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Summary

  1. Kenyan pilots come home after month-long ordeal
  2. 'My son is Malawi's future president', says Madonna
  3. Ethiopia foreign minister defends 'necessary' state of emergency
  4. Zambian-Welsh filmmaker 'in shock' over Bafta win
  5. Ivory Coast 'boy in the suitcase' father walks free
  6. Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai laid to rest in home town
  7. Two aid workers killed in eastern DR Congo
  8. Pro-Biafra separatist leader treason trial delayed
  9. Ramaphosa wants 'healing and atonement' for Marikana massacre

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty and Flora Drury

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for stories from Monday and Tuesday

    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 Tuesday's wise words:

    Quote Message: If snakes didn't bite, they would be used to tie firewood." from A Pinyin proverb sent by Khan Roger in Bamenda, Cameroon
    A Pinyin proverb sent by Khan Roger in Bamenda, Cameroon

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

    And we leave you with this photo posted by Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o of herself and her Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman. In its first few days of release, the superhero film has taken double the amount expected at the box office and won legions of fans - including former US first lady Michelle Obama.

    View more on instagram
  2. Mozambique moves residents after rubbish dump collapse

    Rescue workers clear rubbish as they continue to search for survivors
    Image caption: Rescue workers clear rubbish as they continue to search for survivors

    Mozambican authorities are, at last, moving all the families still living in the shadow of the gigantic rubbish tip in the outskirts of the country’s capital Maputo to safer areas.

    Heavy rains caused huge mounds of waste, some 15m (49ft) high, to collapse onto seven homes yesterday morning, killing at least 17 people, including a two-year-old child.

    Around 80 families who are still living front of the towering mountain of rubbish are being moved to temporary accommodation in another nieghbourhood of the city, says Minister of State Administration Carmelita Namashalua.

    She told the BBC the move was necessary because they could be at risk if there is any further collapse

    The government says search and rescue efforts will continue at the rubbish site until all survivors and missing people are accounted for.

  3. 'No foul play' in mysterious Uganda deaths

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    A view of Peral of Africa hotel where forty one-year-old Finnish business man was found dead in Kampala, Uganda, 16 February 2018
    Image caption: The hotel where the Finnish businessman was found dead in Kampala, Uganda

    Uganda’s police chief has played down rumours of foul play after three Europeans and a US national all died in the country within the last two weeks.

    The deaths began with a 41-year-old male Swedish national, who was discovered in his room at the Sheraton Hotel in the capital Kampala on 5 February.

    The next day, a Finnish man was found dead in his room at the Pearl of Africa hotel, also in the centre of the city.

    Neither had any immediately apparent cause of death.

    Eleven days later, an American man who had visited Murchison Falls National Park, in the west of the country, was found dead in his hut at a safari camp. He is said to have died from heart failure.

    Two days after that - on this Monday - a German woman died at a hospital where she had been taken after collapsing while on a nature walk in the same national park.

    The deaths, coming so quickly after one another, have led to rampant speculation - especially after local media reports indicated that the Finnish national was in Uganda on the invitation of officials from the Internal Security Organization.

    The speculation was further buoyed after journalist Charles Etukuri - who was investigating the first two deaths for Uganda's New Vision newspaper - was bundled into a van by security services as he left his office.

    No-one knew his whereabouts until he was released on Saturday.

    He told his colleagues at the New Vision he had been interrogated about the case.

    "They believed I was deeply involved in the matter and that I had closely worked with the killers. That I knew much more than what I had written,” he said.

    But Uganda's police, General Kale Kayihura, dismissed all speculation and insisted there was no foul play involved in the foreigners' deaths.

    The police now say preliminary investigations indicate that the two men died from mixed drug intoxication, which included narcotics, while the letter in the dead man’s possession was later discovered to be a forgery.

    However, the police chief did say arrests have been made, as investigations continue.

  4. Thousands left homeless by Mozambique flood

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    A map showing Zambezia province

    More than 3,000 people have been left without shelter on Mozambique's coast after their homes were flooded by torrential rain and a river which burst its banks.

    Local authorities say 600 homes are under water in the central province of Zambezia, with parts of Maganja da Costa District inaccessible by road.

    District administrator Angela Serrote told the BBC that six rescue boats had been deployed to assist residents and "carry medicines where they are needed".

    "We also have pre-positioned tents," she added. "So, we are managing the situation. We don’t expect anything serious to occur. But we are ready to face it.”

