1. Senegal student 'missing in France' makes contact

    A talented Senegalese student studying in France, who had not been seen since 4 January, has made contact with the authorities after a hunt was launched to find her.

    Diary Sow wrote a letter to Water and Sanitation Minister Serigne Mbaye Thiam to say she was on "a little break to regain her senses".

    When she did not return to school after the Christmas holidays, it caused concern in Senegal and France. She studies at a prestigious Paris school.

    Described as "the best student in Senegal", Ms Sow has won several national academic prizes and published her first novel last year.

    In a thread on Twitter, the minister shared extracts of her letter - with her permission.

    She said she was "not the victim of any kind of pressure" and apologised to those worried about her.

    "It is not about overwork, or madness, or the desire for freedom," she said.

    View more on twitter
  2. Senegal battles bird flu outbreak

    Seydina Alioune Djigo

    BBC News, Dakar

    Chickens in Egypt
    Image caption: The source of the outbreak in Thiès is not yet known (archive photo)

    Senegal has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza - a flu virus that infects birds.

    The outbreak is in a poultry farm where 58,000 deaths out of 100,000 have been reported.

    The farm is in the city of Thiès, about 70km (43 miles) from the capital Dakar.

    In the notification sent on Thursday to the World Organisation for Animal Health, authorities specified birds in contact with proven cases were culled.

    They also said that poultry were kept in closed buildings away from homes.

    Surveillance measures continue. The source of the outbreak remains unknown.

    Since 2005, Senegal has banned poultry imports as a preventive measure against bird flu.

    The Senegalese Poultry Producers Association says the sector generated about $280m (£205m) in 2018.

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    The catwalk in Dakar has been moved into a baobab forest due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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    Video caption: An earthen architecture revival in Senegal

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  5. Senegal spiritual leader's centres raided for 'trafficking'

    More than 40 people have been arrested in Senegal after police raided "reform centres" linked to an influential Muslim spiritual leader and opposition politician, the gendarmerie said in a statement.

    More than 370 people were freed from the centres during raids carried out from Thursday to Saturday on the centres linked to Serigne Modou Kara Mbacké, the statement added.

    The arrests were part of an investigation into alleged human and cannabis trafficking, as well as the theft of scooters, it said.

    Mr Mbacké's press office denied the accusations.

    "The gendarmerie did not find drugs in any of the reform centres, [which take in] victims of drug addiction, young ex-convicts and the mentally impaired," the AFP news agency quoted a statement as saying.

    Mr Mbacké belongs to the Mouride brotherhood, a powerful Sufi Muslim order, and is also the leader of a political party.

    The government should not "punish the group, and should instead offer help to the centres that had "succeeded where official structures don't have solutions despite their budget of billions", the statement said.

    The gendarme said people lived "in deplorable sanitary conditions".

    Some were severely malnourished and had "visible signs of corporal abuse".

    Others "appeared to have lost their minds," it added.

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  6. Father arrested over death of migrant son at sea

    BBC World Service

    Illegal migrants captured on Mediteranean sea
    Image caption: Senegal has recently seen an increase of migrants trying to reach Europe.

    Police in Senegal have arrested the father of a 15-year old boy who died at sea in October while trying to migrate to Europe.

    It's thought the father had paid a smuggler the equivalent of $450 (£340) to take his son to Spain.

    The boy, nicknamed Doudou, would then be taken to Italy to enrol at a football training centre.

    He fell ill, died en route and his body was thrown overboard.

    His death caused consternation in Senegal, which has recently seen an increase of migrants trying to crossing the ocean to reach Europe.

    Senegal's police said they have intercepted more 1,500 migrants in recent days.

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    Leila Meroue is using a 'moon brick' technique to build sustainable schools in Senegal.