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  1. Video content

    Video caption: Attack on Tigray capital 'won't be war crime'

    Ethiopia says an assault on the regional capital Mekelle will target only Tigray's "treasonous" leaders.

  2. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    That's all for now from the BBC Africa Live team, but we'll be back tomorrow with more news from the continent.

    In the meantime you can the BBC Africa news page and listen to our Africa Today podcast for updates.

    A reminder of our African proverb for Thursday:

    Quote Message: A group of ants can drag a gecko away." from A Somali proverb sent by Mohammed Hassan in Mombasa, Kenya.
    A Somali proverb sent by Mohammed Hassan in Mombasa, Kenya.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this image from Libyan photographer Abdurrauf Ben Madi of traditional horse riding at a wedding in Tripoli:

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  3. Halima Aden quits runway modelling over religious views

    Halima Aden
    Image caption: Halima Aden at Milan Fashion Week

    Model Halima Aden, who was born in Kenya to Somali refugee parents, says she is quitting runway modelling as it compromises her religious beliefs.

    The 23-year-old US citizen has appeared on the cover of British Vogue, Vogue Arabia and Allure.

    Writing on Instagram, she said the coronavirus pandemic had given her time to stop and think about what her values are as a Muslim woman.

    "Being a 'hijabi' is truly a journey with lots of highs and lows," she said.

    Talking about accepting modelling jobs that went against her religious views, she said: "I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake."

    Read more about this story

  4. Africa 'needs to get ready for Covid-19 vaccine'

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC Africa health reporter, Nairobi

    Someone getting their temperature checked

    The World Health Organization has warned that African countries are far from ready to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine, whenever one becomes available.

    It found that only a third of countries on the continent have a health infrastructure capable of conducting mass vaccination campaigns.

    Countries are now being urged to prepare for the arrival of a vaccine as soon as possible.

    The WHO says only half of the countries on the continent have set aside funding and identified priority cases who will receive the vaccine first.

    The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccinating people will be a big challenge.

    Its director, Dr John Nkegasong, has said the process might not start until the second quarter of next year.

    Africa CDC hopes to vaccinate at least 60% of people on the continent, arguing that this should help achieve herd immunity.

    Until then, people have been urged to rely on the public health measures that have been put in place to prevent further spread of Covid-19.

    There are now more than 2.1 million cases on the continent - less than 4% of the global total.

    Watch more here:

  5. Tigray crisis: 'Unbearable stench of bodies’

    Aerial shot of mass graves
    Image caption: Aerial photographs of Mai-Kadra show fredhly dug graves

    One of the researchers behind this week's report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into mass killings in the Tigray region has been speaking to the BBC about what she saw.

    The town of Mai-Kadra witnessed a massacre earlier this month as the conflict between the federal army and those loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) escalated.

    Rights groups, including Amnesty International, said that hundreds may have died, and the UN warned that the killings could constitute a war crime.

    After an investigation, the EHRC, a constitutional body, said that more than 600 people had died and it accused a youth group from Tigray region of being behind the killings.

    The commission says the group stabbed, bludgeoned and burned to death non-Tigrayan residents, which the TPLF denies.

    The EHRC's Haimanot Ashenafi told the BBC that the "stench of decomposing bodies in the town was unbearable".

    "Seeing dead bodies on the road is depressing," she added.

    The town is now deserted and she said that the shoes of the deceased can be seen everywhere.

    She said that because of the large numbers of dead, the burials were not done as they should have been.

    Read more:

  6. Rwandan soldier-musician ‘in Uganda seeking refuge’

    Robert Kabera
    Image caption: Sgt Maj Robert Kabera was known for his musical performances

    A Rwandan soldier and popular musician, Sgt Maj Robert Kabera, has fled to Uganda and is seeking refuge after he felt his life was in danger, the privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper reports.

    A source close to the soldier, who is known as a solo singer and member of the Rwandan military band, confirmed to BBC Great Lakes that he was no longer on Rwandan soil.

    On Monday, the Rwanda Defence Force announced an investigation into “defilement allegations” made against Sgt Maj Kabera.

