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  1. 'Arrest warrant' for Lebanese man in fight with Grace Mugabe
  2. Man named as exiled Rwandan king denounced as 'pretender'
  3. Ugandan monarch reportedly rearrested
  4. AU warns Jammeh he won't be recognised as president
  5. Obama signs order to lift trade sanctions on Sudan
  6. Malawi police seal offices of top media group
  7. Somali town bans hotel weddings to cut costs
  8. Kenyan firm unveils 'Africanised' emojis
  9. Email stories and comments to - Friday 13 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page this week. 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 our African proverb of the day: 

An ivory tooth is not a cure for the gap caused by a missing one. "

A Swahili proverb sent by Samuel Bond, Arusha, Tanzania

Click here to send in your African proverbs.  

And we leave you with one of our top pictures of the week, of men blowing horns during the inauguration ceremony of Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo in the capital, Accra: 

Men blowing horns during the official inauguration ceremony for Ghana's new president Nana Akufo-Addo

Africanising emojis

A Kenyan-based company has launched a brand of emoji stickers "for Africa". 

Tech companies like Facebook have been diversifying their emoji collection but critics say the stickers are not rich in diversity.

A description of Afro Stickers, available for download on the Apple app store, says that it offers "diverse facial features and a range of food and travel stickers."

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Ghana's Schlupp joins Crystal Palace

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

Ghana's Jeffrey Schlupp

Ghana's Jeffrey Schlupp has left English Premier League Champions, Leicester City, for Crystal Palace, his club has announced.

The 24-year-old, who joined Leicester as an 11 year-old, was part of the history-making Foxes' side which won the premier league last year.

Schlupp made 149 first team appearances since 2011, scoring 15 goals in the process but intense competition for positions at the club saw him struggling for game time in recent months. 

He becomes Crystal Palace’s new manager Sam Allardyce’s first signing.

Sudan welcomes easing of US sanctions

Sudan has welcomed a US decision to lift some economic sanctions in force since 1997 as a "positive and important" development in relations between the two states, the AFP new agency reports.

The decision to lift the sanctions was the "natural result of joint efforts and long and frank discussions", foreign ministry spokesman Ghariballah Khidir added in a statement, it reports. 

Mr  Khidir said that President Omar al-Bashir's government was "determined to pursue its cooperation with the US until Sudan is removed from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism".   

See earlier posts for more details

First-time mother at 60: 'It's been wonderful'

Nigerian Omolara Irurhe, 62, gave birth to her first child two years ago through IVF after 30 years of marriage. 

She told BBC Focus on Africa's Veronique Edwards how life has changed for her:

Omolara Irurhe gave birth to her first child two years ago through IVF

Your comments: Somalia town imposing new rules for weddings

Opinion is divided on the BBC Africa Facebook page about our story of a Somali town banning lavish weddings so that it becomes cheaper and easier for young people to marry.

The district commissioner of Beled Hawa told the BBC that the new ordinance limits the number of goats to be slaughtered to three and bans reception parties.  

Spending limits of $600 (£500) on furnishings for a couple's new home and up to $150 on a bride price have also been set. 

Here are a sample of your comments: 

Here in Zambia we are paying as much as $3,000 just for bride price, marriage has been turned into a poverty eradication plan by most families."

Chomba Mwaba

If the marriage is cheap enough, the rate of fornication, adultery & and illegal children will drop and decrease completely."

Baraha Barbaarta Caawiye

In Cameroon, the iPhone 7 is included in the bride price."

Ambe AY

This is so good... in Ghana people are spending over $3,000 just for decoration and $4,000 for bride price.. Marriage in Ghana is too expensive."

Nana Kwame Atakorah

South Africa's battle with the bottle

South Africa knows it has a huge problem with drink-driving and is considering some tough measures to tackle it.

Over the festive season, more than 1,700 people were killed in road accidents, a slight increase on last year, and close to 6,000 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.  

The government is considering raising the legal age of drinking to 21 but will this fix the problem?

Should South Africa raise the drinking age to 21?

Buhari meets Jammeh

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has tweeted that he has held talks with The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh to end the crisis over his refusal to accept defeat in elections and to step down when his term ends next week:  

View more on twitter

Before the meeting, Mr Buhari said that "only God knows" if Mr Jammeh would step down, AFP news agency reports. 

