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Live Reporting

Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

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  1. Nigerian protesters demand end to rape culture

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    In Nigeria's main cities of Lagos and Abuja, rights campaigners have been out on the streets to express anger following several recent cases of sexual violence against young women - including gang rapes.

    Here were the scenes outside the police headquarters in the capital city, Abuja:

    Protesters wearing face mask, hold placards and banners outside the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja
    Protesters wearing face mask, hold placards and banners outside the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja
    A woman is consoled by a man as protesters carries a banner outside the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja

    Over the last week the hashtag #JusticeforUwa has been trending on social media after a 22-year-old student, Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, was raped inside a church and died two days later after being bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher.

    Dozens of women carrying placards urged the authorities to do more to protect women and girls and to seek justice for the victims.

    Earlier this week, Nigerian police said they were immediately deploying more people to investigate cases of gender-based violence.

    • If you have been affected by sexual abuse or violence in Nigeria, help and support is available at Naptip.
  2. 'Being a black man in the US is very difficult'

    BBC Sport Africa

    Kei Kamara
    Image caption: Kei Kamara plays for MLS side Colorado Rapids

    Sierra Leone's US-based striker Kei Kamara, who joined in the protests this week following the death of George Floyd, says his children and their futures inspired him to make a stance.

    Widespread protests have taken place across cities in the United States and globally since Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after being pinned down by a white police officer.

    Kamara, who plays for MLS club Colorado Rapids, says he was moved by the action of his children who joined him at the protests.

    "I lay down on the ground for nine minutes and my son actually then just lay down next to me, without me even asking him, and Kendrick is only three," Kamara, 35, told Newsday on the BBC World Service.

    "He just decided to lay next to me. And I turned around and I saw him and it just hit me so hard, like wow."

    Kamara, who shared his experience of the protests on social media, says the impact of Floyd's death is far-reaching.

    "It's different because Floyd's one has definitely woken the whole world - different races, different people from different backgrounds are really standing up with us, the black people, now."

    "Being a black man in America, or around the world being a footballer, a soccer player, it's been very difficult," the former Norwich City and Middlesbrough forward said of his experiences with racism.

    "It's something that sometimes we try to turn a blind eye to, but I'm so, so grateful to every other race that's standing with us now because it's given us a voice."

    Read the full story here.

  3. Burundi court rejects jailed journalists' appeal

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi and Egide Harerimana
    Image caption: Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi and Egide Harerimana were arrested last years

    An appeal court in Burundi has upheld the decision to jail four journalists who were arrested in October while reporting on a rebel attack in the north-west of the country.

    Térence Mpozenzi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Egide Harerimana and Christine Kamikazi from an independent publication, Iwacu, were accused of "an attempt on the nation's security".

    Friday's ruling means they are to serve the rest of their two-and-a-half-year jail terms.

    Iwacu owner Antoine Kaburahe told the BBC the ruling has come as a shock:

    Quote Message: We hoped they would be freed on appeal because they were arrested while exercising their profession - there are no real charges against them."

    He told the BBC's Great Lakes service that Iwacu will take their challenge to the Supreme Court.

    "Some tell us that ‘we are wasting time because they won’t be released’, but we will go to all courts seeking justice for them," Mr Kaburahe said.

  4. Dozens survive deadly shipwreck off Mozambique coast

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    A map showing the location of the bay of Pemba in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.

    There are reports from northern Mozambique that 12 people have died, including several children, when a boat sank in the bay of Pemba.

    Thirty-five people survived after swimming ashore on Wednesday.

    But they were then apprehended by the police on suspicion that they could be recruits to an Islamist militant group that has been mounting attacks in Cabo Delgado province.

    A new report by the UN says displacement of Mozambique's civilian population has risen rapidly in recent months as the jihadists have stepped up their attacks.

    More than 200,000 people - most of them women and children - have been forced to flee their homes since the insurgency began in 2017.

    Also on this topic:

  5. 'War crimes' suspected as violence spreads in DR Congo

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The UN human rights chief has warned of spreading violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, saying some of the incidents may amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes.

