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  1. Ghanaians protest against corruption
  2. African court rules in favour of Kenya's Ogiek people over eviction
  3. South Sudan government releases reporter George Livio
  4. Zambia's opposition leader remains in detention after court adjourns
  5. Kidnappers have taken six school pupils from a Lagos school
  6. 'Many feared dead' in gun attack on Egyptian Coptic Christians
  7. Manchester bomber 'was part of anti-Gaddafi militia'
  8. SA opposition leader barred from entering Zambia
  9. Thirty-three people including policemen due in court over 2015 Sousse attack
  10. Email stories and comments to - Friday 26 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

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:

A fight between two grasshoppers is a joy to the crow."

Sent by Frank Dotu in Kumasi, Ghana

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

And we leave you with this photo of a shopkeeper getting ready some traditional Ramadan lanterns ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Cairo. It's one of our favourite pictures from the week.

An Egyptian seller dusts a traditional Ramadan lantern called "fanous" at his shop stall ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan

Burundi orders couples to wed amid drive to 'moralise society'

Cohabiting couples in Burundi have until the end of the year to get married or face legal consequences.

The government order comes after President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a campaign "to moralise society".

A government spokesman said a crackdown on informal relationships was needed to combat a population explosion.

He said too many schoolgirls were getting pregnant and men were taking advantage of women by cohabiting with several simultaneously.

Burundi has been in crisis since 2015 when Mr Nkurunziza, a born-again Christian, announced he would run for a controversial third term.

Bride covering her face
Getty images

DJ leads protest against corruption in Ghana

We're getting photos in of a protest in Ghana's capital, Accra, against corruption in the country:


Protesters marched towards the Economic and Organised Crimes Office to present a petition urging action:


Ghana Web reports the protesters were calling for an investigation into people who were alleged to have been involved in corruption in a recent Auditor General’s report.

Joy FM adds that the protest was led by "Captain Smart", a DJ of a morning radio show which uncovers dodgy deals.

“Corruption has taken over this country; from the presidency to down to the labourer. Virtually everybody in this country thinks that corruption is now normal,” they quote him as saying.

South Sudan frees journalist held for over two years without charge

South Sudan's government has freed a journalist after two and a half years of imprisonment without charge, UN officials told the Reuters news agency.

South Sudanese journalist George Livio, who worked for the UN radio station Radio Miraya, was arrested in August 2014 but never brought to trial, the news agency adds.

A journalist covering South Sudan tweets the latest:

View more on twitter

Reaction to the Ogiek ruling

Activists have been reacting to the ruling by the African Court on Human and People's Rights that the Kenyan government cannot evict the Ogiek community from the Mau Forest (see earlier entry).

Daniel Kobei, Executive Director of Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program said:

For the Ogiek, this is history in the making. The issue of Ogiek land rights has finally been heard and the case has empowered them to feel relevant. I know that the case also gives hope to other indigenous peoples: it has made the issues seem real."

Muthoni Wanyekin from Amnesty International said:

In this one ruling, the court has both affirmed the Ogiek’s right to live freely on their ancestral land, and proved to the continent that regional justice mechanisms work.

But a ruling is not enough, it must be respected. The Kenyan government must now implement the ruling and let the Ogiek live freely on their ancestral land.”

As a signatory to the court, which is based in Tanzania, Kenya is obliged to abide by the ruling.

Ogiek man
The Ogiek have been facing eviction for a decade

Tanzanian fashion week focuses on modesty

Munira Hussein

BBC Africa

As Muslims around the world prepare for Ramadan, one way some women in Tanzania are getting ready is by considering if clothes can be modest and stylish at the same time.

This was the theme of Stara Fashion week:


One of the organisers, Latifa Makau, told me that the aim of the event was to challenge the idea that women who cover up are unfashionable.

"A lot of people have this wrong perception that you can't be modest and stylish at the same time. So they'd abandon modesty just so they wouldn't look outdated," she said.

One of the audience members, Fatma Sosthenes, told me the show inspired her.