Mr Jammeh has been demanding a new election, run by a "God-fearing" election commision following hi shock defeat at the hands of opposition leader Adama Barrow in the 1 December poll.  

Mr Jammeh first seized power in  a coup in 1994.

Read: Six reasons why Jammeh lost

Feud over who will succeed dead Rwanda king

Relatives of Rwanda's late king-in-exile, Kigeli V, have rejected a move by his chief courtier to hand his crown to the monarch's nephew, Emmanuel Bushayija, who lives in the UK city of Manchester, Reuters news agency reports.

It adds that a spokesman for the family, Pastor Ezra Mpyisi called him a pretender: 

"We heard of surprising news that they have crowned a new king. This is a wrong ... He is the so-called king but he is not a real king. Only the Rwandans can choose a new king,"

King Kigeli V died in October and was flown to Rwanda this week after a US court overruled his reported wishes not to be buried there. 

He was deposed in 1961 after just two years on the throne, when Rwanda became a republic after getting independence from Belgium in 1962. 

Few people outside his ancestral home of Nyanza province know much about the late monarch, the report says. 

He had spent more than six decades in the US, living in relative obscurity and running a charity for refugees from Rwanda. 

Listen to this audio about his life: 

Why King Kigeli V has died in exile in America

'No immediate benefit' for Sudan

This file photo taken on October 20, 2016 shows US President Barack Obama delivering remarks on the Affordable Care Act at Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida.
Mr Obama is due to step down next week after two terms in office

Sudan will not benefit immediately from the US trade and investment sanctions that President Barack Obama has eased, the Associated Press news agency reports.

This is because the outgoing president has built in a six-month waiting period before the benefits for Sudan go into effect. 

Different US agencies would have to confirm to the Donald Trump-controlled White House by 12 July that Sudan was taking positive steps before the sanctions would be eased, AP reports. 

New York-based camapaign  group Human Rights group condemned Mr Obama's move to ease sanctions as "inexplicable".

Sudan's government was still committing war crimes and against humanity, it alleged.

In a letter to Congress, Mr Obama said there had been a "marked reduction in offensive military activity, culminating in a pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, and steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout Sudan, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism".

Ugandan king 'rearrested'

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

Police in Uganda have rearrested the Rwenzururu King Charles Mumbere, hours after a court released him on bail, reports say. 

It is unclear why the police have detained him again.    

He was first arrested on 27 November on charges of treason and murder after clashes between royal guards and security forces left more than 60 people dead.

(see earlier report)

Magufuli warns newspapers

Tanzania's president John Magufuli

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has warned newspapers that their "days were numbered" after he accused some of them of inciting dissent, the Reuters news agency reports. 

Speaking at a rally in the north-western town of Shinyanga, he said: 

"We will not allow Tanzania to be a dumpyard for inciting content. This will not happen under my administration."

He accused two newspapers, which he did not name, of seeking to cause trouble:

"Whenever you read them, they are full of inciting content ... their days are numbered," he said.

Government officials said he was probably referring to an English and Swhaili daily which have published some articles critical of government policies.

Mr Magufuli signed a law in November which journalists said was aimed at muzzling the press.

The Media Services Act gives officials powers to shut down media organisations that violate their licences by confiscating printing machines.

In December, Tanzanian police arrested the co-founder of whistle-blowing site Jamii Forums after he refused to hand over details of people who post on the site to.  

Read: Tanzania's 'Bulldozer' president

AU won't recognise Jammeh if he fails to quit

The African Union will stop recognising Yahya Jammeh as The Gambia's president from 19 January, when his term expires, its peace and security council has said. 

It warned The Gambian strongmanof serious consequences if his actions caused the "loss of innocent lives'' and it uerged the security forces to exercise restraint.  

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is in The Gambia in the latest attempt to persuade Mr Jammeh to hand power to property developer Adama Barrow, who defeated the strongman in elections on 1 December. 

A BBC producer is tweeting from The Gambia's capital, Banju: 

View more on twitter

Deadly blast in 'crowded Nigerian market'

Four suicide bombers have killed 15 people in a crowded market in Nigeria's north-eastern town of Madagali, a police spokesman is quoted by Reuters news agency is saying. 

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram is active in the region, but police have not said whether it is responsible or the blasts. 

US 'eases' Sudan sanctions

 President Barack Obama has signed an executive order easing but not eliminating sanctions against Sudan, the White House says, the Associated Press news agency is reporting. 