    Michelle Bachelet said around 1,300 civilians had been killed in several separate conflicts between armed groups and government forces over the past eight months.

    She said she was appalled by the increase in brutal attacks on innocent civilians by armed groups in DR Congo.

    Calling for there to be investigations and justice, Miss Bachelet said the military and security forces had also committed grave violations, including killings and sexual violence.

  6. Doctor handed suspended jail term for Patrick Ekeng death

    BBC Sport Africa

    Patrick Ekeng
    Image caption: The Cameroon international collapsed and died aged 26

    The emergency doctor who was pitchside when Cameroonian Patrick Ekeng died while playing in Romania in 2016 has been handed an 18-month suspended jail sentence for negligence.

    Ekeng was 26 when he collapsed and died of heart failure during Dinamo Bucharest's match against Viitorul in May 2016.

    The following month, Elena Duta, the medical specialist in the ambulance which took the midfielder to hospital, was charged by prosecutors who said she made no attempt to resuscitate the player.

    On Thursday, a Romanian court ordered her to pay 200,000 euro ($227,000; £179,000) in damages while also sentencing her to 60 days of community service.

    Duta was not immediately available for comment following the ruling, the news agency Reuters reported.

    Read the full story here.

  7. Libyan strongman's last western stronghold captured

    BBC World Service

    General Khalifa Haftar
    Image caption: Rogue General Khalifa Haftar's has been in eastern Libya

    The forces of Libya’s UN-backed government have taken control of the town of Tarhouna, in a highly significant advance.

    Tarhouna was the last stronghold of Gen Khalifa Haftar in the west of the country.

    It was a launch pad for his now failed attempt to capture the nearby capital, Tripoli and bring the whole of Libya under his sway.

    Despite being supported by Russia, the UAE, Egypt and others, the General has suffered a string of defeats in recent weeks.

    His opponents on the government side have been significantly strengthened by military help from Turkey.

    Read more:

  8. Uganda tourist attraction site on fire

    Reports say an important cultural heritage site in Uganda is on fire.

    Firefighters are tackling the blaze at the Kasubi Tombs site where four Ugandan regional kings are buried.

    The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed.

    Uganda's state-owned New Vision newspaper has tweeted this video:

    View more on twitter

    In 2010, a fire gutted the same site sparking outrage as thousands protested in the capital Uganda.

    Demonstrators claimed it was a deliberate arson attack because of territorial differences that existed at the time between the historical kingdom and the government.

  9. Kenya bans single-use plastics from beaches and parks

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Tourists at Nairobi National Park
    Image caption: Kenya's national parks are a big draw for tourists

    The Kenyan authorities have banned all single-use plastics, such as water bottles and straws, from national parks, beaches, forests and other protected areas.

    The start of the ban coincides with World Environment Day and comes three years after Kenya announced one of the world's strictest bans on plastic bags.

    Before the coronavirus outbreak, Kenya hosted two million tourists a year.

    The UN Environment Programme welcomed the ban saying it showed Kenya's commitment to addressing the global scourge of plastic pollution.

    It estimates more than eight billion tonnes of plastic have been produced globally since the 1950s, and most of it has ended up in landfill or the natural environment.

  10. Burundi court upholds disputed election result

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Evariste Ndayishimiye, Burundi's president-elect
    Image caption: Burundi's president-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye seen at the ballot box

    Burundi's constitutional court has upheld the victory of the ruling party candidate in last's months presidential election.

    The CNDD-FDD candidate, retired general Evariste Ndayishimiye, won with 68% of votes cast but his main opponent Agathon Rwasa challenged the results in court claiming fraud and irregularities.

    The country's council of Catholic bishops had also raised doubts about the results after its observers witnessed instances of multiple voting, ballots being cast in names of dead people and refugees in other countries, voters being forced to choose certain candidates and unauthorised people involved in vote counting.

    However the court ruled on Thursday that the 20 May election was regular and that Mr Ndayishimiye is the president-elect.

    It said Mr Rwasa's appeal was unfounded. The opposition leader is yet to respond to the ruling.

    The president-elect is set to be sworn in on 20 August and serve a term of seven years. He will replace Pierre Nkurunziza who has led the country since 2005.

