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Live Reporting

Evelyne Musambi and Basillioh Mutahi

All times stated are UK

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  1. Top TPLF official 'surrenders'

    Keria Ibrahim (L) the former speaker of the House of Federation
    Image caption: Keria Ibrahim (L) is one of the TPLF party's nine executive committee members

    A top official from the conflict-hit Ethiopian northern region of Tigray has surrendered, state media reports.

    Keria Ibrahim is one of nine executive committee members of Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), whose forces have been fighting government troops for the past month.

    Ms Keira served as speaker of the House of Federation, Ethiopia's upper parliamentary chamber, before resigning in June after the planned August election was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    At the time she accused Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of running a "dictatorial regime" and violating the constitution.

    In September TPLF went on and held its local elections, a move that angered the federal government.

    Mr Abiy launched a military offensive in Tigray on 4 November accusing TPLF leaders of treason after its fighters attacked a federal government military base.

    The month-long conflict has killed hundreds and displaced thousands of people.

    Despite Mr Abiy announcing over the weekend that the military campaign was over and successful, fighting is reportedly still ongoing in parts of Tigray region.

    It has been difficult to verify claims from the federal and Tigray regional government because communication is heavily hampered.

  2. Four killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    lightning

    At least four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique's western province of Tete, which shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.

    Meanwhile, a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds has left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.

    Those killed by the lightning strikes include an elderly woman and a toddler.

    One person was injured and some houses were set alight, according to Tete's National Disaster Management Institute delegate Alex Angelo.

    In the country's southern province of Maputo the Tuesday night rainstorm destroyed some infrastructure.

    The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.

    The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.

    The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.

    The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.

    Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long, something, he says, is likely to cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.

  3. Nigerian police make arrests in 'baby factory'

    Pregnant woman
    Image caption: "Baby factories" are run for the purpose of getting girls pregnant and selling the babies

    Police in Nigeria's Ogun state have arrested two suspects at a so-called "baby factory" run by a woman who was released on bail.

    The state police spokesperson Abimbola Oyeyemi said a girl who had been lured by the baby factory operator escaped and reported the matter to the police.

    Officers raided the premise and rescued 10 girls with four of them already pregnant, according to TVC news.

    Media reports did not reveal how old the girls were.

    One of those arrested is the daughter of the woman running the facility who had been charged with human trafficking and released on bail.

    The other suspect is a man who police suspect could be responsible for impregnating girls.

    Stories of these so-called "baby factories" are not uncommon in Nigeria.

    They are run for the purpose of getting girls pregnant and selling the babies.

  4. Attacks force MSF out of DR Congo region

    Two medical workers clean a stretcher after transferring a patient from the cholera treatment unit of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to the intensive care unit at the general hospital in Masisi, DR Congo on January 14, 2020.
    Image caption: MSF staff withdrew from the restive territory in July

    Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has pulled out from a restive territory in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    In a statement released on Tuesday, MSF said it had decided to end projects in Kimbi and Baraka in Fizi territory, due to several violent incidents against the organisation this year.

    MSF staff withdrew from that part of South-Kivu Province in July.

    “The predictability of further incidents and potential further serious harm to our staff has reached a threshold that we are no longer able to accept,” MSF operational manager, Ellen van der Velden, said in a statement.

    "The ever-increasing activity from criminal and armed groups across eastern-DR Congo, has led to ongoing violence and attacks against civilians at a shocking scale, including targeted killings and horrific acts of violence, including sexual violence," the statement added.

    Nearly 70 armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement on 17 September in the city of Murhesa to end hostilities, but decades-long efforts to pacify the region have failed to yield results.

  5. Child trafficking in Mali rises over Covid-19 and conflict

    People displaced by the conflict sit in the shade at Sevare, in the centre of Mali, some 600km north-east of Bamako on March 18, 2013
    Image caption: Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for transnational trafficking

    Child trafficking has risen in Mali, with more minors being recruited by armed groups and forced to work in gold mines, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

    The situation has been worsened by conflict, the current global pandemic and deteriorating economic conditions, the agency says:

    "As schools remain closed due to conflict, insecurity, Covid-19 or teachers’ strikes - children are also pushed towards informal gold mines, particularly in Gao and Kidal where many areas are controlled by armed groups."

