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Live Reporting

Tom Spender and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the  BBC Africa Live  page this week. Keep up to date with what's happening in The Gambia on the continent by listening to the  Africa Today podcast  or checking the  BBC News website

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: Those who do not listen to the voice of the elderly are like trees without roots." from A Luo proverb sent by Fredrick Onyango Owich, Siaya, Kenya
    A Luo proverb sent by Fredrick Onyango Owich, Siaya, Kenya

    Click here to send your African proverbs .

    And we leave you with one of our  top shots from across the continent this week .

    The top tier of a cake baked for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday decorated with his portrait by his office staff. 

    Decorated cake for Robert Mugabe
  2. Burundi 'to investigate 2,500 mass graves'

    Robert Patrick Misigaro, BBC World Service

    The truth and reconciliation commission in Burundi has announced that it is to investigate some possible 2,500 mass graves scattered around the country.

    CVR, as the commission is known, said the mass graves were signalled by the population and may contain people killed in difference conflicts, since 1962.

    Stories of people, who were killed and dumped in mass graves at different periods in Burundian history, are very common.

  3. Boko Haram leader 'kills spokesman'

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

    Abubakar Shekau
    Image caption: Shekau is known for clamping down on dissent among his followers

    The leader of a faction of Nigeria’s Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, says he has killed the Islamist militant group’s spokesman, according to an audio recording obtained by the AFP news agency.

    The 50-minute recording appears to be of a meeting of his inner circle on 18 December.

    According to AFP, Shekau said the gathering had been called to discuss "those elements grumbling over” the killing of “Tasiu”, also known as Abu Zinnira, who had appeared in several Boko Haram propaganda messages.

    Shekau is known for clamping down on dissent among his followers, although this has further alienated some of his fighters.

    Opposition to Shekau’s leadership led some militants to break away and form the al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru and the so-called Islamic State faction in the Lake Chad Basin.

    Both groups accused Shekau of killing several Boko Haram members unjustly and opposed his sanctioning of attacks and kidnappings affecting Muslim members of the public.

    In this latest broadcast Shekau does not address any of the criticisms.

    Read: The six lives of Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau

  4. Nodding syndrome mystery finally solved

    An illness that causes children to nod uncontrollably has baffled doctors for years. 

    Now Robert Colebunders, a Professor of Infectious Diseases from Belgium, has discovered a link between ‘nodding syndrome’ – a type of epilepsy – and river blindness, which is spread by black flies.  

    Video content

    Video caption: An illness that causes children to nod uncontrollably has baffled doctors for years
  5. British woman 'tortured and killed' in SA

    Susan Howarth (pictured) who was an avid horse and dog lover
    Image caption: Susan Howarth was an avid horse and dog lover

    A British woman has died after she and her husband were tortured at their home in South Africa, according to reports.

    Susan Howarth, 64, and Robert Lynn, 66, were shot at and tied up by masked raiders on their farm in Dullstroom, in Mpumalanga province.

    Ms Howarth, originally from Southsea, Hampshire, died after the ordeal, on Sunday 19 February, local reports  said .

    After being tortured, the couple were put in the back of a pick-up truck and left for dead in a ditch.

    'Lying in a ditch'

    Mr Lynn, reportedly a former electrical engineer, was tortured with a blowtorch and knives.

    According to local newspaper the Middelburg Observer, he returned home after the death of his wife, known by locals as the "English girl", on Tuesday.

    Read the full story here

  6. Somali-American stars at Milan fashion week

    View more on instagram

    Somali-American model Halima Aden is being hailed as the next big thing in fashion after starring at Milan Fashion Week.

    The 19-year-old - who made her runway debut at rapper Kanye West's Yeezy show in New York earlier this month - wore a black hijab and outfit for Alberta Ferretti on Monday and a wool headscarf with a camel coat at the Max Mara show on Thursday.

    The official Ferretti Instagram account described her impact as:

    Quote Message: Embracing culture and diversity to break norms and change the thinking of modern-day fashion with Halima Aden.”
    View more on instagram

    The model was born in a refugee camp in Kenya before moving to the US aged six and last year became the first contestant to take part in the Miss Minnesota contest wearing a hijab.

    She told the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper:

    Quote Message: I never knew that a woman wearing a hijab could be a model; it's so exciting. I never grew up seeing women that looked like me in magazines or on TV and didn't feel like I had a place in the world of fashion. I am honoured to be part of that change.”

    She also spoke to the UK Guardian newspaper, saying:

    Quote Message: As Muslims, we need more positive stories, period. I felt so proud of the media, because for a very long time they were pushing this negative image of Muslims ... I went in [for the beauty pageant] thinking that I want something positive for young Muslim girls. But I’ve heard stories from parents who are Christians, telling me: ‘Thank you, I want my seven-year-old daughter to know that you don’t have to be half-naked to be beautiful'."

