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  1. Professor and child die in Maiduguri university blasts
  2. Gambian president hints he may try to stay on after his mandate ends
  3. President-elect Adama Barrow's eight-year-old son dies after dog bite
  4. Ford recalls Kuga SUV model in South Africa after almost 40 fires
  5. Burundi orders start of Somalia troop pullout
  6. Snow creates 'monster jam' in Tunisia, trapping 1,000 people
  7. Tributes for South African jazz star Thandi Klaasen
  8. Email stories and comments to - Monday 16 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Tom Spender and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page 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 our proverb of the day:

Follow bees and you will get honey."

A Swahili proverb sent by Edwin Ngatia, Nairobi, Kenya

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of a pilgrim reading the Bible at Bete Giorges (Church of St George), in Lalibela town in the Amhara region in Ethiopia. 

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Aftermath of Nigeria university bomb attacks

The university of Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria has been hit by a double suicide bomb attack. At least four people have been killed - a professor, a child and the two suicide bombers.

Here is some footage of the aftermath of the attacks.

Aftermath of Nigeria's university bomb attacks

Obama village reflects on his presidency

US President Barack Obama's paternal home in the village of Kogelo in western Kenya got a lot of attention during his presidency. 

Mr Obama made two high profile visits to Kenya, in 2006 when he was a senator and later as president in 2015. 

Since then residents of Kogelo village have seen a number of changes to their schools, roads and provisions.

The BBC's Muliro Telewa visited the village to speak to residents about the changes: 

How village life has changed since Barack's political rise

Pastor who predicted Mugabe's death detained

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Zimbabwe police on Monday detained a pastor who claimed that veteran President Robert Mugabe, who turns 93 next month, would die in October, his lawyer told AFP. 

Gift Mtisi said Pastor Patrick Mugabe was arrested at the magistrate's court in Harare where he was appearing on separate charges of wearing the national flag and charged over the prophecy made last week about Mugabe's demise. 

"He was appearing at the court on a different matter when police arrested him during a break and charged him over the prophecy," Mtisi told AFP. 

"He was initially charged with undermining the authority of the president and the charge was later changed to insulting people of a certain race or religion." 

Mr Mugadza, who is based in the northern resort town on Kariba held a press conference last week where he announced that Mugabe would die on October 17. 

Poking fun at Mugabe or making predictions about him is a risky business in Zimbabwe, which has a law that forbids "undermining the authority of or insulting the president." 

In 2015, Mr Mugadza was arrested and detained for nearly a month after holding a placard telling Mr Mugabe his people were suffering under his rule. 

On independence day last year he gave a sermon while tied to a lamppost in Harare's main shopping mall, saying the act symbolised the lack of freedom in Zimbabwe. 

Mr Mugabe's health has been subject of speculation as he makes frequent visits to the Far East for medical treatment.

Who is the 'ugly unknown man' in Mozambique?

Exclusive interview with 'Burkina Stallion mascot'


The African Cup of Nations is not just about the players but the fans too. 

The BBC's Hugo Williams has been up and about in Gabon's capital Libreville to meet some of the fans. 

He has just caught up with Burkina Faso fans and their official mascot. 

You can watch his interview live on the BBC's Africa Facebook page

Ivory Coast pupils protest at teachers' absence

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School students angry at an absence of teachers during an ongoing civil servants strike have taken to the streets to protest against the impact on their education.

In the commercial capital Abidjan, pupils blocked roads and roundabouts and were in some cases dispersed by police using tear gas, Jeune Afrique reported.

There were also chaotic scenes at a number of privately-run schools, where there were reports of attacks and vandalism.

The Lycee Jean Mermoz, an international school, was attacked with stones and invaded by a group of young men who fought with security guards before the police intervened, reports said. 

Pupils reportedly cowered under tables as windows were broken.

Meanwhile pupils and teachers at a school in the Cocody area were chased out of the school by a group of masked knife-wielding men, reported.

The men said there would be no more classes until the government had given in to the civil servants' demands, the report said.

Ivory Coast ex-mutineers detain outspoken MP

Ivory Coast soldiers at the airport in Bouake
The mutineers took a dim view of the MP criticising their revolt

An Ivory Coast MP who had been critical of a mutiny last week across barracks in the country has been briefly detained by soldiers who took part in the uprising, AFP reports. 

The pro-government lawmaker, Bema Fofana, is quoted as saying:  

They climbed over the fence of my compound, snatched me and took me away by force. I was still lying in bed in my room. They were a dozen of them."

Mr Fofana was among MPs who hit out at the mutinous soldiers when they revolted over a pay dispute. 

He took part in organising a demonstration against the uprising. 

After he was briefly kidnapped, Mr Fofana was taken to an undisclosed location where he was later released under pressure from other soldiers who disagreed with his abduction.  

Tunisian security forces 'deliberately slow' in beach attack response

Thirty of the 38 people killed by a gunman on a Tunisian beach were British
Thirty of the 38 people killed by a gunman on a Tunisian beach were British

Tunisian security forces "wasted time" before responding to a massacre on a beach resort as 30 British tourists were shot dead, a UK coroner has heard.

In total, 38 people died in the hour-long gun attack near Sousse in June 2015.

But local units "deliberately and unjustifiably slowed down to delay their arrival at the hotel" as Islamist gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire, said the counsel to the inquest into the British deaths.

The BBC's Panorama programme this month reported that the suspected "mastermind" behind the shootings is believed to be on the run in Libya.

Chamseddine al-Sandi recruited and directed Rezgui, according to documents obtained by Panorama.

The attack was the deadliest on Britons since the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

Read the full story here

Kenya kicks off mass voter registration

Kenyans seen in a queue leading into the Nairobi Primary Polling station
Getty Images
The registration is expected to add 6m names to the electoral roll

Kenya's electoral commission has kicked off a major voter registration campaign intended to add about 6m of 9m unregistered voters to the electoral roll. 

Kenyan voters are due to go to the polls on 8 August for the general election. 

Registration started early in most parts of the country, with no hitches, Kenya's Daily Nation reports.

It will continue until 14 February and is open to all Kenyans aged 18 or over who are able to produce a valid national identity card or passport. 

About 16m Kenyans are already registered, the commission says - more than during the 2013 general election. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second term and he is likely to face a unified opposition who are yet to pick their candidate. 

Both political camps draw support along ethnic lines, a divisive factor which has contributed to post-electoral violence in the past.

UN accuses South Sudan of grave violations

Alastair Leithead

BBC Africa correspondent

In the last six months more than 417,000 people have fled into Uganda

A UN report into violence in South Sudan, has described grave human rights abuses, rapes, killings and serious violations of international humanitarian law – some possibly amounting to war crimes. 

Based on the testimonies of victims and witnesses, the report into the violence in the capital Juba in July blames both government and opposition forces. 

The cycle of violence began in South Sudan three years ago when President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar fell out, sparking a civil war largely along ethnic lines between the Dinka and the Nuer ethnic groups which the two men represent. 

In the last six months more than 417,000 people (source UNHCR) have fled into neighbouring Uganda to avoid fighting. 

United Nations human rights investigators found that civilians were deliberately targeted along ethnic lines, and that hundreds of people were killed during violence in the capital Juba in July. 

Fighting between the mainly Nuer rebels and the mainly Dinka government troops left many more injured. 

The UN documented more than 200 cases of rape and gang rape - Western aid workers were among the victims – and they described “extreme violence against women and children.”

Many atrocities have been carried out in South Sudan since the civil war began three years ago. 

The UN report blamed both sides for these latest serious violations of human rights. 

Fighting is continuing at various flashpoints across the country. 

Senior UN staff have warned of ethnic cleansing and the potential for genocide. At least 4500,00 million people are now expected to need food aid over the next few months.

Unilever boss lives by African proverb

Paul Polman, the head of Unilever, talks about the business and the African proverb that he says informs the way he runs his company.

He is attending the World Economic Forum summit of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland this week and will be launching the Business and Sustainable Development Commission's report on global goals.

Unilever boss lives by African proverb

Barrow 'to speak to press'

A journalist with the UK Guardian newspaper is tweeting that the President- Elect of The Gambia Adama Barrow, who is in Senegal, is about to hold a press conference. 

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Mr Barrow is staying in the neighbouring country, reportedly at the request of West African leaders, ahead of his expected inauguration on 19 January. 

President Yahya Jammeh is refusing to step down when his term ends on 18 January.

However The Gambia's chief justice has declined to rule on an injunction submitted by Mr Jammeh asking that Mr Barrow's inauguration be blocked.

It has also just been reported that Mr Barrow has just lost his eight-year-old son after he was bitten by a dog. 

However he was advised not to travel back from Senegal for today's funeral over concerns for his safety, the BBC's Stephanie Hegarty in Lagos says.

See earlier posts for more details

Mozambique economic crisis deepens

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Mozambique's economic crisis is set to deepen following the government's announcement that it will miss a $60m (£50m) interest payment on a 2023 bond, the AFP news agency reports.  

The government blames the ongoing cash crunch to hidden debt, falls in commodity prices and a cut-off in aid, the finance ministry said in a statement: 

"The deteriorating macroeconomic and fiscal situation of the Republic has severely affected the country's public finances,"

The country is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over resuming support that was suspended in April due to the hidden debt scandal, the report says. 

Last month, a parliamentary inquiry found that the government broke the law by securing loans worth more than $2 billion in hidden debt that prompted the IMF and World Bank aid cutoff, AFP said.

The scandal surfaced in 2013, when the government announced a contract for 30 fishing and coastal protection vessels between French shipyards and Ematum, a state-owned company that had previously raised $850 million on the eurobonds market without lawmakers' knowledge. 

In April last year, more hidden debt worth $1.4 billion - contracted without parliamentary approval by two more state-owned firms and the defence ministry - was uncovered.

The government claimed the loans were used to fund military vessels and defence equipment, and said it did not disclose them as a matter of national security, the report says. 

Kenya fight over doctors strike narrative

Kenyans are using #MyBadDoctorExperience to comment on the ongoing crisis in the health sector which has been paralysed nationwide by a doctors strike. 

Several patients have reportedly died because of the lack of professional care in public hospitals. Others have been forced to go to expensive private hospitals. 

Doctors have been using the hashtag to tell of their work experience: 

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Doctors have been pushing the government to honour a deal signed in 2013 to improve their pay and working conditions. 

Some of the people have been sharing their experience  of medical care in public hospitals. They say the facilities are in a bad condition: 

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The government has offered the doctors a new deal which they have rejected. A threat to hire foreign doctors has failed to get the doctors to relent on their demands. 

Some Kenyans are now saying that the medics should sacrifice their own interests and put their patients first:

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View more on twitter

Barrow's son dies after dog bite


The eight-year-old son of Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow has died after being bitten by a dog.

Habibu Barrow is reported to have died on the way to the hospital after Sunday's incident in Manjai near Banjul.

His funeral has already taken place. Mr Barrow is in the Senegalese capital Dakar ahead of his planned inauguration on Thursday.

Mr Barrow has two wives and four other children, according to reports.

Kenya artist rues Obama exit


Kenyan artist Evans Yegon is sad to see President Barack Obama leave office, AP reports from Nairobi. 

The artist has made a name for himself painting $1,000 ( £830) portraits of Mr Obama and he's finding the new focus of his work, Donald Trump, a hard sell. 

Obama's presidency electrified Kenyans, who are proud that his father was a Kenyan. Thousands thronged Obama's visit to the country as president in 2015. 

Many express sadness at the impending end of Obama's time in office. 

"Simple: Obama is a sort of miracle of the century,'' journalist Ochieng Ogodo posted on Facebook. 

While Trump is an interesting subject with his facial expressions and persona, Mr Yegon said he has struggled to find buyers for his paintings of the president-elect. 

"Even if you are a Donald Trump supporter, you don't want to make it public," he said.

"I painted him because he is hated and he is loved."

Mr Yegon has sold just one Trump painting, to an American client, of the 10 he has painted so far. 

He said he sold 28 of the 30 Obama paintings he made during the outgoing president's second term.  

Liberia's Sirleaf accuses Jammeh of 'ruse'

Ms Sirleaf expressed exasperation with the Gambian leader

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has told the BBC that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh played a "ruse" on her by recording a telephone conversation between the two leaders and broadcasting it later on national TV.

During the call Mr Jammeh said he had filed an injunction at the supreme court - which the chief justice today said he would not rule on - and asked West African regional body Ecowas to help supply new judges, saying the only "peaceful resolution of the impasse was through the courts".

Ms Sirleaf said she would "work on this right away".

She has now told BBC Focus on Africa radio that Mr Jammeh had been playing a game with her:

Unfortunately, being the person that he is, he recorded and televised the conversation without advising me of his intent to do so.”

Let me make it very, very clear. There is no change in Ecowas’s position. The constitution of the Gambia must be respected.”

My only duty was to take his appeal and pass it on to the mediating team.”

At the time he called me I was thinking that he was going to find a way out of this and he was going to be able to work with the team but clearly, clearly it was just a game. It was just a ruse on his part.”

Ford recalls SUV model over fires

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Car giant Ford has announced the recall of 4,500 1.6-litre Kuga cars in South Africa over safety fears after nearly 40 incidents in which vehicles were reported to have burst into flames. 

There have been repeated accounts of spontaneous blazes in the SUV model while it was being driven, AFP reported.

Ford South Africa chief executive Jeffrey Nemeth told a press conference in Pretoria:

We are now announcing a voluntary safety recall of the Kuga 1.6. We can confirm that a total of 39 incidents have been reported to Ford... there may be some incidents that have not yet been reported to us."

Mr Nemeth said that the fires were caused by overheating due to poor coolant circulation that led to an oil leak:

If the oil leak reaches a hot engine component it could potentially catch fire.

With this safety recall all affected vehicles, including those that have already been checked as part of our maintenance check, must be taken to a Ford dealer as soon as possible."

Would Barrow be legitimate if sworn in abroad?

The Gambia's president-elect Adama Barrow
Can he become president if he is not in the country?

West African leaders requested that The Gambia's President-elect, Adama Barrow, remains in Senegal until his planned inauguration on Thursday. 

The move does not clearly suggest he could take the presidential oath abroad. But would his legitimacy suffer if he is sworn in outside The Gambia? 

Well, the Gambian Constitution does not define any territorial bounds on the issue. The "Supreme Law" says: 

[...] The person elected President shall before assuming office take the prescribed oath."

As it is, the constitution provides no guidelines about the venue for the oath. However, it gives an indication of the time when the oath is due:

The person elected President shall assume office sixty days following the day of his or her election, and in any case where the candidature of a person contesting the election is unopposed, such candidate shall be declared unopposed and elected to the office of the President on the day following the making of that declaration."

In a statement earlier last week, Adama Barrow relied on the provisions above as well as on as other articles of the constitution to reassert his legitimacy as the new president of The Gambia after 19 January, the due date for the handover of power.  

BreakingChief Justice 'won't rule on Jammeh injunction'

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The BBC's Umaru Fofana says Gambia's Chief Justice has decided against ruling on an injunction filed by President Yahya Jammeh's legal team aimed at preventing President-elect Adama Barrow's inauguration on Thursday.

Mr Jammeh had sought the injunction because he wants to stay on as president until May, when foreign judges are available for the Supreme Court to rule on the outcome of December's election, which Mr Jammeh disputes.

It is unclear what will happen on Thursday, when Mr Barrow insists his swearing-in will go ahead.

However he is currently staying in the Senegalese capital Dakar at the request of West African leaders. 

Meanwhile a report in Sunday's Financial Times suggested West African leaders were stepping up plans for a military intervention following the failure of attempts to persuade Mr Jammeh to step down.

Nigeria has asked the UK to train 800 troops for such a mission, the newspaper reported.

Tributes for SA jazz star Thandi Klaasen

Gallo Images

South Africans have been paying tribute to renowned jazz musician Thandi Klaasen who has died aged 86.

President Jacob Zuma said the nation had lost a leading pioneer of jazz who promoted a "cosmopolitan culture".

Born to a shoemaker and a domestic worker in racially segregated South Africa, she performed with US stars such as Roberta Flack and Patti LaBelle in a career of more than 50 years.

Klaasen was battling pancreatic cancer at the time of her death.

"She was a role model to many of our young and upcoming musicians and her legacy will live on for generations to come," Mr Zuma said in a statement.

Read the full story here

Ford in car recall

Reports say US car maker Ford is planning to announce a recall of its Ford Kuga model. Details are expected to be released at a news conference to be held by the South Africa's Consumer Commission.

Over 40 Ford Kuga model cars have caught fire while on the road, which have reportedly started from the engine. 

The South African Times newspaper has put together a collage of some of the car fire incidents on its front page: 

The Times
The Times

An AFP correspondent says one person died in one of the incidents.

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Burundi orders start of Somalia troop pullout

AU Somalia peacekeepers from Burundi
Burundi is a major contributor of troops to the AU mission in Somalia

The presidential office in Burundi has officially asked the Defense and Foreign Ministries to start the process of withdrawing the country's troops from the African peace mission in Somalia (Amison), the AFP news agency reports. 

Burundi, with 5,400 soldiers forming part of Amison, is the second largest contributor of troops to the AU mission, which is funded by the European Union (EU). 

But it has decided to pull out its contingent over the EU's decision to stop paying the Burundian government a monthly 5m Euros for the soldiers' salaries. 

The disputed presidential election of April 2015, which saw President Nkurunziza take the oath for a third term not authorised by the constitution, has led to sanctions against Burundi imposed by international institutions, including the EU. 

A senior official of the government, Gaston Sindimwo, is quoted by AFP as saying: 

We have decided to start the (withdrawal procedure), just as we announced a long time ago, because our soldiers involved in Amison can not continue to operate without pay."

Last November, the African Union rejected the EU's decision to stop paying the soldiers' salary to the Burundian government, warning of the possible negative impact on Amison.

Africa Cup of Nations roundup

The African Cup of Nations kicked off in Gabon over the weekend and there's already so much to talk about. 

Senegal beat Tunisia 2-0 to register the first win of the tournament. Zimbabwe held favourites Algeria to a 2-2 draw with BBC Africa's footballer of the year Riyad Mahrez scoring both goals. 

Despite a dominant performance Cameroon were held to a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso. Host Gabon relied on their main man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to secure a point against Guinea-Bissau. 

The BBC's Farayo Mungazi in Gabon's capital Libreville is already looking ahead to Senegal match against Zimbabwe:

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Day three:

Reigning champions Ivory Coast play their first game today against Togo at 16:00 GMT

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is set to make his competitive debut for Ivory Coast as they begin their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations title.

Zaha switched international allegiance from England ahead of the tournament and already has an assist and a goal from his two warm-up appearances.

Togo will be skippered by striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who has not had club since leaving Crystal Palace in June.

Coach Claude LeRoy is making a record-extending ninth finals appearance.

The Belgian, who won the title in 1988 and has only once failed to reach the quarter-finals, will be eager to take Togo deep into the tournament.

Read full preview

Democratic Republic Congo face Morocco in the late kickoff at 19:00 GMT

DR Congo's preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations have been hindered by a row over unpaid bonuses that goes back to the last edition of the tournament.

Players went on strike on Friday and refused to train and although they have since returned, the dispute has been damaging to their focus.

Morocco coach Herve Renard has been set a target by the country's FA of reaching at least the quarter-finals.

Read full preview

What will Trump's Africa policy look like?

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The short answer is that no one really knows, according to J Brooks Spector writing in South Africa's Daily Maverick.  

Most American efforts towards Africa have been supported by Republicans and Democratic presidents and Congresses alike, he says. They have focused on trade as an engine for development, counter-terrorism and the battle against HIV and AIDS.

SA analyst Greg Mills is quoted as saying that President Obama's engagement with Africa was "minimalist" and tough diplomacy "conspicuous by its absence" - but Africa will have to work hard to gain the attention of the Trump administration beyond being just a series of "problems to be solved".

Mr Trump is unlikely to do a complete u-turn on current Africa policy, J Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council has told the New York Times.

However the newspaper reports that an Africa-related questionnaire has been circulating in the State Department, questioning whether the money spent on aid and efforts to fight groups such as Boko Haram, al-Shabab and the Lords Resistance Army is effective and whether these battles are even core US interests

It also queries whether US companies are competitive enough in Africa, asking whether they are losing out to Chinese rivals.

The tone of the note suggests a "more transactional and short-term approach to policy and engagement with African countries", Monde Muyangwa, director of the Africa programme at the Woodrow Wilson Institute, told the newspaper.

Why are cars so expensive in Ethiopia?

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

cars on sale

Owning a car for many Ethiopians - even those with ready cash to spend in one of the world's fastest-growing economies - remains a pipe dream.

"I have been saving for nearly four years now, and I still can't afford to buy even the cheapest vehicle here," a frustrated Girma Desalegn tells me.

He has been shopping around for a whole week in capital, Addis Ababa, and has still not found an affordable car.

He is looking to buy a second-hand car imported from the Gulf states or Europe - but even they are prohibitively expensive because the government classifies cars as luxury goods.

This means even if a vehicle is second hand, it will be hit with import taxes of up to 200%.

Read the full story here

Two civilians and two bombers dead in university attack

Stephanie Hegarty

BBC Africa, Lagos

scene of blast at Maid uni
One bomber was intercepted by security guards at a gate

A twin suicide attack has hit the university of Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria. At least four people have been killed, including two suicide bombers. 

A police spokesman told the BBC they intercepted one attacker - a girl of about 12 years old - at the gate of the university. 

Suspecting she was carrying a bomb they shot at her, detonating the explosive strapped to her body. 

Within minutes there was another explosion at a mosque close to the entrance of the university.  

scene of other blast
The other bomber detonated a device inside a mosque

So far 15 people have been reported injured. 

For a long time suicide bombing has been a preferred tactic of Boko Haram, often using young girls as bombers. 

While the Nigerian government claims they’ve cleared Boko Haram from all of its strongholds, it seems the Islamist group are still capable of lashing out. 

There has been a marked increase in these kinds of attacks, penetrating further into the north-east’s main city. 

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How yoga is helping prisoners in SA

Pollsmoor is one of the most notorious prisons in South Africa. But now a new technique is being used to help rehabilitate offenders - yoga.

The yoga classes helping prisoners in South Africa

SA jazz singer Thandi Klaasen remembered

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

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Musician Thandi Klaasen had an unmistakable presence. 

Being around her transported you to South Africa’s golden age of jazz music. Her quick wit and Totsitaal (township lingo) reminded you of days long gone. 

I first met her as young reporter at a charity event in Johannesburg some 10 years ago. I’m not quite sure what my first words to her were, but hers stayed with me.

“Don’t be afraid, I might be ugly but I don’t bite,” she said letting out hearty laughter. 

I blushed. She was referring to the acid scars on her face, injuries she had sustained as a young musician. 

She’d been burnt by a fellow musician trying to end her career. She told me how she decided years ago that “they can burn my face but they can never burn my voice”. 

Ms Klaasen wore her past with pride and continued to face the world with her head held up high. 

Hers was a story of resilience. Certainly on the scale of the late musician Miriam Makeba, but Ms Klaasen was not celebrated and was underrated. 

But from the messages of condolences now pouring out for her – she is perhaps getting the recognition she had always deserved

Snow creates 'monster jam' in Tunisia, trapping 1,000 people

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Heavy snow has trapped around 1,000 motorists in northwestern Tunisia, the prime minister's office said Monday. 

Drifts blocked roads including a major highway in the province of Jendouba on Sunday evening, Youssef Chahed's office said.

The government opened 10 emergency shelters in schools and sports centres, warning the public not to travel unless absolutely necessary, AFP reported. 

Authorities distributed food and blankets to people trapped in a "monster traffic jam", private radio station Mosaique FM said. 

Jendouba Governor Akram Sebri said "considerable quantities of food and liquid gas" had been stockpiled "as a precaution". 

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Winter snowfall is not unusual in the North African country's highlands, but Tunisia has been hit by particularly heavy blizzards from Europe in the last week. 

Temperatures have plummeted to -5 degrees. The blizzards hit some of Tunisia's poorest regions including the mountainous western province of Kasserine. 

Authorities say children and frail people were evacuated to areas closer to hospitals. 

A nine-year-old girl died in early January in Jendouba because of the cold, Tunisian media reported. 

Forecasters say cold temperatures, high winds and heavy snowfall are set to continue at least until the middle of the week. 

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Rwandan king buried in Nyanza


Rwanda's last king, who ruled for less than a year before going into exile, has been buried in Nyanza to the southwest of the capital Kigali. Nyanza was the capital under the monarchy.

King Kigeli died last October, aged 80, in the United States, where he had been living since 1992.

Most of the attendees were members of his family. The government presence was low-key, with only the sports and culture minister in attendance, BBC Great Lakes reported.


Rwanda is a republic and the current government does not recognise the royal family and also does not want to give them prominence, correspondents say.

When he was alive, King Kigeli reportedly held out hope he could return to Rwanda as the head of a constitutional monarchy, but the government was only willing to allow him to return as a private citizen.


The former monarch had reportedly not wanted to be buried in Rwanda as long as the current government was in power.

However, a US court ruled in favour of relatives in Rwanda who wanted his body returned there to be laid to rest.

There is also some disagreement within the family over who should succeed King Kigeli.

Some relatives have rejected a move by King Kigeli's chief courtier to hand his crown to the monarch's nephew, Emmanuel Bushayija, who lives in the UK city of Manchester.

Court halts Egypt-Saudi island transfer

Lawyer Khaled Ali
Lawyer Khaled Ali celebrates after the Supreme Administrative Court decision

A court in Egypt has rejected a government plan to transfer two uninhabited islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. 

The government had agreed to cede control of Tiran and Sanafir in a maritime deal. 

It had won an appeal last month but lost the final appeal. 

People who gathered outside the court to celebrated the decision, chanted freedom slogans and waved the Egyptian flag. 

The two human rights lawyers who led the appeal, Khaled Ali and Malek Adly, were carried out of the courtroom by jubilant supporters. 

"This verdict is a victory for Egypt," Mr Adly said. 

There was no immediate response from the government, the report says.

Saudi and Egyptian officials had argued that the islands belonged to Saudi Arabia and were only under Egyptian control because Riyadh asked Cairo in 1950 to protect them. 

Lawyers who opposed the accord said Egypt's sovereignty over the islands dated back to a treaty in 1906, before Saudi Arabia was founded.    

Saudi Arabia has been a benefactor to Egypt, giving the country aid, but it has suspended petroleum supplies amid growing differences, AP reports. 

Is Didier Drogba heading for Brazil?

Didier Drogba and Canaidan tennis star Eugenie Bouchard during the a football game between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards
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Drogba capped 104 times for the Ivory Coast national squad

The Ivorian international striker Didier Drogba, 38, is in advanced talks for a move to the Brazilian club of Corinthians Paulista, Jeune Afrique reports

Drogba has not been affiliated to a club since December when he left Canadian side Impact de Montreal. Now, he could be donning a Corinthians Paulista's jersey for the 2017 season. 

The Ivorian had preferred a return to Olympique de Marseille where he rose to stardom during the 2003-2004 season, but coach Rudi Garcia did not welcome the prospect, the newspaper says. 

Jeune Afrique quotes a close connection of Drogba as saying: 

For some time now, talks have been going on with the Brazilians of Corithians for a contract of six to 12 months. Drogba had been waiting for a response who seemed favourable."

Didier Drogba announced his retirement from international football two years ago. 

The former Chelsea striker scored 65 goals in 104 appearances for Ivory Coast over a 12-year period. 

He played in three World Cups.

Will Jammeh's injunction succeed?

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has filed an injunction to the Supreme Court to hear his suit against the Election Commission before he considers leaving office.

Aziz Bensouda, is the general secretary of The Gambia's Bar Association. He was asked by the BBC World Service if he thought Mr Jammeh's injunction could stop the inauguration of election winner Adama Barrow?

The outgoing president of The Gambia files an injunction to stop the winner taking office

Trial of LRA leader Ongwen resumes

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The trial of the first-ever commander of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group to appear before the International Criminal Court has resumed. 

Dominic Ongwen is facing 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder and enslavement.

He appeared before the court on 6 December and pleaded not guilty. 

The ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the court that the evidence shows him as a  "murderer and a rapist".

He is the first former child soldier to be charged by the court in The Hague.  

Mr Ongwen was a boy when he was abducted and conscripted by the LRA. 

Analysis - Anna Holligan, BBC News in The Hague 

Ongwen's story encapsulates many of the complexities of the conflict which has claimed more than 100,000 lives - he was a child groomed in the image of his oppressors.

He is accused of leading attacks on four camps for internally displaced people in northern Uganda - murdering and torturing civilians, plus forcing women into marriage and children to take part in the fighting.

He's facing more charges than any other ICC suspect.

But his past is expected to present some ethical and legal dilemmas for court - his lawyers are likely to use his traumatized youth as a plea for leniency.

Read more: Dominic Ongwen and the quest for justice

Eight billionaires 'as rich as world's poorest half'

The world's eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world, according to Oxfam.

The charity said its figures, which critics have queried, came from improved data, and the gap between rich and poor was "far greater than feared".

Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Some have criticised the report, saying poverty eradication is made possible by economic growth.

Read the full story here


The world's eight richest billionaires

1. Bill Gates (US): co-founder of Microsoft (net worth $75bn)

2. Amancio Ortega (Spain): founder of Zara owner Inditex (net worth $67bn)

3. Warren Buffett (US): largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8bn)

4. Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico): owner of Grupo Carso (net worth $50bn)

5. Jeff Bezos (US): founder and chief executive of Amazon (net worth $45.2bn)

6. Mark Zuckerberg (US): co-founder and chief executive of Facebook (net worth $44.6bn)

7. Larry Ellison (US): co-founder and chief executive of Oracle (net worth $43.6bn)

8. Michael Bloomberg (US): owner of Bloomberg LP (net worth $40bn)

Source: Forbes billionaires' list, March 2016

Fearful Gambians 'fleeing abroad'

A Gambian woman carrying her luggage on the head
Getty Images
Most of those leaving the country in anticipation of violence are women

Gambians who are fearful of a flare-up of violence with the approaching date for the handover of power to Adama Barrow, the official winner of 1 December presidential election, are fleeing their country, BBC Afrique reports

At the main pier in Banjul, where a ferry links The Gambia to the northern part of Senegal, hundreds of people pressed to get aboard the boat to escape. 

They are mainly women, some with children they are holding by the hand. BBC Afrique quotes a fleeing mother as saying: 

We are four of us. We are leaving because of the political uncertainty."

Another lady, who is on the move is quoted as saying she is not leaving the country, but trying to run away from the capital:

I am going to Nyomi because I am afraid of the situation. I am going there to my family. I don't know what is going to happen in Banjul. If everything goes off well, I will return."

Those leaving the country are heading to Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone, BBC Afrique says.   

Bird flu reported in Uganda

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala


Uganda’s government has confirmed the presence of a strain of bird flu in some areas on the shores of Lake Victoria.

The virus has only been detected in migratory birds and in domestic ducks and chickens.

Authorities are raising awareness in local communities to make sure the disease does not spread to humans too. 

The first reports of dead wild birds came in at the start of the New Year. Local communities said they saw many dead bodies of migratory birds, which move to Uganda during winter in the northern hemisphere. 

Subsequent tests confirmed they died from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or bird flu, as it’s commonly known. Samples from ducks and a chicken in one district were positive too.

There have been no reported cases of the disease spreading to humans and the government says it is advising local communities on how to avoid any transmissions. Emergency teams have also been dispatched to collect dead birds.

This is the first outbreak of bird flu in Uganda but the authorities have become adept at dealing with health emergencies following its management of diseases such as Ebola.

Three killed in Maiduguri university bomb attack

bombing aftermath
PR Nigeria

At least three people have been killed in an early morning bomb attack at Nigeria's University of Maiduguri, in the northeastern state of Borno. 

Witnesses said two explosions went off at the facility: one at the mosque where university lecturers had gathered for morning prayers and another near an entrance gate. 

The area police chief Damian Chukwu said a university professor was among those killed. Fifteen people were wounded and have been evacuated to hospitals, AP reported. 

An eyewitness told the BBC that it was a suicide bomb attack and three people apart from the suicide bomber lost their lives. 

It is the first time the university has been attacked by suspected Boko Haram militants.

Northern Nigeria has been dealing with an insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram. 

The attack comes weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the military had defeated the militants.