  5. Father of Ivory Coast boy smuggled in a suitcase walks free

    A file photo taken on May 08, 2015 shows an X-ray image showing 8-year-old Ivorian boy Adou Ouattara hidden in a suitcase
    Image caption: Eight-year-old Adou in the suitcase

    The father of a boy who was hidden inside a suitcase in an attempt to smuggle him into Europe has been allowed to walk free from court.

    Adou was just eight years old when a shocked border official spotted his figure - crushed into the fetal position - on an X-ray at the border of Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in May 2015.

    His father Ali Ouattara, 45, was waiting on the other side, having been promised by the smugglers that his son was being brought from his home in the Ivory Coast to Europe by car.

    Attempts to have their son join them in Spain legally failed, Mr Ouattara explained, and after Adou's grandmother died, leaving him with just his 18-year-old brother, the family had resorted to paying a criminal gang 5,000 euros ($6,200; £4,400).

    But after Adou was found inside the suitcase, the one-time French and philosophy teacher faced charges of facilitating his son's illegal entry into Europe and threatening the child's life.

    Prosecutors were hoping for a three-year jail sentence, and the cruelty - and danger - of making the crossing this way was not lost on judge Fernando Teson.

    "The child's life was endangered, he was inhumanly curled up in a tiny suitcase, without ventilation," he told the court in Ceuta, according to news agency AFP.

    Ivorian Ali Ouattara, 45, sits in court during his trial in Ceuta, a Spanish overseas territory in northern Morocco, on February 20, 2018.

    However, it was 10-year-old Adou's testimony which saved his father from a long sentence.

    The little boy said a "Moroccan girl" forced him into the suitcase, which made it difficult for him to breathe.

    But Adou said Mr Ouattara - who has spent a month in prison - had always told him the journey would be made "by car" - and the court could find no evidence the family had known any different.

    Mr Ouattara was ordered to pay a 92 euro ($114) fine, but could walk free.

    "It's all over and we can begin to resume out lives, together, my wife, my daughter my son and I," he said, revealing the family would start a new life in northern Spain.

    • Read our earlier post here.
  6. Ethiopia foreign minister defends state of emergency

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu speaks during a press conference at the Sudanese Foreign Ministry in Khartoum on January 14, 2018

    Ethiopia’s foreign minister has defended the state of emergency declared last week, even as demonstrators staged boycotts in the north of the country.

    Dr Workneh Gebeyehu met foreign diplomats in the capital Addis Ababa, telling them the move was necessary to restore calm in the country following months of violent protests which, he said, had threatened the country’s stability and economy.

    But his meeting with the diplomats came even as people in Northern Ethiopia defied the state of emergency and boycotted work for a second day running.

    Businesses and schools have remained closed since Monday and transport in the cities of Gondar and Bahir Dar have been paralysed by the strike action.

    Local reports also say people in the Southern regions are also observing the strike.

    The boycotts are similar to the one observed last week in Ethiopia’s largest region Oromia.

    Meanwhile, the Amhara regional state has freed more than 300 people who were in prison, as part of releases promised by the government.

    It all comes as Ethiopia is facing a tumultuous time. Last week’s abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has thrown the country into its worst political crisis in years.

    Parliament is expected to come out of recess to endorse the state of emergency and also choose the country’s new leader.

    The 180-member council of the ruling EPRDF coalition is expected to meet soon to elect a new chairman - who will automatically become the next prime minister.

    Hundreds of people have died and thousands arrested since anti government protests erupted in Ethiopia in 2015.

  7. 'Magic' blamed for Burundi post office robbery

    Robert Misigaro

    BBC Africa

    Remember the Nigerian story of a “money-eating snake”?

    Well, similar things have happened in Burundi - only this time it was blamed on “magic”.

    It happened at a local post office in Cibitoke province, western Burundi.

    A man walked in with a 10,000 Burundi franc note (£4; $5.60) and asked to get some change.

    The cashier placed the note with the rest of the money in his counter, but when he checked the counter again later on, to his surprise, all the money - totalling 23 million Burundian Francs, or some $16,000, had disappeared.

    And the ten-thousand-note-man was nowhere to be seen.

    The police spokesperson has confirmed the story to us and two men are under arrest pending investigation…

  8. Boko Haram raiders 'just looking for food'

    Stephanie Hegarty

    BBC Africa, Lagos

    A map of Nigeria showing Yobe state

    Further details are emerging about a raid on Monday by suspected Boko Haram militants on a school in Yobe state in north-east Nigeria.

