Top police officer 'kidnapped in northern Nigeria'
BBC Africa, Abuja
Reports from Kaduna state in northwestern Nigeria say a
deputy police commissioner and his wife have been kidnapped. The officer
works in neighbouring Zamfara State but was abducted from his
This incident happened as security agencies say they are taking
steps to address the security situation in the state.
The Kaduna state police
command has yet to confirm the abduction but a security source in the state told
the BBC that the deputy commissioner was kidnapped near a forest
between Funtua in Katsina state and Birnin Gwari town in Kaduna state.
Recently kidnappings have become commonplace along the Abuja-Kaduna road as well as in other locations around Kaduna.
In November last year former Nigerian foreign minister Bagudu Hirse was kidnapped in Kaduna state.
'Seven dead in huge car bomb in Mogadishu'
The world through its media
A huge car bomb has killed at least seven people and wounded several others in Somali capital Mogadishu, Garowe Online website reports.
Witnesses said the car bomb was detonated at London Gate Restaurant located near Peace Garden in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne District, the website reported.
A police official, Captain Mohamed Hussein, confirmed to Garowe Online that at least seven people, mostly civilians, were killed and dozens wounded in the explosion.
Security forces later cordoned off the area as ambulances transported the wounded to the nearby hospitals for treatment, the website said.
No group has as yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabab militants are known to carry out such attacks in the capital, Mogadishu.
CEO of Cricket South Africa Haroon Lorgat resigns
BBC Africa, Cape Town
Haroon Lorgat today resigned as Chief Executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA).
Although CSA did not go into detail about the reasons for Mr Lorgat’s departure, they have said the separation agreement was made in the best interests of the organisation.
Reports indicated there were concerns about Mr Lorgat's role in the setting-up of the new Global T20 tournament which is due to start next month.
To date no TV broadcasting deal has yet been signed.
Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images
Laos now fastest growing ivory market
BBC World Service
A Kenya-based charity says that Laos has become the fastest growing ivory market in the world thanks to the demand from Chinese visitors to the country.
The charity, Save the Elephants, says that lax enforcement of laws on the sale of smuggled ivory is to blame. The number of shops selling ivory trinkets in Laos are said to have increased more than tenfold in the last few years. China itself has pledged to phase out ivory sales by the end of the year.
Save the ElephantsCopyright: Save the Elephants
Concern as Mozambique teachers arrested for poaching
BBC Africa, Maputo
Three teachers have been arrested for alleged involvement in the poaching of elephants' tusks, a prosecutor in central Mozambique has said.
Carolina Azarias described the news as a worrying development as the poachers could potentially influence their own students to get involved in the activity.
She said the three, along with three forest rangers, were under arrest in the port city of Beira after an inspection found elephant tusks and precious stones in their possession.
First out of the blocks for Nigeria 2019
It's nearly two years to go till Nigeria's next presidential election. But that hasn't stopped one aspiring candidate from staking his claim, AFP news agency reports.
Peter Ayodele Fayose, governor of the southwestern state of Ekiti, launched his bid to be the presidential candidate for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today in Abuja.
According to AFP, Mr Fayose, 56, has been one of the most outspoken critics of President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party.
However, the agency says, he could face an uphill battle.
The PDP has already stated that its presidential candidate for the 2019 vote will come from the predominantly Muslim north.
Extra security sent to Cameroon's English speaking regions
BBC World Service
Cameroon has deployed 1,000 extra members of the security forces to English-speaking areas ahead of a large protest planned for Sunday.
Secessionists are planning to celebrate what they are describing as the independence of anglophone Cameroon.
There have been months of protests in English-speaking parts of the country against what people say is discrimination by the francophone majority.
There have been growing calls for secession, with some demonstrators flying the blue and white flag of an independent anglophone Cameroon.
Odinga calls for fresh protests over election changes
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for new protests throughout the country after the ruling party moved to change election laws.
Speaking at a news conference in Nairobi, Mr Odinga said the proposed changes were an attack on democracy and bi-weekly demonstrations would begin on Monday.
Quote Message: I call on this generation to resist, to rise up and resist. We are calling our people to action from Raila Odinga Kenyan opposition leader
I call on this generation to resist, to rise up and resist. We are calling our people to action
Earlier on Thursday the opposition walked out of parliament and election talks over ruling party plans to fast-track the proposed changes.