    Read more:

  11. Uganda starts testing all ministers for coronavirus

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC News, Kampala

    All government ministers in Uganda are being tested for coronavirus.

    According to the spokesperson for the health ministry they will be screened every two weeks because of their frequent movements across the country.

    He adds that some of 79 officials had previously been tested but none were found to be positive.

    As we reported earlier, Uganda’s Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has announced that he is self-isolating for 14 days after some of his close contacts tested positive for coronavirus. He said that his own test was negative.

    Dr Rugunda chairs the national task force for Covid-19, his responsibilities have been delegated to the first deputy prime minister Moses Ali.

    Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister are also being tested.

    Uganda now has 557 confirmed cases with most being lorry drivers but the number of community infections is rising.

    The government has been easing lockdown measures introduced more than two months ago.

    Public transport was this week allowed to operate in most parts of the country except in border districts.

  12. Ugandan prime minister goes into self-isolation

    Uganda's Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has gone into self-isolation after some of his contacts tested positive for coronavirus.

    Local journalists say cabinet members are being tested for the virus.

    Mr Rugunda made the announcement on Twitter:

    View more on twitter
  13. Madagascar minister sacked for plan to buy $2.2m sweets

    Madagascar’s education minister was sacked after a plan to order $2.2m (£1.7m) worth of sweets was revealed.

    Rijasoa Andriamanana said last week she was ordering the sweets for children to take to mask the "bitter" aftertaste of the Covid-Organics concoction, according to AFP news agency.

    Covid-Organics is a plant-based tonic being promoted by the government as a cure for Covid-19. However the World Health Organization says there is no proven cure for coronavirus.

    Each student in the country was expected to get three sweets, according to AFP.

    Local media say the minister called off the plan after President Andry Rajoelina objected.

    The minister's sacking was announced on Thursday in a statement that said her counterpart in the higher education ministry, Elia Béatrice Assoumacou, would take over in an acting capacity.

  14. South Sudan minister resigns over peace deal

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News

    South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar (L) and Garang Mabior.
    Image caption: Garang Mabior (R) is the son of South Sudan's founding leader John Garang

    A junior minister in South Sudan has resigned and accused President Salva Kiir of having little interest in implementing the 2018 peace agreement designed to bring and end to six years of civil war.

    Deputy Interior Minister Mabior Garang de Mabior said the security situation in the country was worsening despite rivals Salva Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar forming a transitional government in February.

    Mr Mabior, who is the son of South Sudan’s founding leader John Garang, was appointed as part of the power sharing deal.

    Despite the agreement, inter-communal fighting has continued in Bhar-el-Gazal, Equatoria, Upper Nile, Abyei, Greater Pibor and Rweng killing hundreds and displacing tens of thousands.

    President Kiir and Machar have also failed to agree on how to govern regional states, further threatening the fragile peace deal.

  15. George Floyd: ANC to launch 'Black Friday' campaign

    Black Lives Matter supporters gather outside the parliament in solidarity with those protesting the death of George Floyd in America on June 03, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa
    Image caption: Black Lives Matter supporters have demonstrated in Cape Town

    South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) is to launch an anti-racism campaign on Friday.

    It is meant to show solidarity with protests in the US sparked by the death of George Floyd, an African American man, in police custody last month.

    The Black Friday campaign will call on South Africans to wear black every Friday for an unspecified period. It will also highlight the racism and police brutality in South Africa.

    The campaign will be launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the party said in a statement posted on Twitter:

    View more on twitter
  16. Nigerian woman put on sale refuses to return home

    The advertisement put up on Facebook
    Image caption: The advertisement put up on Facebook

    The Nigerian woman who was advertised for sale on Facebook in Lebanon has refused to return home, according to the head of Nigeria's diaspora commission.

    The woman was listed for sale at $1,000 (£793). She was rescued by the Lebanese authorities and taken to the Nigerian embassy in Beirut.

    The advert caused an outcry in Nigeria and the man suspected of involvement in the advert was arrested.

    The 30-year-old woman now says she has found another job in Lebanon.

