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Summary

  1. Zimbabwe politician Morgan Tsvangirai's health under the spotlight
  2. Russian dancer under investigation after video goes viral
  3. Lassa fever has killed 31 in Nigeria since the year began
  4. Somalia court sentences man to death for deadliest Mogadishu blast
  5. Treason-related charge for Raila Odinga supporter Miguna Miguna
  6. Mandela foundation calls on South Africa's Jacob Zuma to stand down
  7. Sierra Leone brings in election FGM ban amid bribery fears

Live Reporting

By Flora Drury and Mirren Gidda

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Tuesday'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: No goat fattens on market day." from A Kinyarwanda proverb sent by Jabo Conrad Nzitatira in Kigali, Rwanda
    A Kinyarwanda proverb sent by Jabo Conrad Nzitatira in Kigali, Rwanda

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

    And we leave you with this photo of a group of dancers entertaining the crowd in Sierra Leone. You can see more pictures and learn about their dreams by clicking here.

    Street dancers perform in front of a crowd in Sierra Leone
  2. Hippo on the loose in South Africa

    A submerged Hippo is seen a the Joburg Zoo in Johannesburg, South Africa, 11 January 2018

    A hippo hunt has been launched in South Africa after one did a runner from a game reserve, TimesLive is reporting.

    The hippo made his break for freedom from the Tala Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

    However, this was not some act of teenage rebellion on the part of the hippo, but what is believed to be the result of a fight with the area's alpha male.

    Tala’s general manager Greg Allan told TimesLive: “He was pushed toward the fence line and then broke through.”

    Mr Allan said the runaway had since been spotted in a dam nearby, but efforts to retrieve him were being hampered by the long reeds.

  3. Pope Francis warns against anti-migrant violence

    Pope Francis delivers his Christmas Urbi Et Orbi blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican

    Pope Francis has spoken out about violence against migrants, following a racially motivated attack against African migrants in Italy last week.

    On Saturday, a neo-Nazi shot and injured six migrants in the coastal city of Macerata.

    A copy of Hitler's book Mein Kampf was later found at his home.

    Speaking during an address at the Vatican, the Pope asked Catholics to reflect on the causes of violence towards migrants, especially as the season of Lent approaches.

    During Lent, Catholics are required to carry out extra charitable duties, and Pope Francis warned his congregation against allowing charity to turn "cold within [them]", prompting "violence against anyone we think is a threat to our own certainties: the unborn child, the elderly and infirm, the migrant, the alien among us".

    The Pope did not directly refer to the attack in Macerata.

  4. Nigeria defends relationship with Cameroon

    Nigeria has promised to "intensify" its military cooperation with Cameroon, amid increasing criticism of its role in the return of 47 asylum seekers, including an anglophone separatist leader.

    Retired General Mohammed Monguno, President Muhammadu Buhari's spokesman, told reporters Nigeria would "counter" any threat to their neighbour coming from within their own borders.

    However, he did not refer directly to the 47 Cameroonian asylum seekers, nor the reasons they were sent back to Cameroon.

    The United Nations has expressed concerns over the repatriation, while Heather Nauert, the US State Department's spokeswoman, called on both governments to "adhere to their obligations under international law", which urges countries to refrain from the forcible return of asylum seekers.

    View more on twitter

    As yet no Nigerian official appears willing to speak to the BBC on why the government repatriated the asylum seekers. Attempts to get the officials have not been successful.

    Nigeria hosts more than 30,000 Cameroonian refugees following the ongoing violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.

  5. 31 dead of Lassa fever in Nigeria

    The Lassa Virus is the causative agent of Lassa Fever, an important hemorrhagic disease of West Africa.
    Image caption: Lassa fever is in the same viral family as Ebola

    Thirty-one people have died of Lassa fever in Nigeria since the start of the year, the country's health minister has said.

    The outbreak has spread to 15 states with "105 laboratory-confirmed cases", Isaac Adewole told reporters on Monday.

    Of the 31 dead, 10 were health workers, Mr Adewole said.

    On Tuesday, Ivory Coast warned its citizens against the disease, with Health and Public Hygiene Minister Raymonde Goudou Coffie saying the country had increased its vigilance, particularly with regards to travellers to the country.

    Lassa fever is spread through contact with items contaminated by rat faeces or urine. In the same family as Ebola, the disease's symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea and, in the worst cases, bleeding.

    In 2016, Nigeria suffered its worst outbreak of the virus in which more than 100 people died.

  6. Opposition deny Tsvangirai is critically ill

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Zimbabwean opposition and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai addresses a crowd of protesters outside the Zimbabwean parliament on November 21, 2017 in Harare
    Image caption: Morgan Tsvangirai has been receiving treatment for colon cancer

    Zimbabwe’s main opposition party is denying reports that its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is critically ill.

    Reports of his deteriorating condition emerged this morning, with sources within Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) telling people to brace for the worst.

    Mr Tsvangirai has been in and out of South African hospitals after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

    But the MDC have now said reports about its leader’s health are exaggerated.

    A senior member of the party who refused to be identified told the BBC that Mr Tsvangirai is in poor health but that he is conscious and speaking. The party is waiting further updates from Johannesburg.

    The reports come at a particularly difficult time for the MDC.

    Last year it agreed to form an alliance along with six other opposition parties, in a significant move to try to unseat the ruling Zanu PF party.

    With elections now less than five months away it’s not clear whether the alliance will be able to regroup and identify a new leader, if Mr Tsvangirai is not well enough to lead.

    • Read Africa Live's earlier post about Morgan Tsvangirai here.
  7. Analysis: Why spend millions on jets to combat 'defeated' Boko Haram?

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    According to Nigerian officials, over the years Boko Haram has been defeated “technically”, “decisively”, “virtually” and now “completely” – that last word declared triumphantly this week by Major General Roger Nicholas, who leads operations in the northeast.

    Just days later, the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali also pointed out that Nigeria had spent nearly $500m (£360m) on military aircraft in the fight against the same jihadis who have been repeatedly defeated.

    It is a blunder that the Nigerian public has seen repeatedly.

    The government has frequently issued promises about Boko Haram’s demise, despite the group remaining active in the Lake Chad Basin.

    Nearly a decade into its counter-insurgency operations, the Nigerian authorities appear not to have learnt lessons about effective communication in warfare. The repeated gaffes only further dent their credibility.

  8. Malawians accused of robbing Mozambican neighbours

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Map showing Mozambique and Malawi

    Mozambican authorities have accused people from neighbouring Malawi of crossing the border in order to terrorise local villages.

    The most recent case saw Malawians accused of being behind the robbery of two shops in Ngauma district, in Mozambique's northern Niassa province.

    They are alleged to have got away with $8,300 (£6,00) worth of goods.

    Augusto Assique, the area's district administrator, said that those behind the robberies and attacks carefully monitored their victims beforehand.

    Quote Message: For instance, they follow pensioners when they get their pay. They do likewise in the case of traders. They are followed and robbed in the process of buying and selling products. By the end of the day, the Malawian criminals have figured out who to assault.
    Quote Message: Sometimes, they use blunt instruments to carry out their assaults. In the latest robbery in the two villages of Ngauma, they also used firearms."

    He added that it was the police who had suggested the culprits were Malawian.

  9. Four dead after fuel tanker crash on Nigerian highway

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Four people were killed when a loaded fuel tanker struck a container truck and burst into flames on a main highway northeast of Lagos, Nigeria's Punch online newspaper is reporting.

    The truck hit the tanker's side, bursting it open, with the fuel gushing out and catching fire, an Ogun State official said.

    "Four persons have been confirmed dead in the inferno, as the truck was conveying some passengers. The tanker is still burning and there is gridlock on that axis of the expressway," he added.

    The accident happened near Ajebo on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Punch reported.

  10. US sanctions DR Congo general

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A soldier of the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) takes cover during exchanges of fire with members of the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) in Opira, North Kivu, on January 25, 2018. /
    Image caption: The conflict in eastern DR Congo is ongoing

    The United States has issued sanctions against a general for being a key contributor to the conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    General Muhindo Akili Mundos, an ally of President Joseph Kabila, was among three men sanctioned by the US.

    He spent two years in charge of the Congolese army's operations against a Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

    The United Nations (UN) found during that period General Mundos was involved in the killing of at least 400 civilians.

    The US has also placed three rebel commanders on the sanctions list for recruiting child soldiers and committing human rights abuses.

    The UN and France have taken similar action against the three men.

  11. Kenya opposition strategist's passport suspended

    A Kenyan economist - who attended the mock swearing in of opposition politician Raila Odinga last week - has had his passport suspended.

    David Ndii shared a picture of the letter he received informing him of the government's decision on Twitter:

    View more on twitter

    A government official confirmed its authenticity to news agency Reuters.

    Mr Ndii is the latest of the group at the heart of last week's "inauguration" to find themselves in trouble with the authorities.

    As Africa Live reported earlier, Miguna Miguna - who took Mr Odinga's "oath" at the ceremony - has been held on treason-related charges.

    However, Mr Odinga has not yet faced any consequences himself.

  12. DR Congo militia leader hands himself in

    Young Congolese boys play around broken building on October 26, 2017 in Kasala, in the restive region of Kasai, central Democratic Republic of Congo
    Image caption: Violence in the Kasai region has left 1.4 million people displaced

    A militia leader accused of contributing to the violence in Dr Congo's southwestern Kasai region has handed himself in to the authorities, news agency AFP reports.

    Kalamba Dilondo allegedly came to officials "on his own accord", according to Jacopo Pembe Longo, administrator of Mweka territory in Kasai.

    "He was received by the governor of the province, who handed him over to the regional sector commander" of the Congolese army, he added.

    Violence broke out in the Kasai region in September 2016, a month after the army killed a local chief, Kamwina Nsapu, who was opposed to the government.

    On 30 January, men loyal to Nsapu joined Mr Kalamba's troops in an operation.

    Nsapu's forces are believed to have killed nine people in the attack, and burned down a local hospital and some homes.

    Mr Kalamba's group is accused of operating in the region since last November.

    Violence in the area has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 people, while 1.4 million others have been displaced.

  13. Egypt investigating Russian belly-dancer for 'inciting debauchery'

    A Tunisian dancer attends a lesson at a belly dancing school in the Egyptian capital Cairo on December 12, 2012.

    Egyptian officials are investigating a Russian belly dancer for allegedly "inciting debauchery".

    The charges against Ekaterina Andreeva include "wearing a dancing outfit that violates permitted standards".

    Videos of Ms Andreeva, who goes by the name Johara, were circulated on social media, according to the Youm7 news site.

    In the videos, Ms Andreeva is seen dancing in a night club in Giza, northern Egypt.

    Last year, Egyptian officials sentenced a singer to two years in prison over a suggestive music video.

    Laila Amer was found guilty of inciting debauchery and publishing an indecent film.

  14. South Sudan's president condemns child abductions

    South Sudanese children fleeing from recent fighting in Lasu in South Sudan stand in a church after crossing the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, near Aba, on December 23, 2017
    Image caption: South Sudanese children are at an increased risk of kidnapping

    South Sudan's president, Salvia Kiir Mayardit, has condemned child abductions in South Sudan.

    Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for newly appointed regional governors, he warned the Murle community against kidnappings.

    "People whose children you take, don't they love their children," Mr Kiir Mayardit asked.

    Addressing the newly appointed governor of Bomo State, the president added: "You must stop child abduction by all means."

    Mr Kiir Mayardit likened the practice to slavery, saying it didn't matter whether it was black people carrying out the crime.

    BBC Newsday spoke to a journalist in South Sudan about the rise in child kidnappings, which see children traded for cattle or used as wives and servants.

  15. Human Rights Watch urges Morocco to change activist sentence

    Teargas from security forces enshrouds protesters from the Rif movement during clashes after a demonstration against the government in al-Hoceima on June 8, 2017.
    Image caption: Mortada Iamrachen protested conditions in Morocco's Rif region, where demonstrations are frequent

    Human Rights Watch has urged Morocco to reconsider a five-year sentence it handed down to political activist Mortada Iamrachen in November.

    The organisation warned the judgement was based on a confession which may have been coerced.

    Mr Iamrachen, 31, was a member of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or "Popular Movement", which called for jobs and an end to corruption in Morocco's northern Rif region.

    He was convicted in November of "defending terrorism" and inciting violence in posts about the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey in December 2016.

    He also wrote a post claiming he'd told a journalist that al-Qaeda's leader had asked him to import weapons into the Rif region - something he later said was sarcastic.

    Mr Iamrachen has subsequently said his confession was forced by police who threatened to publish private photos of his wife.

    The court rejected this claim but are due to hear an appeal against his sentencing on Wednesday.

  16. Analysis: Pressure piles on Zuma to quit

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, addresses the UN General Assembly in New York City. Photo: September 2017

    Pressure is mounting on President Jacob Zuma to step down before Thursday.

    In an unprecedented announcement, South Africa's speaker of the house said that the State of the Nation address which Mr Zuma was due to deliver on Thursday had been postponed.

    No new date was given.

    The governing African National Congress' highest decision-making body, the National Executive Committee, has called a special meeting for tomorrow.

    Mr Zuma chaired a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning - but his future as head of state was not discussed.

    Opposition parties are demanding that a vote of no-confidence be held to remove him from office.

    But Mr Zuma is standing firm despite six senior officials paying him a visit on Sunday night asking him to resign.

    Earlier on Tuesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation called for him to stand down sooner rather than later.

    In a statement the office of the former president accused Mr Zuma of abusing the trust of South Africans.

    Read more: Speech postponement will create 'better atmosphere'

    • Africa Live will be keeping an eye on this developing story throughout the day, so keep checking back for all the latest updates and analysis. In the meantime, read our earlier posts by scrolling down, or clicking here:Mandela Foundation calls for Zuma to go
  17. Is Cape Town's weather heralding a swift exit for Zuma?

    South African Twitter users have been joking that embattled president, Jacob Zuma, will step down when it rains in Cape Town.

    One opposition leader was even cheeky enough to suggest the idea came from Mr Zuma:

    It would have been a dangerous bet to make, even in a city which has been beset by drought for years and is at risk of running out of water entirely.

    Because, as everyone knows, the weather in Cape Town is not always predictable.

    And now, rain is predicted in Cape Town as early as Friday:

    With South Africa having postponed Mr Zuma's State of the Union address amid growing calls for him to go, might the winds (and rains) of change be blowing in the country?

  18. SONA postponement will create 'better atmosphere'

    Hear what South Africa's speaker of the house Baleka Mbete had to say as she announced the postponement of Thursday's State of the Nation address:

    View more on twitter

    The decision comes as President Jacob Zuma - who has found himself mired in allegations of corruption, which he denies - fights for political survival.

    • Africa Live will be keeping an eye on this developing story throughout the day, so keep checking back for all the latest updates and analysis. In the meantime, read our earlier posts by scrolling down, or clicking here: Mandela Foundation calls for Zuma to go
  19. BreakingSouth Africa postpones State of the Nation address

    South Africa's annual State of the Nation address is set to be postponed to a later date, as pressure grows on the country's embattled president, Jacob Zuma, to step aside.

    View more on twitter

    The tweets also revealed that Mr Zuma was hoping to postpone the speech.

    View more on twitter

    What this means for Mr Zuma's future remains to be seen, there is no new date scheduled for the speech.

    Scroll down for more on today's news from South Africa.

  20. S Africa's Zuma cabinet meeting 'routine'

    ™s President Jacob Zuma arrives for the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 28, 2018

    A meeting of President Jacob Zuma's cabinet in Cape Town today is "routine", a government spokesman says.

    The government hit back after it was suggested the meeting was out of the ordinary.

    In a statement, a spokesman said the meeting had been scheduled since last year, emphasising there is "nothing unusual or extraordinary" about it.

    The meeting comes as speculation over Mr Zuma's future reaches fever pitch, with opposition and many of his own party members pushing for him to stand down.

    • Africa Live will be keeping an eye on this developing story throughout the day, so keep checking back for all the latest updates and analysis. In the meantime, read our earlier post: Mandela Foundation calls for Zuma to go