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  1. South Sudan elites to blame for Tambura conflict - UN

    Nichola Mandil


    A map showing Tambura in South Sudan

    The UN panel of experts on Human Rights in South Sudan has said that political elites are responsible for the ongoing deadly conflict in Tambura County in Western Equatoria State.

    The UN experts said nine of the 10 states in South Sudan are engulfed in violence - with recent violence between the Azande and the Balanda communities in Tambura resulting in the massacre of more than 100 civilians.

    Women and children were said to have been raped and sexually assaulted, before being killed. A least 80,000 civilians are said to be displaced. Hundreds of children became separated from their parents.

    "The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/In Opposition (SPLA/IO) are responsible for arming the Azande and Balanda communities. South Sudan’s leaders and political elites are active participants and enablers of this violence," Yasmin Sooka, chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, told the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    The SSPDF and the SPLA-IO have not commented on the UN report.

    The South African human rights lawyer said the failure to establish a joint army command structure had heightened tensions in the country.

    The Azande and the Balanda communities have been living peacefully together in the Tambura area for centuries. Intermarriage was common as a result of the religious and ethnic tolerance.

    But in July this year Alfred Futuyo Karaba, the governor of the south-western state, accused four prominent politicians residing in the capital, Juba, of fermenting the violence in Tambura - an allegation they denied.

  2. Jaylann - the Moroccan artist embracing Afrobeats

    DJ Edu

    Presenter of This Is Africa on BBC World Service


    In Morocco, more and more artists are checking in with the creative musical outpouring going on further south. One such artist is Jaylann.

    She's actually gone as far as changing her name to make herself more accessible outside the Arabic-speaking world. She already had a successful career as Khaoula Moujahid.

    She shone on regional TV talent shows The Voice and Coke Studio. According to one Francophone journalist, she won over the juries and the Moroccan public with her singing voice which is "extremement groovy"!

    And her solo songs, Mama for example, get millions of hits on YouTube.

    So I was curious to know the story behind her latest release - a remix with Nigerian Afrobeats singer Idahams of his song Man On Fire. Jaylann tells me:

    Quote Message: It was crazy - this song was made with love, actually. My producer, Beathoven, who is also my husband, discovered it and he was sharing it with me and saying: 'Jaylann you have to listen to this, it’s a beautiful song'. I listened to it and I fell in love.
    Quote Message: I loved the melody, the style of music, the Afro vibes - you know in Morocco we love Afro songs - and I had the idea: Why not contact Idahams and propose a North African remix with the Moroccan language in it? He answered me so fast - he loved the idea, he was so open. So we got to work."

    The result is gorgeous and Jaylann hopes it will introduce Idahams' work to a wider North African audience.

    No doubt it will also win her a few fans south of the Sahara, though the phrase "Sub-Saharan Africa" grates with Jaylann and other Moroccans who share her enthusiasm for the music of the whole continent:

    Quote Message: Man, we are brothers. I hate the idea of separating both origins - it’s a stupid idea, we have to do the opposite. We have to collaborate with each other, help each other - it’s more powerful like that. This is Africa, you know."

    It is indeed. So why was it necessary to change her name? Couldn’t her brothers and sisters from other parts of Africa get their tongues around Khaoula Moujahid?

    Quote Message: I had this idea that if I get known outside my country, people are not going to be able to spell my name. They put it like Kala, Howler, Koala! I did not like that!
    Quote Message: Jaylann actually has an Arabic origin and it has the same meaning as my real name - which is 'gazelle'. My public love the name and they are calling me now Jaylann, not Khoula Moujahid."

    If you ask me, Jaylann is a name to remember.

    You can hear DJ Edu's conversation with Jaylann and her song with Idahams on This is Africa this Saturday, on BBC World Service radio and partner stations across Africa, as well as online here.

  3. Actress 'honored and humbled' by Emmy nod

    BBC World Service

    Egyptian actress Menna Shalabi says she feels both "honoured and humbled" to have become the first Arab female nominee for an international Emmy Award.

    The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said that the 39 year old had been selected for her performance in the mini-crime TV series Every Week Has a Friday.

    The winners will be announced in November at an awards ceremony in New York.

