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Summary

  1. Court challenge to Swaziland name change
  2. Several dead on Lake Edward, Congo says
  3. Uganda says only one soldier killed
  4. Top Angolan journalist acquitted over corruption article
  5. Mandela cell auction condemned
  6. Mozambique airline board sacked after PM stranded
  7. Nigeria's ruling APC denies split over Buhari

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Scroll down for this week's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of our wise words for Friday:

One who walks in the forest does not fear the sound of dry branches."

A Bemba proverb sent by Patience Kunda Banda in Kawambwa, Zambia

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

And we leave you with an image from our selection of some of the best pictures of the week.

It shows a woman taking part in Swaziland's pride march demanding the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the conservative kingdom.

A woman at Swaziland's gay pride event
MATHIAS WASIK

Cameroon cancels league games over lack of money

Cameroon, the country due to host the Africa Cup of Nations next year, has suspended the final matches of its top two professional leagues due to lack of funds.

The league managers said that the games due to be played in the coming days would now be postponed until further notice.

Cameroon blazed a trail for African football in 1990 when it became the first country from sub-Saharan Africa to reach the quarter-finals of a World Cup.

But recently the football league has complained repeatedly about lack of funding.

UN: There is no European migration crisis

Officials from the United Nations have said it is incorrect to think that Europe is in the grip of a migration crisis.

They say the turmoil over immigration that is straining a number of European countries is because the issue is being politicised and not because of any increase in numbers coming from North Africa.

Many of those trying to reach Europe are from sub-Saharan Africa.

A spokesman for the UN Refugee Agency, Charley Yaxley, told a news conference in Geneva that if there was a crisis it was a political one:

I think when we look at the numbers now, we can see a clear distinction for the numbers that are coming this year compared to previous years.

Forty-five thousand seven hundred asylum seekers and migrants have reached European shores after crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the first six months of 2018, a sharp decline compared to previous years.

When compared to the peak of the arrivals in the first half of 2016, the number is five times lower, and this represents a return to the averages that we were seeing before 2014."

The 'MV Lifeline', a vessel for the German charity Mission Lifeline, arrives with 234 migrants onboard in the harbour of Valletta, Malta, on June 27, 2018
AFP
Many migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean as they try to make the crossing

France through to the World Cup semi-finals

France is the first country to get through to the World Cup semi-finals after defeating Uruguay 2-0.

The first goal, a header by Raphaël Varane, was from a set piece. The second followed a howler from Uruguay's goalkeeper who failed to stop a shot by Antoine Griezmann.

Buhari blames violence on 'disgruntled politicians'

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed some of the violence in the country on "disgruntled politicians".

He made the comments at Army Day celebrations in Borno State, according to a tweet from his personal assistant.

View more on twitter

Nigeria's security forces are facing challenges on several fronts.

It continues to fight the insurgency from Islamist militants Boko Haram in the north-east of the country.

And in recent months, an age-old conflict in the country's Middle Belt has taken on a new level of brutality.

At the end of last month, at least 86 people died in the region after violent clashes broke out between farmers and cattle herders, according to police in Plateau state.

Several hundred people are believed to have died this year.

Mr Buhari was not specific about which violence he was blaming on politicians, but he said:

There are pockets of violence in several states some deliberately instigated by disgruntled politicians who have lost all arguments and are desperate to cause mayhem as a way of seeking relevance.

We shall fish them out and punish [them] according to the provision of law."

Muhammadu Buhari
Getty Images
President Buhari is under pressure to take more action in the country's Middle Belt

'Let all land belong to the state'

South Africa's radical Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party has called for the expropriation of land without compensation to redress the historical imbalance in land distribution in the country.

The BBC’s Milton Nkosi sat down with EFF leader Julius Malema and began by asking him whether they were going to follow Zimbabwe in its approach to the land question:

Foreign workers kidnapped in Libya

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

An armed group in Libya has stormed the headquarters of the Great Man-Made River (GMR) project in the central-western area of Jabal al-Hasouna and reportedly kidnapped a group of workers, including foreigners, according to a Libyan security official.

Libya's east-based Interior Minister Ibrahim Bu Shaf has confirmed the report, Afrigate News said.