    Ms Aden also posted Instagram photos of herself behind the scenes in Milan with top model Gigi Hadid. She also posted a picture of herself with a group of women wearing headscarves under the hashtag #MuslimGirlsCan.

    View more on instagram
    View more on instagram
  7. Moroccan King on gratitude tour

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC News, Abidjan

    View more on twitter

    The King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, is on a state visit to several West African nations including Guinea and Ivory Coast. 

    The visit is due to last until 28 February and is set to include a number of investment announcements. 

    M6, as he is known, is touring a number of African countries in a trip which is aimed at thanking countries that supported Morocco's application to join the African Union (AU). 

    Morocco has been readmitted as a member after months of intense lobbying.

    Morocco left the organisation in 1984, after the AU recognised the independence of Western Sahara, regarded by Morocco as part of its historic territory.

    It was the only country in Africa that was not a member of the continental body.

    Read more:  Morocco to rejoin African Union despite Western Sahara dispute

  8. Zuma: 'South Africans are not xenophobic'

          Anti-immigrant protesters have been marching through Pretoria
    Image caption: Anti-immigrant protesters have been marching through Pretoria

    President Jacob Zuma has insisted that South Africans are not xenophobic following an anti-immigrant demonstration in Pretoria that led to violent clashes.

    Speaking to local media, Mr Zuma also implied that there were more immigrants coming to South Africa than to European countries.

    He said:

    Quote Message: I don’t think you’d have the numbers we have of foreigners and I don’t think we would sit for years and years without any burst out if South Africans were xenophobic… I’m saying the numbers of foreigners in South Africa are far more than the numbers that Europe is fighting about.”

    Meanwhile the main opposition party the Democratic Alliance blamed the government’s failure to keep its election promises as the main cause of xenophobia.

    In a statement the DA said:

    Quote Message: The root cause of this rise in xenophobic violence is the ANC government’s failure to create jobs and to equip our people with the necessary quality education and skills to gain employment.”

    Police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said police would remain on standby this weekend to maintain peace in troubled communities.

  9. Gunshots disrupt Kenyan VP meeting

    Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto has been forced to cut short a meeting in Bartabwa in Baringo county in the Rift Valley - which has recently seen an upsurge in violence - after gunshots were heard, the Daily Nation reports: 

    View more on twitter

    Mr Ruto had earlier given the police a shoot-to-kill order to deal with bandits who have reportedly killed 10 people and forced hundreds to flee their homes  in recent weeks. 

    ( see earlier reports )

  10. 'Our textiles use iconic symbols of Lesotho'

    Seshoeshoe, seanamarena and modiyanyeo are all symbols and colours of the Basotho - a group of people whose ancestors have lived in southern Africa since around the 5th Century.

    Seshoeshoe is a distinctive fabric, seanamarena is a blanket and modiyanyeo is a straw hat that people have come to associate with Lesotho.

    And one pair of graphic designers in Lesotho have recognised the commercial value of using these cultural symbols in fashion and home interiors. 

    The BBC's  Africa Business Report  finds out more.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Our textiles use iconic symbols of Lesotho'
  11. Truck tracking system launched

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    A new system to electronically track cargo trucks has been introduced in East Africa with the aim of cutting journey times and costs. 

    A device is attached to a vehicle as it leaves the port and the goods are remotely monitored on the road. 

    The system was piloted in Uganda and will now be used in Kenya and Rwanda. 

    Uganda's commissioner for customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa told the BBC that a journey that used to take over three days would be reduced to one-and-a-half. 

    He says in the past truck drivers used to lie about taking breaks or being delayed at borders. 

    electronic tracking of cargo
    Image caption: System will monitor trucks throughout the journey
    electronic tracking of cargo
    Image caption: A device is attached to the truck as it leaves the port
  12. Egypt hero denies slapping Wadi Degla teammate

    El Hadary

    Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary has denied slapping Wadi Degla team-mate Khaled Walid but could be forced out of the club after the incident.

    "I did not slap him," El Hadary said. "I grabbed him by the shirt and threw a jersey in his face."

    The 44-year-old, who became the oldest player at an Africa Cup of Nations last month, was left out of the Cairo club's 1-0 defeat by Al Ahly on Thursday.

    Wadi Degla president Maged Samy has suggested he will transfer El Hadary.

    Samy wrote on his Facebook page: "Available for transfer to the MLS (the US Major League Soccer) or Scandinavian leagues - veteran 44-years able to play two more years at top level."