Is Islamic State regrouping in Libya?
BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis
The head of investigations in the Attorney General’s office in Libya ,Siddiq al-Sour, says the so-called Islamic State has
re-grouped on the outskirts of Libya’s central city of Sirte under a new name,
known as the ‘Army of the Desert’.
He held a news conference in Tripoli
today to unveil what was billed as the secrets of IS operations in Libya.
it, he highlighted various discoveries from their interrogation of captured
militants. This included how they originally gained a foothold in Libya, and what
countries most of them came from.
He mainly blamed their establishment on
former local militant commanders from the now-disbanded local Islamist group
Ansar Al-Sharia, as well as members with links to Al- Qaeda.
Quote Message: The start of Islamic State’s [presence in Libya] is rooted in security personnel from Ansar Al Sharia, which used to be bankrolled by the Libyan government on the basis that it was an official entity that was nominally under the ministry of Interior and the ministry of Defense. SO, all their capabilities were then transferred to Daesh”
The start of Islamic State’s [presence in Libya] is rooted in security personnel from Ansar Al Sharia, which used to be bankrolled by the Libyan government on the basis that it was an official entity that was nominally under the ministry of Interior and the ministry of Defense. SO, all their capabilities were then transferred to Daesh”
This highlights an ongoing issue in Libya, whereby militias with a wide array of ideologies are still being bankrolled by Libya’s multiple administrations.
It shows how easily money and capacity can be transferred when armed groups or commanders suddenly switch allegiances.
Nigerian minister explains secessionist group ban
Nigerian Information Minister Lai Mohammed has told the BBC that a secessionist group was banned to prevent it from developing into a full-blown terrorist organisation.
He said the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) were doing what all terrorists do - attacking the army, attacking the people and asking for money.
Quote Message: We don’t want it to escalate and for them to become like Boko Haram, that is why we are treating the issue this way, and the good thing is that the good people of Igbo land say they don’t want secession. from Lai Mohammed Nigerian information minister
We don’t want it to escalate and for them to become like Boko Haram, that is why we are treating the issue this way, and the good thing is that the good people of Igbo land say they don’t want secession.
Ipob was formally proscribed last week after clashes with security services.
Zimbabwe's Mugabe likens rivals to Judas for seeking his retirement
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has accused unnamed members of his own party of trying to push him into an early retirement and likened them to Judas, Reuters news agency reports.
Speaking at the burial of a member of his Zanu PF party Mr Mugabe, 93, said that some party officials supported him during the day while plotting against him behind his back.
Quote Message: Others are like those that Jesus spoke about during his last supper, when he said 'some of you eating with me here shall betray me'. The Judas Iscariot. They are here among us. from Robert Mugabe Zimbabwean president
Others are like those that Jesus spoke about during his last supper, when he said 'some of you eating with me here shall betray me'. The Judas Iscariot. They are here among us.
Quote Message: They want to cause leadership change ... for the president to step down. I did not grab power. I was chosen by the people. It's the people's throne"
They want to cause leadership change ... for the president to step down. I did not grab power. I was chosen by the people. It's the people's throne"
According to Reuters, Zimbabwe is in the throes of a foreign exchange shortage which has forced some businesses to buy US dollars on the black market. This has led to a hike in prices of some basic goods.
However, Mr Mugabe, without providing any evidence, accused some people of manipulating the currency in a bid to "trigger inflation and cause panic buying."
Kenya election talks break down
Hours after walking out of parliament, Kenya's opposition has walked out of talks with the electoral commission and ruling party on the upcoming elections.
Opposition Senator James Orengo told the Daily Nation they would not be party to a scheme to reintroduce dictatorship via parliament.
Earlier MPs voted to shorten the time needed for two bills amending election rules.
However, Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, who heads the ruling party delegation, accused the opposition of playing games and said they were not ready for the elections.
Meanwhile hundreds of Nairobi students protesting against the detention of opposition leader Paul Ongili Owino clashed with police around their campus.
Mr Owino, better known as Babu Owino, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly calling President Uhuru Kenyatta a "son of a dog" at a campaign rally.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics said the latest results indicated that households relying on agriculture were most affected due to drought, disease outbreaks in crops, floods and the high cost of raw materials. Eastern Uganda is the most affected region.
KPMG fights to save reputation
BBC News, Johannesburg
International audit company KPMG is frantically trying to salvage its reputation here in South Africa. And it's proving hard work.
The top management has already been cleared out, and an independent investigation launched.
But clients are still jumping ship.
South Africa's parliament has become the latest to sever ties, citing "the damage to the reputation and credibility" of KPMG.
Other firms, like McKinsey and Bell Pottinger, have also been caught up in what some believe may prove to be the defining scandal of democratic South Africa.
Leaked emails and multiple investigations have fuelled allegations of massive corruption involving senior government officials and businessmen, conspiring to control and loot state institutions.
But the criminal justice system seems to be dragging its feet, and, with popular anger growing, foreign companies are being targeted, for enabling the alleged corruption.
In KPMG's case it audited the books of the controversial Gupta family's business empire - closely linked to President Jacob Zuma. And it became caught up in a murky struggle for control of South Africa's Revenue Service.
For years there's been good money to be made advising and auditing South Africa's government ministries and para-statals. But international companies may start treading more warily as the country struggles to shake off a growing reputation for corruption.
Nineteen dead in Madagascar plague outbreak
Nineteen people have died of plague in Madagascar over the past two months, AFP reports quoting the Health Ministry.
A total of 104 suspected cases have been registered.
The disease, which is endemic in Madagascar, is normally seen in parts of the country between October and March.
The ministry says the latest outbreak has caused panic in Tamatave, a town on the east coast, which has not seen the disease for 100 years.
Sudan's Bashir complains of 'unjust' sanctions
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has complained about the immense hardship the "unjust" US trade embargo has placed on his people, AFP reports.
His comments come just two weeks before US President Donald Trump is due to decide whether to keep the embargo, imposed two decades ago because of Khartoum's alleged support for militant Islamist groups.
His predecessor Barack Obama eased the sanctions in January and announced a six-month review which was extended by Mr Trump in July.
On Sunday Mr Trump removed Sudan from a list of countries facing a US travel ban.
Quote Message: "The unjust sanctions imposed on our country since 1997 have primarily weakened the state and its institutions, and caused hardship to our people immensely." from Omar al-Bashir Sudanese president
"The unjust sanctions imposed on our country since 1997 have primarily weakened the state and its institutions, and caused hardship to our people immensely."
Uganda murders: 'Register all girls in relationships'
Uganda's police chief Kale Kayihura has come up with radical proposals to curb attacks on women after nearly 30 of them were killed over four months in the capital, Kampala, and nearby areas, according to the privately owned Observer newspaper.
He unveiled his proposals while addressing residents in Katabi, one of the affected areas in Entebbe town, which is 37km (23 miles) south-west of Kampala, the newspaper has tweeted:
The Democratic Republic of Congo's government has used naval boats to fight rebels on Lake Tanganyika in the east of the country, Reuters news agency is quoting sources as saying.
There was heavy fighting near the lakeside city of Uvira, the sources told Reuters.
The fighting between the Mai-Mai Yakutumba militia and Congolese government forces is reported to have broken out at the weekend on the outskirts of Uvira, which is close to the border with Burundi.
"Since 5am (03:00 GMT) there has been an exchange of gunfire between the army and the Mai-Mai in Uvira," Lubungula Dem's M'Sato, a member of a peace-building advocacy group in Uvira, told Reuters.
A local resident has confirmed the fighting to the BBC Great Lakes service. He said that helicopters of Congo's UN.peacekeeping mission, Monusco, are
helping Congolese soldiers to fight the rebels who are reported to have
captured some villages.
The region is the world's biggest source of coltan, used in mobile phones and other electronic products.
Kenyan opposition MPs protest fast-tracking of election bills
Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper is reporting that opposition MPs have walked out of parliament in protest against plans to fast-track the changing of two laws.
MPs voted 144-53 to shorten the time needed for two bills to be amended.
The proposed changes concern how future presidential elections will be handled and how to punish electoral officials involved in conduct of elections who do wrong.
The Daily Nation quotes one opposition MP as arguing that even if the law were passed and assented to it would create a dilemma for the country's electoral commission (IEBC).
The IEBC would have to decide whether to follow directives from the country's Supreme Court or the law as hastily changed by parliament.