Reuters news agency quotes the executive order as saying that the lifting of the sanctions will be delayed by 180 days in a move "intended to encourage the Government of Sudan to sustain its efforts" over the past six months on human rights and terrorism.

Sudanese President and Commander in Chief Omar al-Bashir salutes during a ceremony to mark the 53rd anniversary of the creation of the Sudanese armed forces in the northern Sudanese city of Merowe, 14 August 2007
Critics accuse Sudan's President Omar al-Bshir of leading a repressive regime

Headlines from outside Africa

BBC World Service

Turkish soldiers attend an army parade marking the 40th anniversary of the Turkish military invasion of Cyprus, on July 20, 2014 in Nicosia, in the northern Turkish-controlled area of the of the east Mediterranean island.

* Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says that Turkish troops will not be withdrawn from northern Cyprus, as part of any deal to reunify the island. 

* Renault has become the latest car manufacturer to be investigated over whether it has tried to cheat emissions tests. 

* Iraqi armed forces have made more advances against the Islamic State group in the city of Mosul. 

* Protest rallies have been held in southern India in support of a traditional annual bull-taming festival that's been banned by the Supreme Court.

Kidnapped Libyan dad freed

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent

A 68-year-old father of eight who was kidnapped for ransom by a militia in Libya's capital, Tripoli, has been rescued by another militia. 

Mustafa Sorreya was kidnapped from his shop in broad daylight in central Libya on Monday, and the case drew a lot of attention on social media because it was captured on a security camera outside his shop. 

View more on twitter

Mr Sorreya's son, Oussama, told me that his father was in good condition - he had been "verbally intimidated" but not assaulted.

He added: 

They wanted money, they asked for 100m Libyan dinars ($70m; £57m) in ransom. They contacted us everyday about 10 times to demand the money and they were nervous because they were under pressure and knew that other militias we asked for help to find him.

They kept saying: 'We just want the money.' Everybody wants money. The country is cashless and this is what is fuelling these kidnappings.”

Ugandan king gets bail

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

King Charles Mumbere
The monarch is accused of separatism by the government

A court in Uganda has given bail to King Charles Mumbere, who was arrested on 27 November on charges of treason and murder. 

The court, in the eastern  town of Jinja, ruled that he cannot return to his Rwenzururu Kingdom in western Uganda, and cannot go abroad, pending the outcome of his trial.

The king was arrested after clashes between royal guards and security forces left more than 60 people dead.

The authorities accuse of him of trying to stage a rebellion to secede from Uganda. King Mumbere also has followers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The king denies any involvement in violence. 

Read: Why a palace lies in ruins

Ruins of King Charles Mumbere's palace
The king's palace was burnt down during the clashes

Malawi Times sealed off

View more on twitter

Operations at Malawi's privately-owned media business, The Times Group, have been stopped after officials from the revenue authority, accompanied by police, stormed the offices in the city of Blantyre and seized its property and closed the premises. 

The Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula described the incident as politically-motivated and an “act of impunity”, The Times reported

The heavily-armed police officers stood guard at all entry and exit points, while others escorted tax collectors as they took records and seized vehicles, the report says. 

All production work on radio and TV and its print edition Malawi News have been stopped. 

Journalists have also not been able to access the building. 

Mr Kasakula said that the tax authorities had not given the media business any notice: 

“MRA [Malawi Revenue Authority] has seized our offices over taxes and yet we have been paying taxes every month. It is impunity and lawlessness on the part of the government. Just imagine, they came with a notice yesterday and, instead of offering us a chance for negotiations as they do in such cases — as you know that sometimes their figures can be wrong and you negotiate — they came 12 hours later to seize our property.

Mr Kasakula said he suspected that the raid was linked to a scandal about a state agency, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), purchasing maize from Zambia at inflated prices and vowed to continue reporting the story:   

“We are being punished for publishing the truth about the maize scam, but we will continue publishing and broadcasting the truth.

Our lawyers are working on this and we pray that we should be back to work. Rest assured that Malawi News will come out tomorrow.”

Buhari in The Gambia to tackle crisis

Nigeria's President Muhammad Buhari has arrived in The Gambia's capital, Banjul, in a bid to mediate an end to the crisis over President Yahya Jammeh's refusal to step down when his term expires next week, his spokesman Femi Adesina has told BBC Focus on Africa radio. 