"From now on I will try and be a modest but classy Muslim girl"

'Heavy fighting' in Libya's capital

There have been clashes in Libya's capital, Tripoli, with heavy gunfire heard since the morning, the Reuters news agency reports.

It says that the violence was a result of forces backing the self-declared "national salvation government" battling with those of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The GNA is struggling to assert its authority over the country.

Libya has been riven by factional fighting since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Zambian treason case sent to judicial review

Mutuna Chanda

BBC Africa, Lusaka

The Lusaka Magistrates Court has told opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema to seek a judicial review to decide whether his treason case will be tried in the High Court.

Mr Hichilema was charged with treason after his convoy allegedly refused to make way for President Edgar Lungu's convoy:

How road rage led to treason charge in Zambia

Mr Hichilema's lawyers argued in court today that there was a problem with the way the case was first put forward.

The court gave the opposition leader 15 days to apply for the judicial review.

More details: Landmark ruling goes against Kenya

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa

The African Court on Human and People’s rights based in Tanzania has made a landmark ruling allowing an indigenous Kenyan group known as the Ogiek to keep their ancestral land.

The court, sitting in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, said that the Kenyan government should never have tried to evict members of the Ogiek community from the Mau Forest because it is their ancestral land.

The court dismissed the government allegations that they had to evict them them to conserve the forest, saying the Kenyan authorities had failed to demonstrate that the Ogiek harmed the forest.

The court further said the government had violated a series of rights of the Ogiek community, including the right to culture and right to property.

Ogiek woman

Ogiek people win land case against Kenyan government

There was singing at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in Arusha, Tanzania, today as the court found in favour of Kenya's Ogiek people who challenged the plan by the Kenyan government to move them from their ancestral home in the Mau Forest:

View more on twitter

Andrew Songa from the Kenya Human Rights Commission has been tweeting every moment of the case:

View more on twitter

How South Africans have reacted to Zambia row

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News

Mmusi Maimane

We reported earlier that South Africa's main opposition leader Mmusi Maimane has been expelled from Zambia to prevent him from attending the treason hearing of his detained counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema.

Mr Maimane has now told a crowd in Johannesburg: “All I simply wanted was to stand side-by-side with someone who has been fighting for the rule of law, HH, a fellow African,” he said.

There have been mixed reactions in South Africa to Zambia's decision to bar Mr Maimane from entering the country.

While some have questioned why he would involve himself in the issues of a sovereign state, many have applauded him for trying to bring awareness to the Zambian opposition leader’s plight.

Mr Maimane has accused the Zambian government of dictatorship, adding that he was compelled to act because of South Africa’s own fight against oppression.

He’s been calling for support on social media using the thread #iCantBeSilent. Authorities in South Africa have said they will look into the matter. They probably want to avoid a diplomatic row with Zambia.

Breaking the taboo around menstruation

Ethiopian photographer Martha Tadesse has published the latest in her series of portraits of women with quotes of the subjects talking about their first periods.

This one is of Meheret Gebreeyesus who says: "I was too scared when I first had my period, I felt like an older woman because I only heard my older friends talk about it. We have to be open that's all.''

View more on instagram

She has also photographed Mekhon Afework who said: ''Even though, my dad believes in open discussions and taught me about menstruation, I didn't tell my family about my period for over a year, I was 12 years old.

"I would just steal my mom's pads, but my mom caught me in the bathroom one time and I had to pretend that it was just my first time. You can't open up about it because the society makes it such a taboo.''

View more on instagram

Maraki Tesfaye said she did not keep quiet: "I felt burdened when I first saw my period but my parents had told me about it so I was also excited.

"Girl! I told everybody, 'Hey, my period came' I was 9 years old.

"We just need to talk about it. There is nothing wrong with having periods.''

View more on instagram

CAR violence empties nearly an entire town

Violence this month in the Central African Republic has led to 300 deaths, 200 people being wounded and around 100,000 people being displaced, the UN and government say.

A joint statement highlights fighting in the town of Bria (nearly 600km north-east of the capital, Bangui) where almost the entire population of the city has fled.

The fighting is between rival militia but it could be taking on an ethnic element, the UN and government warn.

CAR Social Affairs Minister Virginie Baikoua told journalists that "the displaced are afraid it could degenerate at any moment because armed men are roaming around the camps".

The UN and government are appealing for more help in dealing with the humanitarian problem.

The recent outbreak of fighting is part of a cycle of violence that goes back to when President Francois Bozize was overthrown in 2013.

UN peacekeepers in CAR
The UN force of 13,000 peacekeepers is struggling to quell the violence in the Central African Republic

Namibian arrested after 'dumping baby in suitcase'

Police in Namibia have arrested a woman who allegedly abandoned her baby by leaving her in a suitcase, the Namibian newspaper is reporting.

It adds that the new-born was found by a passer by who could hear the baby screaming.

She had been left in long grass by a railway track near Walvis Bay, in the west of the country.

Screengrab from the paper's website

Zambia court on treason charges in session

The magistrate's court in Lusaka that will rule on whether the treason trial against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema will go ahead is now in session.

Mr Hichilema's party is tweeting from the court:

View more on twitter

The football revolution made in Ghana

Stanley Matthews in Ghana

Sir Stanley Matthews remains one of England's most famous footballers. But a trip to Ghana also arguably led to football becoming the massive global phenomenon it is today.

Matthews came to Ghana to play a series of exhibition matches to celebrate independence.

He was mobbed on arrival and more than 80,000 spectators turned up to watch his first three matches against Kotoko, Sekondi Hasaacas and Kumasi Cornerstone.

Shortly after his arrival, Matthews was presented with an ivory sword and installed as a "soccerhene" (soccer chief) in front of the press.

The success of the tour helped convince Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah that sport was the perfect vehicle for the expression of pan-African idealism.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Angolan president's son buys 500,000 euro watch at Cannes

The son of Angola's President Jose dos Santos has been filmed at an auction buying a 500,000 watch.

View more on youtube

The auctioneer was the US actor Will Smith and you can hear him saying (at 44 seconds) "he looks way too young to have 500,000 euros" as Danilo dos Santos gets to the stage.

The Angolan news and gossip site Club-K says the auction at Cannes Film Festival was for the Foudation For Aids research.

The site went on to say the video has left Angolans "feeling indignant about the extravagance of Danilo dos Santos”.

One comment picked out by K-club complained the son of the president should be “a little more discreet”.

Cutting HIV and Aids treatments costs

India is among the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world, establishing itself as a global manufacturing and research hub.

About 15% of their pharmaceutical exports are to in Africa, and in South Africa the availability of generic anti-retrovirals (ARVs) from India has led to a significant drop in the cost of treatment for millions of people with HIV.

The active ingredients are made into tablets in South Africa.

The BBC's Taurai Maduna has more for Africa Business Report.

ANC veterans renew call for Zuma to go

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

In South Africa, governing African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts are calling for the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) to remove President Jacob Zuma this weekend.

The NEC is the governing party’s highest decision making body between party conferences which are held every five years.

The group of veterans which describes itself as "101 plus" wrote an open letter appealing to their party’s leadership.

One of the signatories Wally Serote said “the ANC, dear comrades, is falling apart as you meet and the country, supporters and members of the ANC are looking for leadership that must and should take us out of this nightmare".

While the NEC has the power to recall the president, as they did when they removed President Thabo Mbeki in dramatic fashion back in 2008, it is unlikely that they will do so this weekend.

President Zuma still commands a high degree of support among some of his comrades inside the NEC.

Anti-Zuma protests
Getty Images
President Zuma has faced protests calling for him to go

Somali police 'get first drones to combat bombings'

Getty Images

A former US intelligence specialist has donated five surveillance drones to police in Somalia to help investigate bomb sites, reports Reuters news agency.

Brett Velicovich is in the capital, Mogadishu, to train Somali police in how to use the drones, which have infra-red or night vision capabilities.

He told Reuters that drones could have helped find last year's Lido beach attacker "in minutes". Police were unable to find the last attacker for several hours.

Death toll rises in attack on Egyptian Coptic Christians

Orla Guerin

BBC News, Cairo


We reported earlier that 15 people have been killed in an attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in southern Egypt.

The local provincial governor now says at least 20 people have been killed and 25 injured.

There are unconfirmed reports that that multiple gunmen were involved.

Initial reports say the dead were on their way to visit an ancient monastery today when their bus came under attack.

There has been no claim of responsibility but the so-called Islamic state has targeted Egypt's Coptic Christians several times in recent months, and vowed to do so again.

Last month it bombed two churches in northern Egypt.

A nationwide state of emergency was declared after those attacks and many Christians here complain that the state has done enough to protect them.

Kenya's Ogiek people wait for court ruling

We reported earlier that the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in Arusha, Tanzania, is due to rule on the case brought by Kenya's Ogiek people.

They're challenging the plan by the Kenyan government to move them from their ancestral home in the Mau Forest.

A BBC reporter in Arusha has snapped some of those who are waiting for the ruling:

People outside the court

South Africa's Maimane 'threatened Zambian court process'

In South Africa, the Zambian High Commissioner has said in a press conference that the reason South African opposition leader Mmusi Maimane was stopped from entering the Zambia was because of concerns that he would interfere with the treason case against his Zambian counterpart leader Hakainde Hichilema

“It was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference,” he told journalists.

Emmanuel Mwamba said the government was concerned by a statement he made before he travelled where he stated he would put pressure Zambian courts to release Mr Hichilema.

View more on youtube

Mr Hichilema was charged with treason after his convoy allegedly refused to make way for President Edgar Lungu's motorcade, while both were travelling to a ceremony in western Zambia.

Zambian opposition leader in court over alleged treason

The leader of Zambia's main opposition party, the UPND, is now in court in the capital, Lusaka.

The magistrate is due to decide on whether to refer the treason charges he faces to the high court.

Mr Hichilema's party has been tweeting from the court:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

First female Supreme Court president appointed in South Africa

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring

Justice Mandisa Maya has been appointed president of South Africa's Supreme Court, the first woman to hold the post.

This is the third highest position in the courts, after the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice.

In a statement President Jacob Zuma congratulated her on "being the first woman to occupy such a high position in the judiciary".

Justice Maya served as a Supreme Court judge in Namibia in 2008 and a Court of Appeal judge in Lesotho in 2015. Directly before her appointment, she was the acting president of the Supreme Court.

Justice Mandisa Maya
Supreme Court

Breaking'Many feared dead' in gun attack on Egyptian Coptic Christians

At least 15 Coptic Christians have been killed in an attack by gunmen on a bus in the Beni Suef governorate in Upper Egypt, the privately owned Copts United website has reported.

It said ambulances are rushing to the scene.

Copts in Egypt have of late been subject to militant attacks.

At least 46 people were killed in attacks on two churches in Tanta and Alexandria on 9 April.

'Free HH' shout protesters in South Africa

South Africa's opposition leader Mmusi Maimane is leading a protest about the detention in Lusaka of his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema on treason charges.

In a video posted by Mr Maimane's party you can see him shouting "free HH" as well as criticising the presidency of Edgar Lungu.

View more on twitter

Mr Maimane wanted to be in Zambia for Mr Hichilema's court appearance today, but was unable to leave his plane after it landed in Lusaka.

A magistrate's court is due to decide whether a treason trial should go ahead.

Court to rule on Kenya tribe complaint

The Tanzania-based African Court of Human Rights is expected to deliver a ruling today which may force the hunter-gatherer Ogiek people to leave their ancestral lands in Kenya's Rift valley.

The government in Nairobi has long campaigned for the tribespeople's removal.

Officials argue the step is necessary to protect the Mau Forest.

It's the largest forest of indigenous trees in East Africa.

Thirty-five thousand complainants sued the Kenyan authorities over systematic rights violations and denial of land rights.

One community member, 96-year-old Debola Rashamba, told the BBC's David Wafula:

I have lived here since I was born, I grew up here, married traditionally, had my family here, buried my husband in this forest, I don't know anywhere else, for now I live here with my great grandchildren, I would love to see them carry on our traditions."


Zambia court to decide on opposition leader treason charges

Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema is due in a magistrate's court in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, to hear whether a treason case against him will go ahead in the High Court.

His party is tweeting pictures from outside the court:

View more on twitter

South Africa's opposition leader Mmusi Maimane wanted to go to the trial to express his solidarity but he was not allowed to leave his plane when it arrived in Lusaka last night.

He is due to speak outside the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria where protesters have gathered according to the UPND:

View more on twitter

Everton set for Tanzania trip

everton team
Getty Images
Everton will be playing either a Kenyan or Tanzanian team in Dar-es-Salaam

Everton will become the first ever English Premier League team to play in Tanzania when they go there for a pre-season friendly.

The match will be played at Dar es Salaam's National Stadium on 13 July.

They're set to face the winners of the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup which will feature four teams from Kenya's Premier League and four from Tanzania's top flight.

Kenya-based betting company SportPesa are Everton's new shirt sponsors.

Nigerian gunmen abduct six school pupils

Gunmen have abducted six school pupils in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, police say.

The kidnappers stormed Igbonla Model College on Thursday and took 10 pupils.

Local reports say they then released four after profiling their parents.

Police say the kidnappers got into the grounds by going through a swampy forest bordering the school, and cutting a hole in part of the school fence.

The search for the gunmen and the children is ongoing.

Six people were kidnapped from the same school in October.

Kidnappings for ransom is not uncommon in Nigeria.

SA president 'not opposed' to anti-corruption inquiry

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has issued a statement to clarify that he is not opposed to setting up an inquiry into corruption in his government, despite going to court to challenge the report that recommended the commission.

Last year, a report from South Africa's anti-corruption body, the Public Protector's office, into the influence of wealthy businnessmen on the president found evidence of possible corruption.

It recommended a judicial commission of inquiry within 30 days, which has not happened.

A statement from the president's office says that what Mr Zuma is challenging is not the idea of inquiry but rather the fact that under the constitution he cannot be ordered to set it up.

It says it "undermines the separation of powers doctrine".

Anti-Zuma protest
Corruption allegations surrounding the president have led to growing calls for him to step down

SA opposition leader barred from Zambia

South Africa's opposition leader has been expelled from Zambia, blocking him from attending the treason case of his detained counterpart, his party says.

Police boarded Mmusi Maimane's flight, and "forcefully prevented" him from entering Zambia, his party said.

Mr Maimane had planned to show solidarity with Zambia's main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema when he appears in court on Friday.

A court is due to rule whether he should be tried for treason.·

Zambia's government has not yet commented on the statement by South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) that its leader was deported.

Mr Maimane is due to give a statement about the issue at 09.30 GMT.

Last night, he tweeted pictures from the airport in Lusaka saying that he was assaulted.

View more on twitter

Read more: Democracy on trail in Zambia?

Manchester attacker 'may have fought in Libya'

The BBC's understands that the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi may have fought in Libya during the civil war that toppled Col Gaddafi.

The 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi was named by police as the person who carried out the suicide bomb attack that killed 22 people at Manchester Arena on Monday evening.

Three separate sources have told Newsnight's Gabriel Gatehouse that Salman Abedi and his father Ramadan both joined a militia brigade fighting to overthrow the Libyan dictator in 2011.

Salman Abedi would have been 16 at the time.

Newsnight also understands that there was a family connection between the Abedi's and a known IS recruiter in Manchester.

Watch Gabriel Gatehouse explain what he knows so far about the links:

Read more on Abedi's Libya link and on Why Libya is so lawless?

Police in court over Tunisia attack

BBC World Service

Thirty-three people are expected to appear in court in Tunisia today to face charges over the deadly attack which killed dozens of tourists at the beach resort of Sousse in 2015.

The 38 victims died at the hands of a single Tunisian gunman, Saifeddine Rezqui.

A legal official told the BBC that the accused include six police officers.

Today's court hearing is expected to pave the way for a full trial.

Several of the accused are on the run and it is reported that they will be tried in their absence.

CCTV image
CCTV images caught the moment when the gunman came on to the beach

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