    Read the full story here

  13. In pictures: Pretoria violence and looting

    South Africans
    Image caption: Groups of South Africans were roaming the streets of Pretoria
    South Africans
    Image caption: Some were looking for foreigners to target
    Man holds SA ID
    Image caption: A man brandishes his South African identity card after being set upon by a mob
    Pakistani man in looted shop
    Image caption: This Pakistani national saw his business looted
    South Africans run
    Image caption: Police later detained this group of South Africans
    man reacts to teargas
    Image caption: And they used tear gas to disperse both South Africans and foreigners
  14. 'At least six dead' in Tripoli clashes

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    fighting in Abu Slim

    Fierce clashes have broken out in the Libyan capital between rival militias in a sprawling residential district of Abu Slim.  The fighting started last night and continued on Friday.  

    Mohamed Al-Sherif, a volunteer with the Libyan Red Crescent in Tripoli, who is based at a field hospital on the outskirts of the district, tells the BBC at least six people have been killed.

    Another red Crescent volunteer, Mohamed Al-Badri, who is in charge of an emergency hotline says:

    Quote Message: My colleagues have not been able to reach the conflict zone. They came under fire when they tried. We have received calls from civilians who are trapped at home and want to be evacuated and even some who are stuck somewhere hiding under trees to shelter from the indiscriminate shooting and shelling.”

    Mr Al Badri also says they have received reports of some civilian deaths and injuries, but he could not specify figures at this time.

    Unverified pictures on social media show some apartment blocks and vehicles in flames - they appear to have been hit by mortars.

    One resident from a nearby district also said he saw tanks along the highway, moving towards Abu Slim District.

    The fighting was reportedly triggered by the abduction of four militiaman by a rival armed group based in that district.

  15. Flooding in southern Mozambique

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    The Mozambican emergency authorities say the Limpopo river has burst its banks in the southern province of Gaza, flooding some areas.

    The flooding is reportedly to be the result of the effects of cyclone Dineo in neighbouring Zimbabwe and South Africa, where the river passes through before crossing Mozambique into the Indian Ocean.

    Officials said road traffic was impossible in some areas and people and goods were being transported by boat.

    Mozambique’s worst floods in living memory occurred in the Limpopo river in the year 2000, when more than 700 peopled were killed.

  16. Three dead in clashes near Nairobi

    Sammy Maina

    BBC Monitoring


    Atleast three people have been killed and several others injured after after rival youths clashed in Mto wa Mawe in Machakos County, some 30km from the capital Nairobi, Kenyan media have reported. 

    There are conflicting reports on the cause of the fighting, with some social media users blaming the violence on a land dispute and others attributing it to ethnic politics.

    The local police boss told the Daily Nation some 92 people have been arrested over the violence after "over 200 youth" armed with crude weapons and who were bussed in from elsewhere stormed the area this morning and started evicting locals, who later reorganised themselves to repel the attack.

    The area is considered prime development land and has an upmarket housing estate - Green Park - close to the disputed piece of land. It is situated along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa road link. It is home to the native Kamba community but other communities from outside the area have settled there too.

    Some reports said the fighting was between ethnic Kamba and Kikuyu groups.

    The Kikuyu are the country's largest ethnic group and majority supported the ruling party in the last election.

  17. Ethiopian raw meat too hot for BBC reporter!

    Doctors warn that eating uncooked meat can have health implications, but raw meat is considered a delicious delicacy by many in Ethiopia.

    See how the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza enjoys the dish, which is popular to eat on weekends.

    Video content

    Video caption: Ethiopia's taste for raw meat
  18. South African group lists complaints against foreigners

    Details of a petition against foreigners that was handed to South Africa's home affairs ministry includes complaints about taxi operators, Zimbabwean churches, hair saloons and ride-sharing service Uber.

    A tweeter shared copies of the petition: 

    View more on twitter

    Here are some of the detail of the complaints in the memorandum: 

    • Foreigners should be banned from operating taxi motorbikes because the petitioners believe they lack qualifications.  It also calls for Uber to be banned. It says the authorities need to consider public safety: "This is not India or Nigeria where passenger safety is not put first."
    • Zimbabweans, Tanzanians, Nigerians and other African nationals should be stopped from driving cars illegally brought into the country and they should have international drivers' licences. 
    • Foreigners are charging unfair prices in hair saloons, a situation that has destroyed South Africa's hair industry
    • Businesses owned by black South Africans have been destroyed. "We are driven into slavery by black and white South Africans," it says. 
    • Zimbabweans are not respecting the law of the country especially their apostolic churches whose followers worship in the open "dress in white attire, they are destroying our public parks, they poop and urinate... and the parks smell bad". 
    • Programmes should be introduced to educate foreign nationals to speak properly. "They are arrogant and don't know how to speak to people, especially Nigerians." 
  19. Marchers detained at gunpoint in Pretoria

    A reporter with South Africa's Times Media Group says she has seen a group of marchers detained by police in Pretoria.

    She has posted video of them lying on the ground at gunpoint and then told to get into police vans.

    She has also photographed the contents of their bags - which appear to include a number of syringes - as well as wooden weapons.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter