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  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    That's all for now from the BBC Africa Live team. There will be an automated BBC News feed until Friday morning.

    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 our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: A Bulu is never short in the mouth but may be short in the pocket." from A Bulu proverb sent by Sylvie in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
    A Bulu proverb sent by Sylvie in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with some pictures from the live of Zambia's founding President Kenneth Kaunda who died today at 97.

    First an image from 1964 showing Kaunda (L) alongside Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta and Milton Obote:

    President Julius Nyerere, United Republic Tanganyika and Zanzibar; Jomo Kenyatt, Kenya Premier; and Dr. Milton Obote, Uganda Premier.

    And this from just a few weeks after Nelson Mandela was released in 1990, when the two men spoke at a press conference:

    Neslon Mandela and Kenneth Kaunda
  2. Gunmen kidnap students at school in north-west Nigeria

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Map of Nigeria

    Gunmen in Nigeria have abducted students from a mixed boarding school in Kebbi state in the north-west of the country.

    It is not yet known how many have been taken.

    Armed men invaded the Federal Government College on Thursday and overpowered the police unit guarding the school. They then kidnapped students and teachers.

    This is the second major abduction within 24 hours in the country. Nigeria has seen a spate of school kidnappings in recent months.

    A local official told the BBC that they are currently carrying out a headcount to ascertain the exact number of people who had been taken.

    This incident comes after another group of gunmen kidnapped four Chinese nationals near Lagos, in south-west of the country.

    More than 130 children kidnapped from a Quranic school in Niger state last month are still being held.

    Read more:

  3. Supporters cheer as Gbagbo returns to Ivory Coast

    BBC World Service

    Members of the security forces disperse supporters of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo ahead of his arrival
    Image caption: Earlier, police in Abidjan dispersed crowds who had come out in support of Laurent Gbagbo

    Ivory Coast's former President, Laurent Gbagbo, has returned home after nearly a decade overseas during which was cleared of crimes against humanity.

    Hundreds of cheering supporters greeted Gbagbo at Abidjan airport.

    Earlier, police fired tear gas to disperse crowds who had gathered on the main road nearby.

    Gbagbo's refusal to step down after losing an election in 2010 sparked a brief civil war in which 3,000 died.

    His backers say his return will help reconciliation efforts in Ivory Coast.

    It is not clear if a 20-year jail term imposed after he was convicted of looting funds from a regional bank will be enforced.

  4. Kenneth Kaunda death: 'An indescribable sense of loss'

    The head of the African Union commission Moussi Faki Mahmat has joined the tributes to Zambia's first President Kenneth Kaunda, who has died at 97.

    Kaunda helped found the Organisation of African Unity - the predecessor to the AU. He was one of the last surviving members of a generation of anti-colonial campaigners.

    View more on twitter

    The leader of Nigeria's opposition, Atiku Abubakar, also paid tribute.

    View more on twitter
  5. Kenya imposes new coronavirus restrictions

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Kenyan tour guide, Daniel Ole Kissipan, receives the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under the COVAX scheme,
    Image caption: Kenya has so far administered vaccine doses to about 2% of the population

    The Kenyan government has declared the west of the country, including the border with Uganda, a Covid-19 hotspot and restricted movements and gatherings.

    A surge of infections, especially in the lakeside city of Kisumu and nearby towns, has raised the infection rate in the region to 21% compared to a national average of 9%.

    The ministry of health has said that beginning on Friday all but essential travel between, into and out of 13 counties in western Kenya will be "strongly discouraged".

    A curfew in those zones will begin at 19:00 (local time) compared to the rest of the country which stays at 22:00 and ends at 04:00.

    All public gatherings including sporting activities and house parties have also been banned, while physical forms of worship are suspended for 30 days.

    On 1 June, President Uhuru Kenyatta celebrated a national holiday in Kisumu, in a ceremony attended by thousands of people.