Mr Buhari also visited The Gambia last month in his efforts to persuade Mr Jammeh to step down

Somali town bans expensive weddings

Somali wedding

A Somali town has banned lavish weddings to encourage young people to marry and stop them migrating.

Receptions in hotels would no longer be allowed and only three goats could be slaughtered to feed guests, Beled Hawa's district commissioner told the BBC.

Spending limits of $600 (£500) on furnishings for a couple's new home and up to $150 on a bride price had also been set, Mohamud Hayd Osman said.

It is not unusual for a groom's family to spend about $5,000 on a wedding.

'Arrest warrant' for man in fight with Grace Mugabe

Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe married Zimbabwe's president in 1996

Police in Zimbabwe have issued an arrest warrant for a Lebanese businessman locked in a dispute with  First Lady Grace Mugabe over a $1.35m (£1m) diamond ring deal, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports. 

Global police agency Interpol had been informed that Jamal Ahmed was wanted over a spate of allegations, including money-laundering, theft and purchase of minerals, police are quoted as saying in affidavits presented to a court. 

Police are backing an appeal by Mrs Mugabe to overturn a High Court ruling ordering her to return three properties she seized from Mr Ahmed after diamond ring deal went sour, the Herald reported.  

Police said the properties were under her "guard" and had not been "grabbed" by Mrs Mugabe, the report added. 

Supt Nyambo Viera is quoted as saying:   

While we were carrying out our investigations, which are advanced, we came to learn of the theft/fraud he perpetrated against the First Lady

Coupled with all the other investigation material, we applied and got a warrant of arrest against this individual."

 Mr Ahmed, who is out of Zimbabwe, has not yet commented on the latest allegations. 

In a previous affidavit,  Mr Ahmed said he had suffered a "reign of terror and harassment" and was "verbally threatened, harassed, insulted" and told that he could not do anything about it "as the parties involved [Mrs Mugabe and her son] were in fact 'Zimbabwe'", media reports said last month 

According to the affidavit, she demanded a refund after the diamond ring, purchased in Dubai, was delivered to her after it had been polished by a third party.

When Mr Ahmed failed to repay the money to an account in Dubai, even though he says it was remitted through a Zimbabwe bank, the first lady forcibly took over his three houses last October, his testimony said.

 The ring was meant to be President Robert Mugabe’s present to his wife for their 20th wedding anniversary, South Africa's News24 reported.  

No football for Ugandans on state TV

Ugandans cheer their team

Uganda's state broadcaster UBC says  it has not acquired the rights to broadcast the Africa Cup on Nations live on television because of a shortage of money, despite the fact that the national football team, The Cranes, will be making a debut in the 50-year-old continental championship. 

UBC said it could not raise $600,00 ( £485, 000) to secure the rights and will only show highlights of the game: 

It is with great sadness that we will officially communicate this to our esteemed viewers and the country at large that UBC shall only be able to relay highlights of the game and provide live radio commentary on all our radio channels."

The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga says it is likely that the government will step in to resolve the situation, like it has done in the past.

Opposition leader Kizza-Besiye has lamented UBC's failure to secure the rights: 

View more on twitter

Ten things about Cup of Nations hosts Gabon

Dortmund striker Aubameyang may command a multi-million pound price tag, but he is not Gabon's most lucrative export.

Here are 10 things you might not know about the nation hosting this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

Ten things to know about Africa Cup of Nations hosts Gabon

'Trade boost' for Sudan

Collection: AFP A Sudanese man shows freshly-minted notes of the new Sudanese pound in Khartoum on July 24, 2011 as the country issues new currency following the South's secession from the north
Sudan's economy has worsened since the oil-rich south gained independence in 2011

The Obama administration will outline a new strategy on Sudan later today, making it possible for the East African state to trade extensively with the US for the first time since the 1990s The New York Times reports.

It will buy goods like tractors and spare parts from the US and attract much-needed investment in its floundering economy, it adds.

In return, Sudan will give greater access to aid groups, stop bombing rebel territory and end it alleged support for rebels in neighbouring South Sudan, the newspaper reports. 

Outgoing President Barack Obama will sign an executive order later today, lifting the trade sanctions imposed in the 1990s. 

