazulu-Natal provincial government, led by the African National Congress, was condemned by the opposition Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). 

    “We can’t have the dignity of His Majesty being undermined in any way,” said IFP MP Blessed Gwala, the newspaper reports.

    However, Kwazulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said "adequate measures" were in place to continue giving financial help to King Zwelithini, who has six wives and close to 30 children. 

    “In terms of respect [for the monarch], we will do our utmost to succeed on this one,” he is quoted as saying.    

    King Zw elithini
    Image caption: Goodwill Zwelithini is the monarch of South Africa's biggest ethnic group

    Political analyst Thabani Khumalo told the Daily News that King Zwelithini was likely to accept the cut as South Africa was going through tough times. 

    “He has to stand with his subjects,” he added.

    “We all know we are in a drought and it has affected our lifestyles.”

  20. Zambia's 'shame' over xenophobic riots

    Meluse Kapatamoyo

    BBC Africa, Lusaka, Zambia

    Zambian President Egar Lungu (L) with Catholic priest Fr Charles Chilinda (C) and UNHCR country representative Laura Locastro (R)
    Image caption: Zambian President Egar Lungu with representatives from St Ignatius Church and the UN

    Zambia's president has spoken of the country’s collective shame over the attacks on some foreign nationals. 

    Riots started in the capital, Lusaka, on Monday after rumours that Rwandans were behind recent ritual killings in the city spread. 

    More than 250 people have been arrested after more than 60 Rwandan-owned shops were looted in two days of violence.

    Addressing more than 300 refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo who are sheltering at St Ignatius Church in Lusaka, President Edgar Lungu said he was ashamed that some of his citizens had attacked foreigners.

    "I take full responsibility on behalf of the Zambian people. I also assure you of full protection and security of your person and property." 

    Refugees at St Ignatius Church in Lusaka, Zambia
    Refugees at St Ignatius Church in Lusaka, Zambia

    The president also emphasised that the senseless violence in some parts of Lusaka are acts of criminality rather than xenophobia. 

    Mr Lungu said he would work with the UN and church to resolve the matter.