The privately-owned Afrigate News website quoted a security source as saying that the gunmen broke into the GMR offices earlier on Friday, 6 June, before the kidnapping took place.

They released the Libyan workers, but not the foreign nationals, the source said.

The foreign workers are reportedly from an unspecified Asian country.

France lead at half-time

France are leading Uruguay 1-0 at half-time in the first quarter-final at the World Cup.

Raphael Varane scored with a header from a free kick supplied by Antoine Griezmann.

Some have called France Africa's sixth team at the World Cup because of all the players who could qualify to play for African nations, including breakout star Kylian Mbappé - there are 14 in the squad of 23.

Should Africa back France in the World Cup? - BBC News

France's forward Kylian Mbappe
AFP
Kylian Mbappé was born to a Cameroonian father and French-Algerian mother

South African through to Wimbledon last 16

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Kevin Anderson celebrates
Getty Images
Anderson will face unseeded Gael Monfils in the next round

At the Wimbledon tennis championships, South Africa's number eight seed Kevin Anderson has made it into the last 16 with a straight sets (6-3, 7-5, 7-5) win over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber - who was seeded number 25.

Anderson will face France's former top-10 player Gael Monfils after he beat 11th seed Sam Querrey three sets to one.

Challenge to Swaziland name change

BBC World Service

A pro-democracy activist in Swaziland has challenged the king's decision to change the country's name.

In April, King Mswati III, one of the world's last-remaining absolute monarchs, unexpectedly announced he was changing the country's official name to the Kingdom of eSwatini.

The activist, Thulani Maseko, argued in papers submitted to the High Court that the decision was invalid because there had been no prior public consultation.

He said the decision was whimsical and a waste of money in a country with serious health problems.

The government has not yet responded to the challenge.

King Mswati with other African monarchs
AFP
King Mswati III, centre, has ruled the country since 1986

BreakingHigh-profile Angolan journalist acquitted

One of Angola's most well-known journalists Rafael Marques de Moraies and editor Mariano Bras Lourenço have been acquitted by a court in the capital, Luanda.

Marques de Morais, who runs the anti-corruption website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras Lourenço, who is the editor of the weekly newspaper O Crime, were charged on 21 June 2017 for publishing an article alleging illegal land acquisition involving former Attorney General João Maria de Sousa.

A verdict and sentencing were expected to be read out today.

A Human Rights Watch official has tweeted a picture of the two journalists and comments from the presiding judge saying: "We can't punish messengers of bad news."

View more on twitter

MTN protests against Uganda office raid

Uganda's largest telecommunications firm, MTN, has written to the country's industry regulator to protest against a raid by security agents on its data centre in the capital, Kampala, which ended in the disconnection of four of its servers, news agency Reuters reports.

View more on twitter

The letter to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) said that during the 2 July incident, the security men, who identified themselves as members of the country's intelligence agency, also kidnapped one of its contractors who works for Huawei Technologies.

MTN said the security personnel forced the employee to grant them access to a data centre and then proceeded to forcefully disconnect four servers.

The South African-owned company said that the incident, "poses a serious security risk to our telecommunications infrastructure and customer data".

Godfrey Mutabazi, the head of UCC, confirmed to Reuters that he had seen the letter:

"Yes, yes I have seen on social media that letter. I don't know who leaked it but I received it, yes. They were complaining that they were raided," he is quoted as saying.

Police spokesman, Emirian Kayima told Reuters he was "aware of the letter but I am verifying at the moment. I can't comment for now."

Nigeria senate president cleared by top court

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria's Supreme Court has cleared Senate President Bukola Saraki of all allegations of false asset declaration in a unanimous decision.

This will come as a huge relief for the man who is the country's third most senior politician after the president and the vice-president.

The anti-corruption agency, the EFCC, brought the charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in 2015.

The tribunal acquitted him last year saying that he had no case to answer but the government appealed the ruling.

Mr Saraki said that his trial was politically motivated because of his alleged presidential ambitions.

Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki sits in the accused box during a hearing of corruption charges against him at Code of Conduct tribunal in Abuja, on September 22, 2015
AFP
Bukola Saraki was first taken to court on these charges in 2015

The girl griot singing to stop school fights

DJ Rita Ray

Africa: A Journey into Music

Ami Diabate (l) and Rita Ray
BBC
I met Ami Diabate before she went off to school at her home in Bamako

Thirteen-year-old Ami Diabate is a griot, which is a hereditary musician.

She started singing at the age of five, trained by her grandmother - the revered Malian griot Bako Dagnon.

She has to learn a huge repertoire as griots are like historians - in Mali their musical repertoire is like an archive of the Manding Empire.

This is a clip of her singing earlier this year:

View more on youtube

Griots have been the lifeblood of Malian society.

Before newspapers and mobile phones, they were the journalists of the time, disseminating news and alerting their countrymen to events.

Griots still play a vital role, including in mediation and peace-making.

Famous Malian kora player Toumani Diabate explains:

If West Africa was a person, the griot would be the blood of that person.

You are born a griot, you cannot become a griot."

When I met Ami at her home in Mali’s capital, Bamako, she said such responsibilities were an honour.

Being a griot was part of everyday life, even at school, she said.

I play my role of griot there, I say to them, ‘Stop fighting'. If they don’t stop fighting, I will start singing so they will listen to me."

At such a young age she even has a view on Mali’s recent civil war and has written a mediating song about the conflict.

She spoke to me for my documentary series Africa: A Journey into Music, which explores the musical traditions of African countries and their influence on popular music.

Find out more about her and other griot dynasties in the third programme, available on the iPlayer in the UK.

Tanzanian politician arrested for 'insulting' president

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

President John Magufuli
AFP
The president has come under criticism for his alleged attempts to curb the freedom of expression

A senior leader of a Tanzanian opposition party has been arrested for insulting President John Magufuli.

He’s the latest in a line of several citizens and politicians who have been detained on similar charges.

Posting a question “Who is the President, really?” on his Facebook page was enough to get Julius Mtatiro arrested.

Police detained him as they found this phrase offensive to the president. They went on to search Mr Mtatiro’s home for the device used to post on social media.

Mr Mtatiro had reposted in solidarity with a young man in North Western Tanzania, who originally raised the question on his Facebook page and himself got arrested three days ago.

Rights activists have been criticising the Tanzanian authorities for suppressing free speech.

But the government says unlimited freedom of expression may result into a breach of peace.

For more on concerns over free speech in Tanzania see:

Ugandan soldier killed in 'unprovoked attack'

One Ugandan soldier was killed and another one injured after unknown gunmen attacked their boat patrolling Lake Edward which straddles its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, army spokesman Brig Richard Kalemire has told the BBC.

He denied reports, which we carried earlier, that four UPDF soldiers and three civilians had been killed after clashing with DR Congo navy after Ugandan soldiers chased after Congolese fishermen.

"This was an unprovoked attack", he said on the phone from Kampala.

Brig Kalemire said the two soldiers were conducting a normal operation patrolling near the lake-side Ugandan village of Rwensha.

Donat Kibwana, the administrator of the Beni region in DR Congo eastern province of Nord-Kivu, told news agency AFP that the Uganda boat was operating in Congolese waters.

Africa's World Cup: France beat Belgium 14-8

After all of the continent's sides were knocked out of the World Cup, a debate has been on about which side Africans should now back.

On a visit to Nigeria, French President Emmanuel Macron urged people to back France, who are facing Uruguay in a quarter-final that kicks off at 14:00 GMT on Friday.

France has been described as Africa's sixth team at the competition as so many players have African heritage.

@EmmanuelMacron You meant the sixth African representative at #Russia2018WorldCup. Better put, as individual Nation… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Our BBC Africa Sport colleague Nick Cavell worked out that 14 players in the squad would be eligible to play for African nations under Fifa rules - some of the names were featured on Thursday's live page.

But what of one of the other teams playing? Belgium, who face Brazil at 18:00 GMT on Friday, could also vie for African affections.