    It said the crime was alleged to have taken place on 21 November in Kigali, and it was working “to trace the fugitive”.

    But he told the Daily Monitor that there was no way he could have committed the crime as he had crossed to Uganda on 19 November.

    He said he was being tracked because he knew something about the death of gospel singer Kizito Mihigo, who died in a police cell earlier this year.

    “Some of the officers in intelligence that I have trained over the time intimated that I was being targeted. I got another warning via a phone call and on 18 November, I fled,” the newspaper quotes him as saying.

    He said he fled with his wife but left behind three children – one of them aged seven months - as it was too risky to swim across the river on the border with the child.

    In August, another soldier attached to Rwandan military intelligence, Lt Gerald Tindifa, was reported to have fled to Uganda earlier in the year.

  7. President Kaboré wins five more years in Burkina Faso

    Lalla Sy

    BBC West Africa reporter

    Roch Christian Marc Kaboré
    Image caption: President Roch Christian Marc Kaboré was first elected in 2015

    Roch Christian Marc Kaboré has been re-elected for a second five-year term as the president of Burkina Faso.

    He took 58% of the vote, according to results released by the electoral commission.

    His nearest rival, Eddie Komboïgo of the former ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress, got 16% of the vote.

    The marks a comeback of sorts for the party of Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in 2014 after 27 years on power.

    Official turnout figures show that just over half of those registered to vote took part in the poll, which was marred by threats of violence from Islamist militant groups, meaning many polling stations were unable to open.

    These provisional results now need to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

    Early results started being announced on Monday, but announcements were briefly suspended after criticism by the opposition about the method of counting.

  8. Berlin to name street after Tanzanian independence activist

    View of Wissmannstraße
    Image caption: Wissmannstraße is set to be renamed next year

    Councillors in the German capital, Berlin, have voted to replace a street name honouring a colonial governor in East Africa accused of having ordered massacres with one of a leading female Tanzanian independence activist.

    Wissmannstraße, named after Hermann von Wissmann, is set to become Lucy-Lameck-Straße.

    She was Tanzania's first female cabinet minister as well as a leading figure in the country's independence movement.

    Von Wissman was governor of German East Africa (now Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda) in the late 19th Century and is believed to have behind the mass killings of local people, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reports.

    Berlin Postkolonial, one of the groups behind the call for the name change, welcomed the local authority's decision.

    In a statement it said that the campaign had prevented "the further honouring" of Von Wissmann and in its place put "a Tanzanian woman who actively opposed colonialism and racism".

    "Wissmann was a racist war criminal. Lucy Lameck stands for the undervalued contribution of Tanzania's women to the fight for our independence," Tanzanian activist Mnyaka Sururu Mboro said.

    Read more about the legacy of Germany's colonial history:

  9. Eighty final-year Kenyan students storm out of school

    A group of final-year students stormed out of their secondary school in eastern Kenya on Wednesday night, saying they were tired of studying.

    Some 80 students left the Matungulu Boys Secondary School compound, leaving only 36 behind, according to The Standard newspaper.

    The school principal said the students had discipline issues that were being dealt with.

    Some of the students told local radio stations that the principal was too strict and they were tired of studying. They said they would prefer to come back just to sit for final examinations scheduled for next year.

    The principal said parents had been informed and asked to bring back the students.

    Schools reopened in October for final-year students after being closed because of coronavirus, while other classes will resume in January.

    The ministry of education advised administrators to minimise interaction between students in boarding schools and people outside to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Some schools have reported coronavirus cases since reopening.

  10. Ethiopia charm offensive takes deputy PM to France

    Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen has continued his diplomatic mission in Africa and Europe to present his government's position on the conflict in the Tigray region.

    Pictures published by the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate show him meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

    View more on twitter

    That meeting came shortly after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that the fighting Tigray was in its final phase.

    Despite pressure from outside, Ethiopia has resisted international calls for negotiations with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

    Mr Demeke told the French president that the government had tried to resolve differences with the TPLF through discussion, but it had "repeatedly committed evil acts, causing harms to the public and the government", Fana reports him as saying.

    There is no statement yet from the French president's office.