But it will include  a six-month review period, giving the next administration, led by Donald Trump, to renstate sanctions if it feels Sudan has failed to live up to its commitments, the report says. 

Freed SA rapper sings for forgiveness

A song by South African rapper Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye, who was jailed for killing four children during a drag racing event in 2010 and released on parole last week, has been riding high on You Tube, The Times reports.

The song has registered 400,000 views so far. 

Titled Ke Kopa Tshwarelo (Please forgive me), it was uploaded after Maarohanye was released.  

It speaks about being misled by the "good life" and pressure from friends:

View more on youtube

Maarohanye and his co-accused Themba Tshabalala were initially given 20 years for murder in 2012 but their convictions were later changed to culpable homicide and their sentences reduced to 10 years, two of which were suspended, eNCA reports. 

His release has dvided opinion of South Africans - some say he should still be in jail, others point to the example of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, whose sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has been criticised as being too lenient.

Kenya may 'block internet' during elections

Man using computer

Kenya's Communication Authority (CA), the body which regulates the communication sector, has warned that it could shut down the internet during the 8 August general elections to prevent violence, the private Standard newspaper reports

Director General Francis Wangusi said the state agency had acquired surveillance systems to monitor social media and mobile phones:

"We have also spent around 600 million Kenya shillings ($5.7m; £4.6m) on a social media monitoring system and 400 million Kenya shillings ($3.6m) on a device management system that will help us closely monitor mobile phones and the activities around them."

CA says that the surveillance is meant to prevent the repeat of the 2007/2008 post election violence in which 1.500 people were killed and 600,000 displaced.   

An internet shutdown will only be used in the "worst-case scenario", the report says. 

Several African governments have resorted to blocking the internet during elections, arguing that that they want to stop the spread of misinformation. 

Read: How African governments block social media

Asylum 'not necessary' for Jammeh

Adama Barrow and Yahya Jammeh
Mr Barrow (L) caused an upset by defeating Mr Jammeh in the 1 December election

The winner of December's presidential election in The Gambia says there is no need for President Yahya Jammeh to seek asylum and he is confident direct talks can solve the crisis.

Adama Barrow told the BBC he was confident he would be sworn in next week despite his rival's refusal to give up power.

Nigeria's leader is due in Banjul to try and broker an end to the deadlock.

His MPs have voted to offer Mr Jammeh asylum to help negotiations.

In a tweet, African Union commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said:

View more on twitter

Read: How Gambians have lost their fear

Zimbabwe suspends mobile tariff hike after uproar

A vendor, holding US dollar notes, sells phone cards outside a market in Harare on April 14, 2010
Prices rose by more than 100%

Zimbabwe's government has ordered the immediate immediate suspension of the sharp increase in the price of mobile phone data following a public outcry, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports

The "shockingly high" increase showed insensitivity towards Zimbaweans and reflected "gluttonous corporate greed",  Informatin Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira was quoted as saying. 

The telecom regulator came under fire from the public yesterday for putting up the price of mobile data by more than 100%, the country’s DailyNews reported.

According to the NewsDay website before the increase 250MB of data cost $1 (£0.80) and now 300MB costs $10.

The hikes has “in one sweeping move, all, but sounded the death knell for Zimbabwe’s flourishing social media use”, it said. 

Mr Mandiwanzira said the new prices were proposed to the regulator by mobile phone companies 

US to ease Sudan sanctions

President Omar al-Bashir
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court

The US will ease some trade and financial sanctions on Sudan later today in recognition of is efforts to to fight "terrorism", a White House official has said.

The move comes nearly 20 years after sanctions were imposed is the latest sign that President Barack Obama is trying to improve US relations with countries traditionally seen as hostile before he hands power to Republican Donald Trump next week. 

Of late, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Sudanese counterpart twice, while the US envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, visited Khartoum several times, AFP news agency reports.

However, Sudan would remain on the US "state sponsor of terror" list, the officials added.   

Sudan has been under a US trade embargo since 1997 for its alleged support for militant Islamist groups. 

Killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was based in Khartoum from 1992 to 1996. 

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide related to the conflict in Darfur. He denies the charges.

The US refused Mr Bashir a visa to attend the UN General Assembly in 2015 because of the ICC warrant. 

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

An ivory tooth is not a cure for the gap caused by a missing one. "

A Swahili proverb sent by Samuel Bond, Arusha, Tanzania

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.