    Medics had questioned the wisdom of allowing the event to proceed when Kisumu’s largest referral hospital had already reported a fully occupied Covid-19 isolation facility, and infection rates were up.

    Kenya has recorded just over 3,400 Covid-19 deaths.

  6. Kenneth Kaunda 'shaped the country'

    BBC OS

    Curtis Slimar meeting Kenneth Kaunda
    Image caption: Curtis Slimar met Kenneth Kaunda two years ago

    Listeners to the BBC World Service have been getting in touch with their own reflections following the death of Zambia's founding father, Kenneth Kaunda, at 97.

    Curtis Slimar, the general manager of Zambia's Sun FM Zambia told the OS programme:

    “[This is] very devastating news.

    "He is one man who has shaped the country to what it is today. As a young Zambian I thank God for the opportunity I had to interact with him two years ago at his house.

    "The station I work for decided to award His Excellency, the former President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, for the role he played in promoting arts for different musicians, as well as he himself being a musician.

    "We took a drive to his house and paid him a visit. He was in a jovial mood that day, and as we presented the award to him, he was so excited. He's done so much for our country and we were so blessed to have him.”

  7. Kenneth Kaunda dies: 'We mourn a true African icon'

    Zambia's President Edgar Lungu has posted his tribute to his predecessor Kenneth Kaunda who died today at 97.

    Kaunda led the country to independence in 1964.

    President Lungi wrote: "I learnt of your passing this afternoon with great sadness... On behalf of the entire nation and on my own behalf I pray that the entire Kaunda family is comforted as we mourn our First President and true African icon."

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  8. Kenneth Kaunda dies: 'We have lost a father'

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    Zambian journalist and former BBC Focus on Africa presenter Maureen Nkandu has been reflecting on the death of her country's first president, Kenneth Kaunda.

    "The average Zambian looks to him as the father of the nation, almost to the level that the world looked at Nelson Mandela," she told Focus on Africa.

    "And today the whole country is in mourning. It is a very dark day for us as we have essentially lost a father and father figure."

    The BBC's Audrey Brown, who grew up in South Africa under apartheid, has been talking about how he was viewed there by those who were fighting against white-minority rule.

    "Kenneth Kaunda loomed large in the struggle against apartheid. He fought against apartheid on moral principle. He provided that sense of moral leadership," she said.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Kenneth Kaunda: Former president of Zambia dies aged 97

    Former president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, has died after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

  10. KK made 'an immense impact on Zambia, Africa and the world'

    Tributes have already started for former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda who died in the capital, Lusaka, today, at the age of 97.

    The former captain of the Zambian national football team, Kalusha Bwalya, said he had made "an immense impact... all of us Zambians, Africans and World at large".

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    Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema wrote on Facebook that KK - as he was affectionately known - "will be sorely missed by all Zambians and the rest of the people on the African continent. Rest in peace gallant son of Africa."

  11. Gbagbo's return is a great day, supporters say

    BBC OS

    Supporters of former Ivorian President Gbagbo demonstrate in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 17 June 2021.

    Crowds of supporters of Ivory Coast's former president, Laurent Gbagbo, who had gathered on the streets of Abidjan to welcome him back have been dispersed by police.

    His return follows his acquittal at the International Criminal Court. He's expected to arrive in the country soon.

    Mr Gbagbo's refusal to step down after losing the 2010 election led to a brief civil war in which 3,000 people were killed.

    He was on trial at the ICC for crimes against humanity related to the post-election conflict - charges he denied.

    The former president has retained considerable support in Ivory Coast where he still faces charges of looting funds from a regional bank.

    BBC OS has been hearing from some Ivorians about Mr Gbagbo's imminent return.

    Thirty-year-old Djedje Régis said:

    Quote Message: Today is a great day. It's a historic day. It's like a relief - a relief because we don't want our history to be written by another country. If we have an issue, we can solve this issue here.
    Quote Message: We know Gbagbo, we know his history, we know what he did for democracy in Cote d'Ivoire. We are glad to welcome him back - he's our leader.”

