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  1. Artists' works at Sotheby's sell for record amounts
  2. Another Chibok girl escapes from Boko Haram
  3. 'More than 100 children raped' in Nigeria's Kano state since January
  4. South African men plan march against gender violence
  5. President Bashir could go to a meeting in Saudi Arabia with Trump
  6. Ugandan minister says sorry for use of torture
  7. More than 50 prisoners escape from maximum security prison in DR Congo
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 17 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday'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:

Throw the stone into the forest and you will see what will come out."

A Madi proverb sent by Chris Asigaci in Moyo, Uganda

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of taxi driver with a striking pink jacket in Douala, Cameroon:

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African art auction draws record bids

A recent auction of African art at Sotheby's in London has led to artists' work getting record bids, the auction house says.

For example, Crash Willy by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare was sold for $290,000 (£225,000).

Crash Willy by Yinka Shonibare

The work that fetched the highest price of $940,000 (£730,00) was Earth Developing More Roots by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui:

Work by El Anatsui

And South African Irma Stern's piece Sunflowers fetched $540,000 (£417,000):

Sunflowers by Irma Stern

Another Chibok girl 'escapes' captivity

One of the Chibok girls held by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has managed to escape, presidential advisor Femi Adesina has told the BBC.

She is believed to have been found by Nigerian troops.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo announced the news during the weekly cabinet meeting today, Mr Adesina said.

The presidential adviser said details of her identity and her condition were not yet known.

Earlier this month Boko Haram freed over 80 of the Chibok girls, who were kidnapped in a raid on a school in the northeastern town three years ago. It is believed that more than 100 are still in captivity.

82 freed Chibok girls taken to meet president Buhari in Abuja
The 82 Chibok girls freed earlier this month met President Buhari

Read:The man who persuaded Boko Haram to free some Chibok girls

Markets re-open in Ivory Coast

Over the last few days we have been reporting about the disruption in Ivory Coast.

Mutinous soldiers had been firing into the air and setting up road blocks across the country. They were demanding bonus payments.

The mutiny finished yesterday after the government agreed to pay up.

And it looks like life is getting back to normal as these pictures of a market in a village near the second city of Bouake shows:

Market stalls reopen as life returns to the streets of a village near Bouake, the country"s second city, following an agreement between the government and mutineers to end clashes over wages in different cities of the country
Market stalls reopen as life returns to the streets of a village near Bouake
Market stalls reopen as life returns to the streets of a village near Bouake

Nigerians entrepreneurs create sunblock for black people

Two Nigerian entrepreneurs are launching a range of sun protection creams specifically targeted at black people.

People with lighter skin are used to being warned about the risk of skin cancer, but Chinelo Chidozie thinks that this message does not get through to black people.

She told Newsday's Alan Kasujja about the moment she saw a gap in the market:

"I was on vacation and I saw it was sunny and I wanted to get sunscreen and I went to the store and the options I had did not work on my skin, it left a white paste and it was unwearable".

Listen to the full interview:

A new product hopes to encourage Africans to use sun protection.

Malawi could take Tanzania to international court

Malawi's Foreign Minister Francis Kasaila has said that his country is prepared to take Tanzania to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to settle a five-decade long dispute over Lake Malawi, the Reuters news agency reports.

The lake is thought to have large gas reserves.

Malawi says the whole of the northern half of the lake is part of its territory whereas Tanzania also lays claim to some of it.

Mozambique and Malawi share the southern half.

Map showing location of lake

Malawi "has been committed to the mediation process and peaceful resolution of the dispute through contact and dialogue but we are now ready to take Tanzania to the International Court of Justice because they have been stalling the mediation efforts since 2012," Mr Kasaila told Reuters.

Video captures birth of baby on Lagos bus

This video of what appears to be a baby being born on a bus in Lagos state, Nigeria, has been spreading around the country's media:

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The video shows a crowd looking into a bus at Fayedi bus station.

After a few seconds, a baby, which looks new born, is carried out of the bus and into a waiting ambulance.

Shortly after a woman, who appears to be the mother, is escorted out of the bus and into the ambulance followed by a crowd of cheering onloookers with mobile phone cameras ready.

The video has appeared on various places over the last couple of days.

However, a woman in the crowd is heard saying "Good Friday baby!" which was on 14 April.

A spokesman for the Rapid Bus Service confirmed to the BBC Africa Live Page that this happened some time over Easter and they have not been able to trace the mother.

Sisi promises to help deal with rising prices

BBC World Service

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised that measures will be announced soon to help poorer Egyptians cope with spiralling prices.

He said there would be tax cuts and increased access to subsidised food.

Tens of millions of Egyptians who live below the poverty line are currently enduring some of the highest rates of inflation that the country has seen in decades.

This week, Kenya's government took measures to curb the rising prices of the staple flour.

Vegetable market
Egyptians have been struggling with rising prices

US opposes any travel by Bashir

It's still not clear if Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, will meet US President Donald Trump at a summit in Saudi Arabia at the weekend.

The Saudi authorities have invited him and Sudan's foreign minister has said he'll be travelling, the AFP news agency reports, but there is not confirmation that there will be a planned meeting between the two.

As a member of the UN Security Council the US backed the International Criminal Court indictment of President Bashir in 2009.

The US embassy in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, has now added its voice in a post on its Facebook page.

It says that the US position is clear:

We oppose invitations, facilitation, or support for travel by any person subject to outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants, including President Bashir. Also, there has been no change to Sudan’s inclusion on the United States’ State Sponsor of Terrorism list."

Mr Bashir denies the charges and has frequently travelled outside Sudan.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump is due to travel to Saudi Arabia as part of his first foreign trip

'I failed my sister'

A BBC reporter in South Africa has been tweeting pictures from the memorial of Karabo Mokoena, the news of whose murder caused widespread anger last week.

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The man believed to be her boyfriend has been charged with her murder after her badly burnt body was discovered.

Another journalist is tweeting some of the comments being made at the service in Johannesburg:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

An artist has also been painting a portrait of the 22-year-old woman at the memorial:

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Ugandan motorbike passengers 'refuse helmets'

Motorbike taxis
Getty Images
Helmet or no helmet?

The arrival of the ride-hailing app Uber in Uganda last year has prompted the business magazine Quartz to look at one of its earlier rivals: SafeBoda.

SafeBoda started in 2014 and was used to find a motorbike taxi.

But Quartz says that while 3,000 initially downloaded the app, that was dwarfed by the 15,000 people using the Uber app by July last year.

The article includes a curious finding, given the name SafeBoda.

The app was originally meant to help passengers find a safer motorbike ride: SafeBoda motorists typically go slower than their peers and the passenger is offered a helmet.

But according to Quartz, 63% turn the helmets down.

The man who broke out of jail in DR Congo

Gunmen from a Christian sect have stormed a prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, freeing their leader and about 50 other inmates, a government spokesman says.

Shots were fired and vehicles torched as Ne Muanda Nsemi was freed from the jail in Kinshasa, witnesses said.

Police are suspected to have shot dead several prisoners, witnesses added.

Burned vehicles are seen at the front gate of the Makala prison after it was attacked by supporters of jailed Christian sect leader
Red Cross officials have been recovering bodies following the raid on the prison

But who is Ne Muanda Nsemi? Here is a brief guide to the man:

  • Former chemistry professor at the University of Kinshasa
  • Comes from the minority Bakongo ethnic group
  • Claims to have received a revelation from the "Archangel of the Kongo" in 1969
  • Formed the Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) movement in 1986
  • Wants to re-establish the Kongo kingdom that once straddled four modern-day states.
  • Supporters and security forces involved in violent clashes
  • Elected to parliament in 2006 as an independent
  • Formed the Bundu dia Mayala political party in 2010 after BDK banned
  • Arrested in March after security forces besiege his home for two weeks
  • Escapes from jail on 17 May

Unmarried couple 'stoned to death in Mali'

An unmarried couple have been stoned to death in public in the Kidal region of north-east Mali, a local official told AFP news agency.

AFP quotes the official as saying:

"Islamists dug two holes where they put the man and the woman who lived maritally without being married."

AFP West Africa correspondent Jennifer O'Mahony‏ has been tweeting more about the story:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

South African men plan march against abuse of women

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News

A call to action is doing the rounds on social media after a spate of rapes and murders of young women in South Africa, some by their partners.

A campaign using the hashtag #NotInMyName is calling on men to march to the seat of government, the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday.

The march comes amid outrage over the recent deaths which have been described as a “war on women” by some.