    The UNHCR says a network of humanitarian agencies that it leads documented 230 cases of child recruitment for the first half of the year, compared with 215 cases for the whole of 2019.

    It also found an estimated 6,000 children, disproportionately boys, working across eight mine sites in the West African country.

    It noted that the children were exposed to "the worst forms of child labour, economic exploitation, and physical, sexual and psychological abuse".

    “Many more children are at risk in the Sahel, a region which is becoming the fastest-growing humanitarian crisis in the world,” said Gillian Trigg, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.

    Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for transnational trafficking, though internal trafficking is more prevalent, according to the US state department.

  6. Nigeria MPs 'invite' Buhari to give massacre briefing

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari attends the country's 60th Independence Celebration at the Eagles Square in Abuja, Nigeria on October 1, 2020.
    Image caption: MPs have summoned the Nigerian president

    Nigerian MPs have summoned President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent killing of at least 43 farmers in north-east Borno State, local media report.

    The lawmakers while debating the motion said it was of urgent national importance.

    Most of those killed on the Saturday attack - which was claimed by Islamist militant group Boko Haram - were rice farmers in Zabarmari, a community in Jere Local Government Area.

    More than a dozen others are missing, reports say.

    The United Nations has retracted its initial casualty figure of 110 farmers killed, saying the number was not yet confirmed.

    The army has come under heavy criticism following the massacre but blamed lack of equipment for its inability to tackle the insurgency.

    It also accused residents of working as informants for the militants.

  7. Flavoured HIV drug for children to be rolled out in Africa

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    An HIV-positive child's medicines.
    Image caption: The new drug means no more crushing up of adult-sized tablets for children

    Aid agencies say that a low cost strawberry-flavoured tablet for children living with HIV will be rolled out in African countries next year.

    It is to be the first generic paediatric version of a key anti-retroviral therapy which will even be available for babies.

    The UN estimates that more than 1.5 million children around the world live with HIV but says only half receive any treatment.

    One thing that’s made it difficult for young children to take their anti-retroviral medication has been the bitter taste of the pills.

    Health experts say the flavoured tablet will be given in doses that are suitable for children living with HIV. That means no more crushing up of adult-sized tablets.

    Another problem has been the cost - despite some significant progress in recent years.

    In a few months time children in Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Zimbabwe will receive the new tablets.

    But instead of nearly $500 (£372) a year, this new treatment will cost $120.

  8. Eswatini prime minister taken to SA for Covid-19 treatment

    Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini
    Image caption: Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini contracted Covid-19 in November

    The Eswatini government has announced the transfer of Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini to a hospital in South Africa for Covid-19 treatment.

    The government said the transfer was aimed at fast-tracking his recovery.

    Prime Minister Dlamini tested positive for Covid-19 in November.

    At the time he said he was asymptomatic and feeling well while isolating at home.

    Eswatini was formerly known as Swaziland.

    The country has so far confirmed 6,442 Covid-19 cases and 122 deaths, according to the health ministry.

  9. Wednesday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: What hangs a baboon can also hang other monkeys." from A Krahn proverb from Liberia, sent by Gabriel Kantu in Providence, Rhode Island, the US.
    A Krahn proverb from Liberia, sent by Gabriel Kantu in Providence, Rhode Island, the US.
    An illustration of a baboon

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  10. Video content

    Video caption: The New ‘Nigerian Princes’ of hacking?

    BEC hacking is one of the most common types of cyber-attack and experts say Nigeria is its epicentre.

  11. Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

    We’ll be back on Wednesday

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now, we'll leave you with an automated service until Wednesday morning. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: A house goat does not know the value of the hunter." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Suara Abideen in Ibadan, Nigeria.
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Suara Abideen in Ibadan, Nigeria.

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

    And we leave you with this picture of the ocean off the coast of Tanzania:

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  12. Analysis: Are most Tigray refugees men?