    On Monday, Mr Demeke met Britain's foreign minister, he has also held discussions with the presidents of Uganda and Kenya.

    Read more:

  11. Kaboré re-elected in Burkina Faso

    Lalla Sy

    Bilingual reporter, Abijdan

    Burkina Faso's incumbent President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has won Sunday's presidential election with 57.9% of the votes, the electoral commission says.

    His main challengers, Eddie Komboigo and Zephirin Diabre, got 15.5% and 12.5% respectively.

  12. Shock as Kenyan man 'comes back to life' in morgue

    A critically ill Kenyan man, who collapsed in his house and was rushed to hospital, shocked morgue attendants after he regained consciousness as they prepared to embalm him.

    Peter Kigen, 32, was presumed dead on Tuesday by staff at Kapkatet hospital, in Kericho county, and transferred to the morgue, according to local media.

    His younger brother who took Mr Kigen to hospital is quoted by the Standard newspaper as saying that a nurse had told him the patient had died before they arrived at the casualty department.

    View more on twitter

    But the hospital's superintendent, Gilbert Cheruiyot, told journalists that the patient's relatives had not waited for a certification of death and had moved him to the morgue on their own.

    The patient, reported to suffer a chronic illness, told journalists he was "happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism".

    Local channel Citizen TV shared a video of the patient's Swahili address to journalists:

    View more on youtube
  13. Malawi court sets date for Bushiri hearing

    Peter Jegwa

    BBC News, Lilongwe

    Shepherd Bushiri and his wife
    Image caption: Self-declared "prophet" Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary are facing charges of money laundering and fraud in South Africa

    Malawi's High Court has set 1 December as the date for hearing a case in which prosecutors are challenging the unconditional release of fugitive pastor Shephard Bushiri and his wife Mary.

    The Bushiris skipped bail in South Africa and fled to their home country saying that their lives were under threat.

    They are facing charges of money laundering and fraud in South Africa.

    An arrest warrant was issued by the South African government through Interpol and they surrendered to police in Malawi who arrested them and they spent a night in custody.

    They were then taken to the magistrate's court in Lilongwe where they were released on the basis that their arrest did not follow the right procedure.

    The state prosecutor had asked the court to allow police to keep the couple in custody for a further 30 days to allow for the South African government to formally submit an extradition request.

    Malawi prosecutors are appealing against the magistrate's court ruling.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'I believe God heals any sickness, any disease'
  14. Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus in Africa: What you need to know know about the Covid-19 vaccines

    William Moss of John Hopkins university doesn't expect the vaccines to be available in Africa until late 2021.

  15. Miners trapped underground in Zimbabwe

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC News, Harare

    Man next to a pool of water
    Image caption: Last year, nine Zimbabwean miners were rescued after a dam burst and flooded the mine

    Rescue operations are under way in northern Zimbabwe, where dozens of illegal miners are believed to be trapped underground after the collapse of an old mine shaft.

    Mining without the proper permits has been on the rise in the gold-rich country due to high levels of joblessness and the Covid-19 lockdown.

    The authorities say at least six people have already been rescued, and more than 20 others could still be trapped.

    Accidents caused by explosions and flooding are common in illegal mining, which is often carried out under dangerous conditions and with little regard for safety standards.

    Zimbabwe is rich in minerals such as platinum, diamonds and gold. Small-scale miners account for over half of the gold produced in the country.

  16. How long will the Tigray conflict last?

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Man with a machine gun
    Image caption: Federal government forces have been fighting in Tigray for three weeks

    As we've been reporting Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has ordered the military to launch what he describes as its final offensive against dissident leaders in the northern region of Tigray.

    But how long is this stage of the fight going to last?

    Forces loyal to the leadership in Tigray say they will never surrender - indeed one said it would be a taboo to do so.

    Mr Abiy says there is a "carefully devised" strategy to ensure civilians will not be harmed in the fight for the regional capital, Mekelle.

    But rights groups have warned that bombarding this city of half a million could constitute a war crime.

    While some civilians have fled, the vast majority remain - and are likely to face violence in the coming hours or days.