    Commission head Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said she tried to convince to return home home but she refused.

    "Even the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Oyo State, where she is from, spoke to her. We just hope that Nigerians going to work in Lebanon will be properly treated and not treated as slaves," Ms Dabiri-Erewa said.

    She said the Lebanese government had brought back 69 out of 79 Nigerians who were in Lebanon. The 69 are currently in quarantine.

    The Lebanese embassy stopped issuing visas to Nigerians seeking domestic work in Lebanon after the incident.

  17. Kenya sends coronavirus patients home

    A worker walks outside the coronavirus isolation facility at the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya
    Image caption: Isolation facilities are almost full and most patients are asymptomatic

    Kenya's health ministry has said it will soon roll out home-based care for Covid-19 patients because the country's isolation facilities are almost full.

    Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said they will first publish guidelines for home-based care before patients can be released to their families so as to free hospitals.

    He urged Kenyans not to stigmatise patients who will be allowed to recover at home.

    Kenya's capital, Nairobi, has two isolation facilities whose bed capacity is almost full.

    The country on Thursday recorded 124 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 2,340 including 592 recoveries and 78 deaths.

    The World Health Organization's guidelines for at-home care for coronavirus patients say patients are to be isolated in their own rooms and minimise interaction with other people.

    Shared items and facilities are to be thoroughly disinfected and care givers are to wear protective gear.

    Read more:

  18. Dozens of Ghana health workers test positive

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Seventy health workers in Ghana’s central region have tested positive for coronavirus, according to health authorities.

    The country has recorded more than 8,000 confirmed cases of the disease, 38 deaths and more than 3,000 recoveries.

    The infected health workers are said to be asymptomatic, which means they have not shown symptoms of the virus.

    The authorities say some of them did not adhere to safety protocols and got infected from the community.

    The Central Region in southern Ghana has recorded more than 400 cases of the virus, and 70 of them are health workers.

    President Nana Akufo-Addo has eased restrictions on religious gatherings and has opened schools for final year students despite a rise in cases. But Ghana's borders remain closed indefinitely.

  19. Kenya leader strips his deputy of powers

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and his deputy William Ruto
    Image caption: President Kenyatta (L) has previously accused William Ruto's supporters of undermining his agenda for the country

    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has reorganised his government and stripped his deputy of power-sharing privileges.

    The revised executive order has raised sharp debate in Kenya.

    Some say it is routine and innocuous - that the presidency simply changing its name on paper to the Executive Office of the President.

    But others are convinced it means President Kenyatta will no longer seek Deputy President William Ruto’s approval on important state affairs.

    The deputy president may also lose direct funding to his office and power to appoint his staff. The head of public service has already alerted the finance ministry of the changes ahead of next week’s reading of the national budget.

    Previously the pair - who first joined forces in 2012 as suspects at the International Criminal Court - consulted on key matters, including state appointments and government business in parliament.

    But Mr Ruto has been in the shadows lately as President Kenyatta reorganises the ruling party and influential positions in parliament and the senate, as he seeks to stamp his legacy before leaving office at the end of his term in 2022.

    Some analysts see these changes as President Kenyatta asserting his authority after voicing frustrations with the deputy president’s supporters in government, who he has accused of undermining his agenda for the country.

    Already the ruling party has dismissed legislators perceived to be close to the deputy president from key roles in the house committees, replacing them with the president’s loyalists.

    Read more:

  20. African Development Bank to check corruption report

    African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina

    The African Development Bank says it has commissioned an independent review of a report which had cleared into its head, Akinwumi Adesina, of allegations of corruption.

    The former Nigerian agriculture minister is seeking re-election in August.

    But the United States has led calls for him to be investigated on suspicion of embezzlement, preferential treatment for fellow Nigerians in senior appointments, and the promotion of people suspected or convicted of fraud and corruption.

    Mr Adesina denies any wrongdoing and was initially cleared of the allegations by an internal investigation.

    The institution - one of the world's five major multilateral development banks - is the only African lender afforded the highest credit rating.

    Read more:

    Correction: This post has been amended to clarify that the African Development Bank has commissioned a review, rather than an inquiry.