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    An Ethiopian refugee carries her child on her back as she walks at Um Raquba camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref province, on November 28, 2020.
    Image caption: More than 40,000 people have crossed the border from Ethiopia into Sudan

    The office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said that most of the refugees who’ve fled from the Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan appear to be male, rather than women or children.

    View more on twitter

    But is he right?

    Data from the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, show while more than half the refugees are male (57%), adult males are outnumbered by women and children.

    In fact, children below the age of 17 comprise 45% of the refugees - split equally between male and female children.

    It is only among adults - who form about half of the refugee population - that the proportion of men is greatest at around 60%.

    The UNHCR compiled the data from assessing 7,000 refugees who have crossed into Sudan through the Hamdayet border point.

    An estimated 45,000 refugees have crossed the border, most of them through Hamdayet, since the conflict broke out in Ethiopia early last month, although the number arriving has been dropping in recent days.

  13. Boko Haram says it carried out Nigeria massacre

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Mourners attend the funeral of 43 farm workers in Zabarmari
    Image caption: Mourners attended the funeral of 43 farm workers in Zabarmari on Sunday

    The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has released a new video in which it said its fighters killed 78 farmers in Zabarmari area near Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria.

    On Saturday armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on farmers harvesting in rice fields.

    At least 43 bodies of the victims were recovered and buried on Sunday.

    In the video seen by the BBC, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of a Boko Haram faction - who masked his face - said that the group carried out the attack on the farmers at the weekend.

    This is coming amid growing outrage across Nigeria over the killings, described as the worst in recent months.

    In a rowdy session on Tuesday, members of parliament invited President Muhammadu Buhari to brief the lawmakers on the security situation in the country.

    Senators also demanded that the country’s security chiefs lose their jobs.

    This is the third time the Nigerian senate will ask the president to sack the heads of the military.

    The lawmakers have also asked the president to immediately initiate an investigation into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the Nigeria security structure.

    They called for the recruitment of 10,000 local vigilantes to complement the efforts of the armed forces in fighting the insurgents.

  14. Seychelles calls on Mauritius investors

    Yasine Mohabuth

    Port Louis, Mauritius

    Pravind Jugnauth and Wavel Ramkalawan
    Image caption: The prime minister of Mauritius, left, met with the president of Seychelles

    On on a three-day visit to Mauritius, Seychelles' newly elected President Wavel Ramkalawan appealed to investors to come and finance businesses in his country.

    This is his first state visit since he was sworn in to office on 26 October as the fifth president of Seychelles.

    During a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, Mr Ramkalawan announced that his country will improve the business climate with new initiatives to improve its placing in the Ease of Doing Business Index

    The goal is to reach the Top 10 by 2021.

    He invited Mauritian businesses to establish themselves in sectors such as fishing, agriculture and health.

    Seychelles and Mauritius signed two agreements during the state visit in the fields of security and combatting crime, as well as information and communication technology.

    Read more:

  15. Riek Machar: Peace is the only option for South Sudan

    Nichola Mandil

    Juba

    Riek Machar
    Image caption: Riek Machar was speaking during the opening of his party's conference

    The first Vice-President of South Sudan Riek Machar has said that peace was the only option for stability in the country, during the opening of his political party's conference.

    He said there had been “violations” of the a peace agreement and a “lack of political will” from some parties.

    But he insisted his party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), was committed to its implementation.

    “These violations are a clear demonstration of lack of political will and commitment to implementation of transitional security arrangements. Despite the slow progress in the implementation of the agreement, we are optimistic and, I repeat, we are optimistic that peace shall prevail.” Mr Machar, told the delegates during the opening of the sixth national conference of SPLM-IO in the capital, Juba, on Tuesday.

    Mr Machar told members of his party to prepare for elections at the end of the transitional period.

    He also urged President Salva Kiir to re-commit to the implementation of peace agreement they both signed.

    Mr Machar and his main political rival, Mr Kiir, formed a unity government in February after six years of conflict, which saw thousands killed and millions displaced from their homes.

    Read more: