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Live Reporting

Hugo Williams

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 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 today's wise words:

    Quote Message: What the heart desires is medicine to it." from A Swahili proverb sent by Khalfan Bini Ahmed from Lamu, Kenya
    A Swahili proverb sent by Khalfan Bini Ahmed from Lamu, Kenya

    Click here to send your African proverbs .  

    And we leave you with this picture of a fisherwoman arranging a net after returning to port in Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis. 

          Chrifa Nimri, 69, a fisherwoman, arranges a net after returning to port in Sidi Bou Said, in Tunis
  2. UN report on civilian killings 'fake news' - DR Congo

    BBC Afrique

    Protesters in Kinshasa
    Image caption: Protesters have called for President Kabila to stand down

    The Democratic Republic of Congo government has reacted to a UN report accusing security forces of deliberately killing demonstrators.

    The government said it rejected the report, describing the allegations as fake news intended to harm the Congolese authorities. 

    The UN report, released on Tuesday, said at least 40 civilians had died in December's demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila in the capital, Kinshasa.

    The report alleged that some of the protesters were beaten to death by Congolese soldiers and police. 

    Information Minister Lambert Mende said the thrust of the report was an attempt to discredit the country's judicial, political and security institutions rather than to bring justice to the victims. 

    The country has faced a crisis since Mr Kabila failed to step down in December, when his mandate expired.  

  3. Mubarak acquitted over 2011 protester deaths

    Mubarak on a stretcher being taken from hospital to court
    Image caption: Mr Mubarak was taken to court on a stretcher

    Egypt's top appeals court has acquitted former President Hosni Mubarak of conspiring in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising.

    Mr Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 2012, but the case was retried twice.

    Thursday's Court of Cassation ruling is final, which could mean the ailing 88 year old is freed from detention.

    He has been confined to a military hospital despite having completed a three-year sentence for embezzlement.

    Read more here.

  4. Belgian footballer signs for DR Congo club

    Anthony Vanden Borre with TP Mazembe shirt

    Scores of African footballers play professionally in Europe but how many Europeans play professionally in Africa? 

    BBC Africa's sport correspondent draws our attention to a rare instance of a European international making the move to Africa. 

    View more on twitter
  5. Donkeys carry camel away from Somali drought

    Aid worker Mukhtar Mohamed has tweeted these photos showing the effects of drought in Somalia. 

    Two of the images show donkeys carrying a severely weakened camel away from a drought-stricken area.

    View more on twitter
  6. Gambia's Adama Barrow in Senegal on first foreign trip

    Gambian leader Adama Barrow has retweeted a photo of himself with Senegalese President Macky Sall, as he embarks on his first official trip since assuming office last month. 

    Senegal, which borders The Gambia on three sides, was a big supporter of Mr Barrow, hosting his swearing-in ceremony in Dakar when long-time Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh was still refusing to give up power. 

    Mr Barrow and Mr Sall are due to hold a news conference at the presidential palace in Dakar later.

    View more on twitter

    Adama Barrow: From estate agent to Gambian president

  7. Kenyan forces 'kill 57 al-Shabab militants' in Somalia

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    The Kenyan army says its forces killed 57 al-Shabab Islamist militants in a battle in southern Somalia on Wednesday.

    Kenyan troops under the African Union command (Amisom) used artillery and helicopter gunships against the Islamists near Afmadow, a town about 100 km (60 miles) inland from the port of Kismayo, a military statement said. 

    Al-Shabab has denied any of its fighters were killed as part of the offensive.

    The militants are locked in a propaganda war against Kenya, alongside the fierce fighting which happens on the ground. 

    In January 2016, the militant group attacked a Kenyan army base in Somalia and said it had killed more than 100 soldiers.

    The Kenyan government, which denied the figures, was heavily criticised for never saying how many of its soldiers died in the attack.

    You can read the full statement below: 

    Statement from Kenya defence ministry

    Read more: What happened when al-Shabab attacked a Kenyan base in Somalia?

  8. Senegalese footballer Souare on the road to recovery

    Senegal and Crystal Palace footballer Pape Souare has posted a short video of himself running on a treadmill, six months after he was badly injured in a car crash outside London. 

    In December, Souare had said he did not know if he would fully recover after breaking his thigh bone and jaw in the accident.

    Here's what he told the BBC then .

    View more on twitter
  9. Alarm about Jo'burg hospital 'raised in 2012 report'

    Some South Africans have been drawing attention to this story , published on Westside Eldos last November, which said a 2012 report had warned of structural defects at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.

    The report said staff had been concerned about the condition of the building for some time.

    Grab from Westside Eldos website showing November story
  10. Patients not seriously hurt in SA hospital roof collapse

    A hospital official has told reporters that all five patients who were affected by the roof collapse suffered only minor, soft tissue injuries and none required operations.

    It is believed that there may be between five and seven workers still trapped by the debris at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg.

    Here's another view of the scene.

    View more on twitter
  11. Jo'burg hospital roof collapsed 'during sealing work'

    More on the roof collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg: Gauteng Emergency Medical Service head Arnold Malotana has said sealing work was being carried out on the roof when it collapsed.

    "They were doing it in phases, so they’ll seal one area and move rubble in one area," he said. "It is estimated that at the time of the collapse there were about 10/12 people working in the area. 

    "So far about four people have already been taken to casualty with minor injuries," he said.

  12. 'Patients trapped' in SA hospital roof collapse

    View more on twitter

    A section of roof caved in earlier at a Johannesburg hospital, trapping several patients under the rubble, South African media has reported. 

    Charlotte Maxeke is one of the province’s busiest public hospitals seeing hundreds of patients every day. 

    No injuries have been confirmed at this stage but paramedics are on standby while workers secure the site and dig through the debris. 

    A spokesperson for the emergency services told News24 that six people had been stuck in the debris when they arrived on the scene. Some are believed to have since been removed.

    View more on twitter
  13. Race row activist Rachel Dolezal 'takes African name'

          Photo composite showing Rachel Dolezal as a teenager, with blonde hair and white skin alongside a photo of her with hair in an Afro style and a darker skin tone.
    Image caption: Rachel Dolezal says she identifies as black, despite both her parents being white

    Rachel Dolezal, who made global headlines in 2015 after she was accused of lying about her race, has officially changed her name to  Nkechi Amare Diallo , according to the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, which says it has seen legal documents confirming the change. 

    When her story first came to light, race rights activist Dolezal told US media that she has identified as black since childhood, though her parents insisted she was white. 

    Her new names are taken from several different West African cultures.

    Nkechi, according to our Igbo-speaking BBC reporter based in south-east Nigeria, means "gift from Almighty God" or "I accept whatever child God gives me". 

    It's the abbreviated feminine form of the compound name nkechinyere (nke-chi-nyere).

    Another colleague, whose last name is Diallo, doesn't know if the name has a specific meaning, but says it's one of the most popular names among people from the Fulani ethnic group.

    Video content

    Video caption: Rachel Dolezal looks back on her life since the media storm over her racial identity.
  14. Malaria drug 'also protects against sexually transmitted infections'

    View more on twitter

    A drug given to pregnant women in 35 countries worldwide to protect against malaria has been shown also to safeguard against common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to new research. 

    The findings mean that one drug may offer protection simultaneously for two areas that pose major health risks to mothers and their babies. 

    As well as protecting mothers against malaria, the sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) was also shown to safeguard against the consequences of gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said. 

    There are 880,000 stillbirths and 1.2 million newborn deaths each year in sub-Saharan Africa, many of which are linked to maternal infection.

    The authors hope that preventative treatment for pregnant mothers in malaria-hit regions will be scaled up as a result of the findings. 

  15. Investors 'amassing shares' in SA central bank illegally

    South Africa's central bank has said some of its private shareholders have been amassing shares in breach of legal ownership limits, endangering the regulator's independence, Reuters reports.

    The bank said it would sell nearly 150,000 of its shares owned by people who have bought too many.

    The ownership limits, set by the courts, are intended to prevent undue influence in the banking regulator.

    South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said the bank had identified certain people who had been amassing shares - a practice he said posed a danger to the bank's independence.

    He did not name them.

    "These shareholders who decided to buy shares as families and as associates, you could see that they were trying to exert undue influence, or influence disproportionate to the statutory limit," Reuters quoted Mr Kganyago as saying.

    Read more via the link below.

    View more on twitter
  16. Malawi parliament staff 'trapped in lift' during blackout

    A power blackout at Malawi's parliament building has left at least one person needing medical attention, after he got stuck in a lift, according to a tweet by the Malawi Nation newspaper:

    View more on twitter

    It says the power cut has led to the suspension of parliamentary business:

    View more on twitter

    Malawians experience power outages for an average of between six to 12 hours every day. 

    The cuts have been heavily affecting small businesses, who have to rely on expensive generators.

    Malawian woman sits on a bed in maternity unit
    Image caption: In rural areas of Malawi, women about to give birth often have to bring their own lighting with them, usually candles or torches

    Read more: Can 'pay as you glow' solve Malawi's power crisis?

  17. Lassa fever found in Nigeria's Borno state

    Ambulance outside Nigerian hospital

    Nigerian health officials have confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Borno state, in the north-east of the country.

    The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Haruna Mshelia, told the BBC that a 32-year-old woman who lives in a village near the state capital, Maiduguri, had been diagnosed with the fever.

    He said she became ill last week and was admitted to a government hospital in Maiduguri, where a sample of her blood was taken and sent to Lagos for testing. The sample came back positive, he said.

    Lassa fever was first discovered in Lassa village in southern Borno in 1969. It is an acute and sometimes fatal disease, usually acquired from infected rats.

    You can read more about Lassa fever on the World Health Organization website .

  18. Jail terms could stop Ethiopia doping - Haile Gebrselassie

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    Ethiopian long-distance-running legend Haile Gebrselassie believes doping could be stamped out in his country if an athlete who failed a test for meldonium was sent to prison, Reuters news agency reports. 

    Ethiopia has dominated international distance running for many years along with neighbouring Kenya, but the country's credibility was questioned in 2016 when six athletes came under investigation for doping.  

    Police are investigating marathon runner Girmay Birhanu for breaching an anti-doping law after he failed a test last year and he could face three years in prison, Gebrselassie, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) president, told Reuters.

    Gebrselassie, a double Olympic 10,000m champion who retired from running in 2015, was elected EAF president in November.