    A teacher who met the militants at the school gate in Dapchi told the BBC he believed they were not looking for students, but intended to loot the school for supplies,

    They left with some food about three hours later, and no-one has been reported injured. The school has been closed since the incident and is now guarded by army troops.

    Witnesses said the militants entered the town, firing guns and letting off explosives at around 6pm local time.

    By the time they reached the gate, many of the students and teachers had run into the surrounding bush.

    The teacher said some of the students still haven’t returned - but he doesn’t believe they were taken by Boko Haram.

    Read our earlier story on how close Nigerian troops came to capturing Boko Haram's leader here.

  9. Tsvangirai laid to rest in home town

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    A pastor prays next to Morgan Tsvangirai's coffin
    Image caption: A pastor prays next to Morgan Tsvangirai's coffin

    Zimbabwe’s late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been buried in his home town of Buhera in a final farewell which was attended by supporters, diplomats and senior representatives of the ruling Zanu PF party.

    There were some surprises too, music legend Oliver Mtukudzi seneraded the gathering.

    And then Tsvangirai was lowered to his final resting place, beside his first wife Susan.

    But even in grief, the underlying tensions within the party he created and led, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), were apparent.

    Mourners attend the funeral of Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, in Buhera, Zimbabwe February 20, 2018.

    Supporters booed the two leaders challenging the appointment of the new acting president Nelson Chamisa.

    In his address Mr Chamisa said special meetings will be organised to find consensus on the party’s direction.

    Analysts are in two minds about the MDC’s future.

    Some believe without Tsvangirai, the party could splinter.

    While others say his departure could re-energise the party with its new younger leadership.

    Nelson Chamisa, the new leader of Zimbabwe"s Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) talks to Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga at the funeral of Morgan Tsvangirai in Buhera, Zimbabwe February 20, 2018
    Image caption: Nelson Chamia talks to Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga
  10. Ramaphosa wants to help with 'healing and atonement' over Marikana

    Protesting miners approach the police before they were shot at outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 16, 2012
    Image caption: Protesting miners in Marikana in 2012

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa says he wants to help with "healing and atonement" following the Marikana massacre.

    Mr Ramaphosa, who was a non-exective director of the Lonmin platinum mine when 34 striking miners were shot dead by police in 2012, has been accused of putting pressure on authorities to end the strike.

    A judicial commission of inquiry cleared Mr Ramaphosa in 2015, but, as the BBC's Pumza Fihlani pointed out on 2014, the Marikana issue was a blemish in an otherwise spotless reputation enjoyed by the ANC politician.

    Mr Ramaphosa tackled the issue in parliament in Cape Town today, saying:

    Quote Message: I would like to use this opportunity to address what role I played in my capacity as a Lonmin director in the events of that tragic week.
    Quote Message: I am determined to play whatever role I can in the process of healing and atonement for what happened at Marikana."

    It is unclear exactly what he means.

    Some have questioned why Mr Ramaphosa did not use his union experience to negotiate a settlement with those working at a platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg.

    The striking miners were demanding higher wages when police opened fire on them. The officers involved said they were acting in self defence after being threatened by strikers carrying weapons such as knobkerries (clubs), machetes and spears, as well as firearms.

    The miners eventually returned to work after accepting a pay rise of up to 22%.

  11. Oxfam boss 'sorry' for sex abuse scandal

    Chadian refugees wait 06 February 2008 in the Cameroonian border town of Kousseri after fleeing fighting between rebels and government forces in the Chadian capital of Ndjamena.
    Image caption: The charity has been hit by allegations of sexual misconduct by staff in Chad

    Oxfam's chief executive Mark Goldring has said he is sorry for the damage the charity has done to the people of Haiti and the wider efforts of aid workers.

    About 7,000 people have stopped making regular donations to the charity in the ten days since it emerged some of its staff used prostitutes in Haiti, MPs have heard.

    Mr Goldring is facing questions from MPs on the International Development Committee about the sexual misconduct of some staff after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

    The scandal is wide-reaching, with a high-ranking former Oxfam staffer accused of paying for prostitutes while working in Chad, and other members of his staff are alleged to have used prostitutes in the charity's premises.

    He said today:

    Quote Message: I am sorry, we are sorry, for the damage Oxfam has done both to the people of Haiti but also to wider efforts for aid and development by possibly undermining public support."

    Mr Goldring also apologised for remarks made about murdering babies in cots which he made in defending Oxfam.

    In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian last week, he said: "The intensity and ferocity of the attack makes you wonder, what did we do? We murdered babies in their cots?"

    Mr Goldring, who joined the charity in 2013, said he was "deeply sorry" for the comments that he had made while "under stress".

  12. Pro-Biafra separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu's treason trial delayed

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Nnamdi Kanu (L), wearing a Jewish prayer shawl, poses in the garden of his house in Umuahia, southeast Nigeria, on May 26, 2017,
    Image caption: Nnamdi Kanu, pictured last May, has not been seen for months

    The case of the pro-Biafra separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu has been delayed once more due to his absence from court.

    The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafraland (Ipob) and three others are facing treason charges for agitating for a breakaway state from Nigeria.

    But Mr Kanu, a former estate agent, has not been seen since last year when the military invaded his home - and he was again missing from court today.

    Of the other three, who are being held in jail, one looked sickly. He was assisted into the prison vehicle which brought them to court room in Abuja.

    Yesterday, Mr Kanu's wife told the BBC she does not know where her husband is, while the presiding judge has asked his lawyer and sureties to produce him on the next hearing date or show cause why his bail should not be revoked.

    The government, meanwhile, is asking the court to declare him wanted for failing to fulfill the conditions of his bail.

    In the meantime, it looks like the other three will be tried separately when the court resumes their trial in March.

    Hear what Uchechi Kanu told the BBC:

    Video content

    Video caption: Nnamdi Kanu: Wife begs Nigerian government for information
  13. Relief as kidnapped pilots reunite with family

    Ibrahim Haithar

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    Two Kenyan pilots who were held by a rebel group in South Sudan for over a month have now returned home. They landed in Nairobi a short while ago where they were met by family members.

    Rebels seized the pair early last month when their plane crashed in the Upper Nile region, reportedly killing a woman and some livestock.

    The two pilots were released yesterday following intense negotiations involving South Sudanese government officials and their Kenyan counterparts.

    Captain Pius Frank Njoroge and family
    Image caption: Captain Pius Frank Njoroge (R) smiles as he is reunited with family
    Co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla is greeted on arrival in Nairobi
    Image caption: Co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla (R) is greeted on arrival in Nairobi
  14. Zimbabwe will still mark 'Robert Mugabe Day'

    Robert Mugabe may no longer be Zimbabwe's leader, but the country will still mark his birthday with a public holiday.

    Zimbabwe's new government has said tomorrow - 21 February - will continue to be known as Robert Gabriel Mugabe Youth Day.

    Mr Mugabe, who was ousted from power in November last year after three decades as president, will turn 94 on Wednesday.

    However, our reporter Shingai Nyoka says the day will be without the extravagant celebrations seen in previous years.

    Meanwhile, a picture of Mr Mugabe, his wife Grace and the African Union Commission's Moussa Faki Mahamat has created quite the stir on social media.

    As one social media user notes, Mrs Mugabe "looks particularly happy".

    View more on twitter
  15. How Malawi reduced infant mortality

    Every year 2.6 million babies around the world don't survive beyond a month.

    A report published by Unicef says many of these deaths are preventable.

    Our reporter Lebo Diseko has travelled to Malawi, where the number of infant deaths is dropping.

    Here's how they did it.

    Video content

    Video caption: How Malawi reduced infant mortality
  16. DR Congo faces 'disaster of extraordinary proportions'

    Imogen Foulkes

    BBC News, Geneva

    A Congolese boy, who migrated from Democratic Republic of Congo by fleeing on a boat across Lake Albert, rests after arriving in Ntoroko, Uganda February 17, 2018

    The UN refugee agency is warning of a "humanitarian disaster of extraordinary proportions" in the south-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

    The region, with a population of around three million, now has more than 630,000 people internally displaced, the refugee agency said.

    Since January an upsurge in violent clashes between Congolese forces and militias has caused thousands to flee.

    The UN, speaking with those who have fled, has recorded 800 "protection incidents" in the first two weeks of February alone, including killings, abductions, and rape.

    The UN refugee agency received less than $1 a day in 2017 for its programmes for the internally displaced in DRC.

    In 2018 it is appealing for $368.7m (£264m) for its operations in DRC, $80m of that for internally displaced.

  17. Zambian filmmaker 'in shock' over Bafta win

    Rungano Nyoni attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018

    Film-maker Rungano Nyoni said she felt "genuine shock" when she was named a Bafta winner.

    The Zambian director, who moved to Wales aged eight, won the outstanding debut prize for her film I Am Not A Witch - about a young Zambian girl at a witch camp.

    "It was a real big shock - I know people say that, because I've watched these awards," she told the BBC's Good Morning Wales:

    Quote Message: Genuinely, we were sat at the back in a bad position and we'd seen the others nominated in better positions, so we'd predicted who would win - it was a sure-fire bet - everyone had predicted it would go to another film.
    Quote Message: So we were pretty relaxed - I was waiting for my category to go so I could go to the toilet.
    Quote Message: And then they called it out - and it was a shock - and my mum was shocked - she started crying."

    Nyoni, who spent a month in a so-called "witch camp" in Ghana researching the film, has been praised by equality campaigners for highlighting the issue.

    "Films on under-reported or little known gender abuses are very important as they can bring these often hidden issues to the public's attention and force them into the light," Shelby Quast, director of the charity Equality Now, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    "Bringing these stories to light can help survivors, civil society and communities to hold their government and duty bearers to account."

    Hear more from Nyoni below:

    Video content

    Video caption: I Am Not A Witch director Rungano Nyoni on Wales and Zambia
  18. Ivory Coast 'boy in the suitcase' trial begins today

    A file photo taken on May 08, 2015 shows an X-ray image showing 8-year-old Ivorian boy Adou Ouattara hidden in a suitcase
    Image caption: The boy was spotted in the suitcase on an X-ray

    The trial of an Ivorian man who tried to smuggle his eight-year-old son across the Spanish border in a suitcase is due to begin today.

    Ali Ouattara is facing a possible three-year jail term if he is found guilty of attempting to get the little boy into Europe illegally, and endangering his life.

    But Mr Ouattara told news agency AFP he was not worried.

    "I'm going to this trial with a lot of confidence because I'm not a human trafficker," the 45-year-old said.

    The boy was found inside the case after it was put through an X-ray machine at the border between Morocco and Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa.

    It was being pulled by a 19-year-old woman in May 2015.

    His father, a former philosophy and French teacher in Ivory Coast, had paid 5,000 euros ($6,200; £4,400) to smugglers to get his son into Spain, where the family had been living.

    But he was not told he would be smuggled in a suitcase.

    Mr Ouattara's attempts to be reunited with his son legally had failed, he said.

    The trial begins in Ceuta today. Mr Ouattara's son, who has been living in France with his mother and sister, is expected to return.

  19. Madonna: My son will be Malawi president

    Pop star Madonna has called her son, David Banda, "the future president of Malawi" in a tweet praising the 12-year-old.

    The US singer has six children, four of whom she adopted from Malawi.

    View more on twitter

    The singer has reportedly had a fractious relationship with Malawi's authorities.

    In 2013, Malawi accused Madonna of "bullying state officials", exaggerating her contribution to the country and demanding VIP treatment.

    Madonna's manager accused Malawi's government of having a "grudge" against the singer's charity, Raising Malawi, which she founded the same year she adopted David.

    Last year, Malawi granted Madonna permission to adopt two more children, and she became mother to twin baby girls Esther and Stella Mwale.

  20. Kidnapped Kenyan pilots to come home

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    A map showing the location of Akobo in South Sudan in relation to Kenya

    South Sudanese rebels have released two Kenyan pilots who were captured more than a month ago after their aircraft crashed.

    A rebel spokesman said the Kenyans were freed after an insurance company paid more than $100,000 (£71,620) in compensation for the death of a civilian killed when their plane hit the ground.

    After more than a month in captivity, Captain Pius Frank Njoroge and co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla are reported to have arrived safely in the the South Sudanese capital Juba.

    A spokesman for the Kenyan foreign ministry told the BBC the two men would return to Kenya later today.

    Rebels seized the pair early last month when their plane crashed in the Upper Nile region, reportedly killing a woman and livestock on the ground.

    The rebels had initially demanded a payment of more than $200,000 but agreed a compromise after negotiations with Kenyan officials.

    A rebel spokesman insists the payment was not a ransom, but compensation for the deaths.

    Kenyan pilots flying cargo and commercial operations to South Sudan had threatened to strike in support of their colleagues as the negotiations dragged on.