    Koné Isaac Moustapha, 34, said:

    Quote Message: For me his return will improve the climate of peace. But everything depends on the way that he will approach his new life as a free man.
    Quote Message: Maybe he will talk about reconciliation, maybe he will talk about politics and bring back everything we knew about him in 2010. Either he can bring peace, or he can bring trouble.”

    Read more:

  12. BreakingZambia's founding President Kenneth Kaunda dies

    Kenneth Kaunda
    Image caption: Kenneth Kaunda served as Zambian president from 1964 to 1991

    Kenneth Kaunda, who led Zambia to independence, has died at 97.

    He was being treated for pneumonia in a hospital in the capital, Lusaka, according to his aides.

    Affectionately known as KK, he was one of the last surviving figures from Africa's post-Second World War anti-colonial movement.

    Earlier in the week, Zambia's President Edgar Lungu and several other African leaders, had asked people to pray for Mr Kaunda.

  13. Video content

    Video caption: Laurent Gbagbo trial: Victim of 2010 Ivory Coast post-election violence recalls his ordeal

    A victim remembers his ordeal following Ivory Coast's post-election violence in 2010.

  14. Boko Haram video confirms leader Shekau's death

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Screengrab from Sheaku video
    Image caption: Abubakar Shekau led Boko Haram for more than 10 years

    A video from the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has been published, confirming the death of its leader, Abubakar Shekau.

    Last month, a rival faction claimed Shekau had been killed during a confrontation with its fighters.

    The Nigerian authorities have not commented on the claims.

    This video adds to the growing evidence that Shekau really is dead this time.

    In the three-minute clip seen by the BBC, a man dressed in white clothes with a black turban reads from a piece of paper in Arabic.

    He’s flanked by dozens of fighters with rifles and ammunition, standing in what appears to be a rural area.

    Boko Haram’s black flag is also visible.

    The man speaking is said to be Boko Haram commander Bakura Modu, also known as Sahalaba.

    Security analysts believe he may be the group’s new leader.

    Many had hoped that Shekau's death would lead to a cessation of hostilities between Boko Haram and the splinter Islamic State West Africa Province.

    This video suggests that has not been the case.

    Shekau led Boko Haram for more than 10 years and was best known for kidnapping over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria, in 2014.

    Since its creation in 2009, Boko Haram has waged an insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria, and carried out attacks in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

    In Nigeria, the violence has displaced over two million people and caused at least 30,000 deaths.

  15. Ethiopian looted artefacts withdrawn from UK auction

    The Ethiopian government has for years called for the return of the looted items.

    Two artefacts looted from Ethiopia by colonial-era British troops have been withdrawn from auction.

    The Ethiopian bible with a leather satchel and a cross, and a set of horn beakers had been due to be auctioned today by Busby auctioneers in the UK.

    The items were taken away during the battle of Maqdala in 1868 - in which British forces looted Emperor Tewodros' fortress of Maqdala residence and surrounding areas and left with manuscripts, crowns, crosses, chalices, religious icons, royal and ecclesiastic vestments, shields and arms.

    The Ethiopian embassy in London discovered the items and wrote to the auctioneer making a formal request that they be withdrawn - to be later repatriated to Ethiopia.

    The embassy said it had reached a deal with the auctioneer. A Busby spokesman was also quoted by the UK's Guardian newspaper confirming it had resolved the matter with the Ethiopian embassy as well as with the seller of the items.

    Ethiopia's deputy head of mission in London, Beyene Gebremeskel in a statement said they were looking forward to the return of the items of "immense cultural, spiritual, and historical value to Ethiopians".

    "It is our belief that all Maqdala objects must find their way home to bring closure to generations of Ethiopians dispossessed of their heritage and aggrieved by this painful chapter in our shared history," the statement added.

    The Ethiopian government has for years called for the return of the items.

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