Belgium's forward Romelu Lukaku (R) speaks to his replacement Belgium's midfielder Marouane Fellaini
AFP
Fellaini and Lukaku are two of Belgium's players with African roots

Nick has been doing some more digging:

  • Vincent Kompany - father from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Marouane Fellaini - parents from Morocco
  • Romelu Lukaku - parents from the Democratic Republic of Congo and father played for the national team
  • Mousa Dembélé - father from Mali
  • Dedryck Boyata - father from the Democratic Republic of Congo who played for the national team
  • Michy Batshuayi - parents from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Nacer Chadli - Moroccan heritage and once played a friendly for Morocco
  • Youri Tielemans - mother from the Democratic Republic of Congo

So that's eight in all.

Final score: France beat Belgium 14-8.

South African boy of three drowns in Limpopo toilet

Latrines
Getty Images

A three-year-old boy is the latest child to die in South Africa after drowning in a pit latrine.

Omari Monono died in the outside toilet at his aunt's house in Limpopo province, the same region where five-year-old Michael Komape drowned in a school toilet in 2014.

"I'm hurting. I cannot eat or sleep," Omari's mother, Kwena Monono, is quoted by IOL news site as saying.

"Every time I see something my son loved, my heart breaks and I just cry."

She says her son "was pulled out of the toilet head-first at about 16:00 (14:00GMT) on Wednesday", having gone missing two hours earlier.

Also see: South Africa's school pit latrine scandal: Why children are drowning

Glasses made to measure... for $1

Malawi has one fully-trained optician for every million people.

It means buying glasses with the correct lenses can be difficult and expensive - but it doesn't have to be this way.

Kenya advises against use of HIV drug over birth defect concerns

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's Health Ministry has advised against the use of a new HIV drug among women after studies in Botswana linked it to serious birth defects.

US and European drug agencies had already issued warnings about dolutegravir, or DTG, in May this year.

The drug is an antiretroviral that has been used to prevent infection after possible exposure to HIV.

Dolutegravir pills
Reuters

DTG is manufactured by British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline. The company responded to the concerns in May by saying it was working with healthcare authorities to better understand the potential risk.

Early results from a study involving HIV-positive women in Botswana showed that about 1% of babies born to those who were using DTG when they became pregnant or shortly after, developed a birth defect affecting the spinal cord or brain.

Based on those findings, countries that already prescribe the drug have advised health workers not to give it to women of childbearing age.

Women who are already using DTG are advised to use contraception or talk to their health providers about alternatives if they are considering getting pregnant.

The drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and is currently one of the key therapies for people living with HIV

'I testified in Liberia "war crimes" trial'

Elizabeth Blunt
BBC
Elizabeth Blunt said she had dreaded being cross-examined in court

Earlier this week, the former spokesman for ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor's rebel National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) movement was found guilty of immigration fraud in the US for lying about his role in his country's civil war.

Tom Woewiyu’s conviction comes months after the Liberian warlord known as "Jungle Jabbah" was sentenced to 30 years in prison in the US for falsely saying he had never belonged to an armed group.

Around 250,000 people were killed in Liberia's brutal 14-year civil war.

Militiamen of Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in May 1996
AFP
NPFL rebels began their uprising in 1989 with their leader Charles Taylor becoming president in 1997

Elizabeth Blunt, who reported on the civil war from Liberia in 1990, has written a blog about how she testified in Woewiyu’s trial in Philadelphia:

I am not good at throwing things away, and my files, containing all the written reports I did as the BBC's West Africa correspondent, are now a very useful resource for anyone attempting to establish what happened when."

She said that Woewiyu, now 73, had been "a good choice for a PR man, a fancy dresser and a great talker, with just a whiff of the used car salesman”.

The former BBC reporter said most of her evidence was straightforward:

Woewiyu had claimed during the naturalisation process that he had never been a member of any political group and had never advocated the overthrow of any government.

I could testify that he was heard regularly on the BBC speaking on behalf of the NPFL, calling for the then-President of Liberia, Samuel Doe, to get out, and threatening to go all the way to Monrovia and get rid of him, if he didn't go of his own accord.

And also that when the BBC named an interviewee, they were pretty well always who the BBC said they were."

Read Elizabeth Blunt's full blog, which also explains why campaigners have had to find creative ways to go after alleged war criminals.

Woewiyu is due to be sentenced in October.

'Why should we deny the blind the opportunity to use the computer?'