At least six young women have been raped, killed and some subsequently burnt in the past week.

The deaths have sparked anger with women taking to social media using #MenAreTrash, sharing stories of abuse by their partners.

Rapper Cassper Nyovest has tweeted that the march is a way to respond to this debate:

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One woman is killed in South Africa every eight hours according to a study on femicide by the Medical Research Council.

The brutal nature of the recent attacks has led some South Africans to conclude things are getting worse.

Angola opposition 'calls for clarity on president's health'

Jose Eduardo dos Santos
President dos Santos has been in power since 1979

Angola's opposition have called for official clarification on the health of veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has been out of the country for nearly three weeks, reports AFP news agency.

"We are all concerned about the lack of official information on the health of the president," Rafael Savimbi, a senior figure in opposition party Unita and son of the group's former leader, told AFP.

Earlier this week Mr Dos Santos' daughter, Isabel, denied rumours that he had died in Spain.

"Someone has gone so low as to invent information about the death of a man in order to create confusion and turmoil in Angolan politics," she said on her Instagram account.

The 74-year-old president has reportedly received cancer treatment in Barcelona over several years, adds AFP.

The news agency reports that state media said he had travelled to Spain on 2 May.

'More than 100 dead' following recent CAR fighting

The Red Cross in the Central African Republic says that it has found 115 bodies following recent violence in the town of Bangassou, the Reuters news agency reports.

This is a much higher figure than quoted earlier this week by the United Nations.

Rival militias have been battling for control of the town recently.

"We found 115 bodies and 34 have been buried," Antoine Mbao Bogo told Reuters from the CAR capital, Bangui.

"They died in various ways: from knives, from clubs and bullet wounds."

Religious leaders have tried to broker a truce in the latest violence that began with the overthrow on President Francois Bozizé in 2013.

Somali soldiers killed trying to defuse bomb

At least two members of the Somali security forces have been killed in the capital Mogadishu.

They were trying to defuse a bomb when it went off, police officer Ibrahim Mohamed told the AFP news agency.

"One of the dead was a member of a specialised bomb squad, the other two regular soldiers," he added.

Reuters news agency reports that as two soldiers died quoting Major Nur Ahmed.

While bombings occur regularly in Mogadishu no group has yet claimed responsibility.

A Somali man watches the damage caused at the scene where a car exploded in the Madina district of Mogadishu
People came to inspect the damage the bomb caused

Plea to help Nigerians in Chinese prisons

A small group of Nigerians have been protesting outside parliament in the capital, Abuja, over the treatment of their compatriots in China, especially those held in prison.

The BBC's Haruna Tangaza snapped some of them:

People at the protest

A letter from the Black African Reorientation and Development Organisation, which organised the protest, said:

Over 6,000 Nigerians are currently in various Chinese prisons. The facts show that over 55% are unlawfully and illegally being incarcerated."

The protesters were urging lawmakers to take the issue into account as ties are strengthened between Nigeria and China.

Banner at the protest

Kenyan shoppers can't find promised cheaper flour

The Kenyan government promised shoppers that from today there would be flour available in the shops at a cheaper price but some shoppers can't find the flour on the shelves.

The Standard reports that the government said the subsidised maize flour (unga) would sell for 47 Kenyan shillings (45 US cents; 35p) a kilo and 90 Kenyan shillings for two kilos.

The Financial Times reporter failed to find any two kilo bags of flour at that price:

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And one tweeter got short shrift from a shopkeeper:

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Meanwhile someone did find the promised cheaper flour but also found rationing:

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The government said in a public notice that they were partnering with millers to sell subsidised flour.

They added that it was in an effort to reverse a recent rise in food prices.

But the cartoonist Gado is cynical that the motive is to get more votes in the general election in August:

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Air Zimbabwe blacklisted by the EU


The European Union has added Air Zimbabwe to its air safety black list, according to the European Commission website.

Air Zimbabwe was the highest profile of the newly banned carriers which included Nigeria's Medview Airline. Currently 181 airlines are banned from EU skies.

However all airlines from Benin and Mozambique have been removed from the blacklist after the companies addressed the EU region's safety concerns.

The EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. Their reforms have paid off."

The blacklist is widely seen as a major business incentive for airlines to uphold safety standards, according to the Associated Press news agency