Twenty-two-year-old Derick Omari holds smartphone and laptop lessons for blind people in Ghana, where many struggle to get education or jobs.

He wants to create a world that works for those who don't have the same opportunities as others.

Derick has been talking to BBC Newsday's Alan Kasujja.

Congolese-US woman charged over Statue of Liberty protest

Person climbs to Statue of Liberty base

A woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who climbed up on the Statue of Liberty in New York and sat on the monument's base has been charged with trespassing.

Tourists were evacuated from Liberty Island in New York Harbour on Wednesday during a three-hour stand-off involving local and federal authorities.

She was identified as Therese Okoumou, a 44-year-old naturalised US citizen.

Ms Okoumou said she was protesting against President Trump's zero-tolerance policy on immigration.

She pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanour trespassing and disorderly conduct in a Manhattan court on Thursday.

Patricia Okoumou walks out of federal court from her arraignment, a day after authorities say she scaled the stone pedestal of the Statue of Liberty to protest U.S. immigration policy
Reuters

Ms Okoumou, donning a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "White Supremacy is Terrorism", told reporters outside the courthouse that she scaled the landmark in an impromptu protest.

"When they go low, we go high and I went as high as I could," she said, quoting former First Lady Michelle Obama. "No children belong in a cage," she said.

Read more in this BBC News story.

Mozambique airline sackings after PM stranded

The team running Mozambique's national carrier, Lam, has been sacked after flights were cancelled because the airline ran out of fuel.

Among the many passengers affected by the cancellations was Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario.

The decision to sack Lam's board was taken by an extraordinary session of the airline's General Assembly, the BBC's Jose Tembe reports from the capital, Maputo.

The fuel problems are a result of a financial crisis at Lam, he adds.

Lam logo
Lam

Why has Tilapia been banned in Ghana?

The Ghanaian government has banned all imports of Tilapia fish.

Tilapia farmer Janefa Sodji hopes the ban will have a positive effect on the industry in Ghana, although some people have raised concerns.

Why has the fish Tilapia been banned in Ghana?

Mandela cell auction condemned

South Africa's Robben Island Museum has condemned a charity for planning to auction a night in the cell occupied by Nelson Mandela for 18 years, EWN News reports.

CEO Sleepout, which raises money for homeless people, had begun an online auction to sleep on Robben Island with the highest bidder getting to spend the night in the former preisdent's cell.

It has since postponed the auction.

Robben Island Museum's Morongoa Ramaboa says that CEO Sleepout had been in touch about spending the night on the island but there was no agreement that the cell itself would be used, EWN reports.

We strongly condemn the auction of offering the willing bidder the opportunity to sleep in Nelson Mandela’s cell on the island. We’re saddened that Nelson Mandela’s legacy is being exploited in this way.

A view of Nelson Mandela's former prison cell is seen on November 28, 2003
Getty Images
Nelson Mandela spent 18 years on Robben Island before being transferred to a prison on the mainland

Bidders in the online auction are now being given the opportunity to stay the night in Liliesleaf farm, a property owned by the late president and anti-apartheid leader.

The URL for the Robben Island competition now redirects to the Liliesleaf farm page. Opening bids start at $11,000 (£8,300), and the charity says the farm can host up to 400 people.

The raid on the farm, which was an ANC hideout, led to the Rivonia Trial - which saw Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists jailed. The farm opened as a museum in 2013.

Uganda and DR Congo clash on Lake Edward

Seven people died, including four Ugandan soldiers, in clashes on Lake Edward between forces from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, according to a Congolese official quoted by the AFP news agency.

Lake Edward straddles the border between the two countries.

The administrator of Congo's Beni region, Donat Kibwana, is quoted by AFP as saying that a Congolese naval patrol was attacked on Thursday morning "by a Ugandan patrol boat".

The Ugandan boat sank and four Ugandan soldiers and three civilians died, he added.

Jaribu Muliwavyo, a local MP, told a Congolese Virunga Business Radio that the clash was over fishing rights.

A Ugandan army spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, blamed the attack on "some gunmen who hurled a grenade onto our patrol boat", reports Uganda's New Vision newspaper.

He is quoted as saying that two Ugandan soldiers had been critically injured.

Fishing boats
Getty Images
A Congolese official says the clash was over fishing rights

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live Page where I'll be bringing you the latest news from across the continent.

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back on Friday

That's all from BBC Africa Live on Thursday. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of our wise words for the day:

One day of hunger is not starvation."

A Congolese proverb sent by William Gol Chok in Omdurman, Sudan

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave with this photo from Dakar Street Style on Instagram:

View more on instagram

SA mosque attacker 'had no extremist links'

A police car outside the mosque
AFP
Police outside the mosque in Malmesbury, Western Cape, last month

South Africa police say the person who killed two worshippers at a South African mosque last month was a psychiatric patient with no link to extremism.

“The man had schizophrenia, we could not link him to any extremist or radical activity,” Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the Hawks police investigation unit, told AFP news agency.

The attacker, who was armed with "a big Rambo knife", had struck as people gathered in Malmesbury mosque, north of Cape Town, before refusing to hand over his weapon and being shot dead by police, PC Henry Durant told South Africa's News24.

After the attack, South Africa's Muslim Judicial Council said in a statement it was "shocked to its core to learn of a brutal attack", explaining the two victims had been observing I'tikaaf when they were killed.

I'tikaaf prayers are held over the last 10 days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Business24 explains.

Uganda bans over 500 children's homes

BBC World Service

Forty children's homes and orphanages have closed in Uganda in the past week after the government ordered all unregistered facilities to shut down.

In all, more than 500 homes will be affected and it's unclear what will happen to the children they look after.

The government accuses some orphanages of involvement in child-trafficking and dubious adoption practices.

But other care home managers argue that, whether certified or not, they have stepped in where the government has failed, rescuing street children and saving others who were severely malnourished.

Just 70 homes have been cleared to continue operating, along with the single government-run reception centre.

Zambia appoints new football coach

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC News, Lusaka

The Football Association of Zambia (Faz) has appointed Belgian Sven Vandenbroek as the new coach for the national team - the Chipolopolo. He replaces Wedson Nyirenda who resigned last month to join South African side Baroka FC.

Vandenbroek, who was assistant coach for Cameroon when they won the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) last year, has been tasked with making sure Zambia qualifies for next year’s continental showpiece and the World Cup in 2022.

Faz acting general secretary Adrian Kashala said:

Sven was the top choice of those that were considered. [His] record and experience in Africa is very good. He is an Afcon winner with Cameroon, ambitious, young, well qualified, eager for the huge and exciting challenge that the Chipolopolo job provides."

The length of his contract has not been disclosed.

Zambia won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 but failed to qualify for last year’s tournament.

Collins Mbesuma of Zambia celebrates with the trophy the 2012 African Cup of Nations Final between Zambia and Ivory Coast
Getty Images
Zambia last tasted glory at Afcon in 2012

Nigeria's ruling party denies split

A spokesman for Nigeria's governing APC has dismissed reports of a split in the party as the work of "mischievous and ill-advised" individuals who may not even be party members.

The breakaway faction, known as Reformed APC, is led by Buba Galadima, a former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari. Members of the splinter group say that the president's government is incompetent.

Their emergence is seen as a major threat to Mr Buhari’s bid for a second term in office.

The statement from the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, continues:

Having failed to scuttle the National Convention as was their original plan, they now resort to this subterfuge as a way of achieving the pre-determined end of causing confusion.

As a matter of fact, we doubt that these individuals parading as leaders of the so-called faction are actual members of of our party. We are currently investigating their true membership status within the party."

Uganda's president defends social media tax

The WhatsApp icon seen on smartphone
AFP

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has defended the country's new social media tax, saying in a Facebook post that users had been enriching foreign-owned telecoms companies without benefiting the national economy.

He also said taxes on mobile money transactions would be charged at a rate of 0.5%, rather than the 1% initially announced. He said this was due "to a miscommunication", but Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper says it was lowered following public outcry.

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Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Hangout, YouTube, Skype and Yahoo Messenger are among the platforms identified by Uganda's revenue service for the daily tax of $0.05 (£0.04).

In his statement posted on Facebook, President Museveni called social media a "luxury by those who are enjoying themselves or those who are malicious...all the moral reasons are in favour of that tax".

He added that Ugandan social media users were "endlessly donating money to foreign telephone companies through chatting or even lying".

The new law has provoked outrage in Uganda.

Critics say it amounts to censorship and that the daily levy is too expensive for most Ugandans.

A group of Ugandan lawyers and journalists filed a petition against the new tax earlier this week, calling it unconstitutional and contrary to "individual rights and freedoms".

ICC arrest warrant for Libyan militant

BBC World Service

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued a second arrest warrant for a senior commander of an armed group in Libya.

Mahmoud al-Werfalli is accused of war crimes for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners.

Mr Werfalli commands a unit in the self-styled Libyan National Army, which is the dominant force in eastern Libya.

It does not accept the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli.

This latest arrest warrant comes after a video surfaced on social media in January, which appears to show him shooting 10 people in front of a mosque in the city of Benghazi.

The ICC's first arrest warrant for Mahmoud Al-Werfalli was issued last August for the alleged murders of 33 people in seven different incidents between June 2016 and July 2017.

A picture taken on November 9, 2017 shows a member of the self-styled Libyan National Army, loyal to the country's east strongman Khalifa Haftar, riding in the back of an armoured vehicle as it advances through a street in Benghazi's central Akhribish district following clashes with militants.
AFP
The Libyan National Army is dominant in the east of the country - including the city of Benghazi

Sierra Leone's ex-VP arrested over corruption

BBC World Service

The anti-corruption commission in Sierra Leone says that former Vice-President Victor Foh and former Mines Minister Minkailu Mansaray have been arrested on charges of corruption.

The arrests come a day after another commission appointed by President Julius Maada Bio concluded that corruption was rampant under the government of his predecessor, Ernest Koroma.

On Wednesday, President Bio declared on television that corruption was serious enough to destroy Sierra Leone.

The ex-president's APC party has dismissed yesterday's report as politically-motivated.

Julius Maada Bio (L) prepares to take the oath of office as new president of Sierra Leone on April 4, 2018
AFP
Julius Maada Bio was elected in April

Chinese-built free trade zone opens in Djibouti

BBC World Service

The first phase of a Chinese-built Free Trade Zone - billed as Africa's largest - opens today in Djibouti.

The nearly 50 sq km (31 sq miles) zone will house manufacturing and warehouse facilities, an export-processing area and a services centre.

It's expected to handle trade worth $7bn (£5.3bn) within two years, and create 15,000 jobs when complete.

With a strategic location on the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti already handles most imports for neighbouring Ethiopia, and aims to become a gateway to South Sudan, Somalia and the Great Lakes region.

A map showing the location of Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia.
BBC

The zone forms part of China's new chain of infrastructure investments in 60 countries. China already has a military base in Djibouti, as does the United States.

Mercy Akide's dream of coaching Nigeria

Mercy Akide, the former striker for Nigeria's national women's football team, has been speaking to BBC Sport Africa about her dream of coaching the Super Falcons.

She also revealed her position on some of life's key questions:

  • Facebook or Instagram?
  • American or Nigerian food?

Answers below:

Zulu king opposes SA land reform

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini
AFP
King Zwelithini - pictured in 2015 - controls a land trust covering 30,000 sq km

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has told thousands of his subjects at a traditional royal gathering, known as Imbizo, that he will not allow the South African government to take away land from him.

The king is opposed to a recommendation by a government panel which said that the land trust he presides over, the Ingonyama Trust, should be scrapped.

Through the trust, the monarch controls 30,000 sq km (11,600 sq miles) of land through traditional leaders who are appointed on behalf of communities.

But the leader of the government panel, former President Kgalema Motlanthe, wants people to be given title deeds for the land they occupy, saying they do not benefit from the king's trust.

The king said that he will not give up land his forefathers fought for in colonial times.

Referring to his world-famous ancestor King Shaka, who founded the Zulu nation, King Zwelithini said: "I was born from a brave man and that is why I know I will be victorious against those who are trying to take my land."

It comes at a crucial time as South Africa is debating changing the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation to reverse colonial land distribution.