    Menna Shalabi on the red carpet in 2016.
    Image caption: Menna Shalabi is the first Arab woman to be nominated for an international Emmy Award
  4. Kagame visits troops battling Mozambique militants

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Rwanda's President Paul Kagame is visiting Mozambique, where 1,000 of his country's troops are helping local soldiers fight Islamist extremists.

    The BBC's senior Africa correspondent Anne Soy reports that President Kagame has offered to keep Rwandan forces in Cabo Delgado if they'll be needed as internally displaced people are resettled.

    Rwandan forces have made significant advances, capturing the jihadists' main headquarters in the port city of Mocímboa da Praia last month.

    They say they have liberated 90% of the province from militants.

    Members of the Southern African Development Community have also sent troops.

    Our correspondent says many towns are still unoccupied although people are starting to return to their homes.

    Paul Kagame visits troops in Mozambique
    Image caption: Paul Kagame visits troops in Mozambique
    Paul Kagame visits troops in Mozambique
    Image caption: He's seen here wearing military fatigues

    Mozambique is home to a number of Rwandan dissidents.

    A prominent member of Rwanda's refugee community was shot dead in Mozambique earlier this month, after telling police there was a plot to kill him.

    A Rwandan opposition activist was arrested in Mozambique earlier this year and has not been heard of since.

    Watch Anne Soy's report with Rwandan troops in Mozambique:

    Video content

    Video caption: Mozambique militant attacks: 'So much destruction'
  5. Egypt bans school staff who aren't jabbed or tested

    BBC World Service

    Secondary school students sit an exam
    Image caption: Schools are reopening in two weeks' time

    The Egyptian education ministry has barred teachers and other staff from entering schools and universities unless they have been either vaccinated or fully tested for Covid.

    Education Minister Tariq Shawqi said unvaccinated staff must pay for two PCR tests a week - at the prohibitive rate of almost $100 (£73) each.

    Official figures show that 40% of Egyptian teachers have yet to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

    The academic year is due to start in two weeks.

  6. Dozens arrested for financing Burkina Faso militants

    BBC World Service

    A Burkina Faso soldier operates an armoured vehicle and weapon
    Image caption: Security forces in Burkina Faso have been battling insurgents for years

    More than 70 people have been arrested in Burkina Faso in connection with money laundering and the funding of armed groups.

    The detainees are accused of being involved with fuel trafficking in areas where jihadist groups are active.

    Investigators said the traffickers work at night, moving hundreds of thousands of litres of fuel across the country.

    Nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by intensifying Islamist violence in Burkina Faso.

    More on this topic:

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Kenya: On the ground in Laikipia's conflict

    Armed herders have been attacking farmers and destroying their homes in the Kenya's Laikipia County.

  8. Zuma discharged from hospital - reports

    Former South African President Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in July

    Former South African President Jacob Zuma is back home after he was discharged from hospital, local media report, where he is expected to serve the rest of his jail term for contempt of court.

    He spent his first night at his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal after his release from the hospital in Gauteng, the Times Live website reported.

    It said his return was being kept low-key. Zuma's foundation had last week said that it would not disclose when he would be discharged because of security reasons.

    Zuma was admitted to a military hospital last month outside prison for an undisclosed illness and underwent surgery.

    He had handed himself over to prison in July after being sentenced to 15 months in prison for failing to attend an inquiry into corruption during his presidency.

    He was granted a medical parole earlier this month. He is now expected to serve the rest of his jail time at home following his hospital release.

  9. British MPs slam 'outrageous' aid cuts to African states

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The UK parliamentary committee that scrutinises British aid has described funding cuts to several African countries as outrageous and hypocritical.

    The International Development Committee says several conflict-hit East African countries will see their aid slashed by half or more, despite being identified as priority areas.

    The British government has cited the financial impact of the pandemic as a reason for the cuts.

    The countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Mozambique and Somalia.

    The committee said UK aid in the region was needed more than ever as humanitarian crises were being exacerbated by conflict and climate change.

  10. Ugandan MP seized moments after prison release

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Ugandan Opposition MP Allan Ssewanyana
    Image caption: Allan Ssewanyana faces multiple charges over killings in Uganda's central Maseka region

    Ugandan opposition MP Allan Ssewanyana was re-arrested moments after being released from prison on bail on Thursday evening.

    His lawyer, MP Shamim Malende, says she has no information on who is holding her client nor his whereabouts.

    In a video clip shared across social media, the legislator can be seen walking past the prison facility’s checkpoint on his way out.

    A few seconds after he passes the barrier, a white van, which has become infamously known as a "drone", swerves and stops in front of him, and about six men dressed in black grab and throw him inside.

    "Drones" became common during the election season in January, grabbing and whisking away thousands of opposition supporters, some of whom have never been seen again.

    Mr Ssewanyana and colleague Muhammad Ssegirinya were granted bail by the high court in Masaka city on Monday, but it took a couple of days to process their release from prison.

    Mr Ssegirinya remains in prison, because one of his sureties was not physically present to sign the court documents.

    The two MPs are charged with terrorism, murder and attempted murder, in relation to a wave of machete killings in Uganda's central region of Masaka.

    At least 28 people were killed between July and August.

  11. Video content

    Video caption: Mozambique militant attacks: 'So much destruction'

    The BBC's Anne Soy sees how Islamic militants have terrorised Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique

  12. Kenyan policeman sacked while in a nine-month coma

    Kenyan Police officers stands watch
    Image caption: The officer was injured in a road accident and listed as "unidentified male" in hospital

    A Kenyan police officer who went missing from work – and could not be found for nine months because no-one knew he'd been admitted to hospital – has resurfaced.

    Reuben Kimutai Lel was declared a deserter and his salary stopped after a futile, months-long search by fellow police officers.

    Their enquiries from his family, who were also desperately looking for him, were all in vain.

    Mr Lel was then charged in absentia and an arrest warrant was issued against him. The case was later withdrawn after police failed to find him.

    It turned out that he had all along been in hospital in a coma – he was missing from December last year until last week, when he regained consciousness.

    Although he had not regained his full memory, he was then able to identify himself by name and that he was a police officer – and so the search for his relatives began, local media report.

    The police officer had been a victim of a road accident in the capital Nairobi, and was admitted on 21 December as an unknown person at the main referral hospital in the city. He had no identity documents with him.

    He is reportedly due to be reinstated on the police service's payroll.

  13. Nigeria arrests suspected student kidnappers

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Belongings of students of Bethel Baptist High School inside the school premises on 14 July
    Image caption: Some of the students kidnapped on 14 July remain in captivity

    Three suspects behind the abduction of more than 100 students in the Nigerian state of Kaduna state have been arrested, police say.

    They are among 50 suspects believed to be members of different gangs operating in north-west and central Nigeria.

    Police spokesman Frank Mba said security forces were on the trail of 22 other members of the gang who were part of the abduction.

    It comes as state governments in the region recruit vigilantes to help secure the area.

    On 5 July, gunmen invaded Bethel Baptist high school in Kaduna and kidnapped over 121 students.

    Some of the victims have been released, in batches – with the latest 10 students freed a few days ago. At least 20 students are still being held in captivity.

    Parents of the abducted children have reportedly had to pay huge amounts of money as ransom to get their children released - but there has been no official confirmation of this.

    The abduction of the students was the fourth mass abduction from Kaduna's schools in the last few months.

    Similar abductions have taken place in neighbouring Zamfara, Niger and Katsina states, which have seen a deteriorating security situation.

  14. Mozambicans rush for decoders as analogue TV goes off

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    Digital decoder
    Image caption: The decoder allows people to watch digital TV on their old analogue sets

    Frustrated Mozambicans in the capital, Maputo, who can no longer watch television on their old analogue TV sets have been crowding electronics shops to get hold of digital decoders.

    The decoders can be linked up to the obsolete sets to allow people to receive the new digital signals.

    The analogue signal was switched off in the capital two days ago and people have been complaining that they did not have enough time to get ready for the change-over.

    “I've been in line for more than three hours to buy my decoder,” customer Afonso Mbongane said.

    “It was scary when I got to the house and didn't see any channels. Now, I am forced to pay [for this equipment] to watch television, despite being unemployed.”

    André Matusse, who was also queuing up, said: “There is no alternative but to pay to watch television. I hope that the sacrifice will be felt in the quality of images and programming and I also think that the government could lower prices a little.”

    And those selling the decoders also said they needed more time to get in the supplies.

    The authorities say digital TV allows for more channels and a better viewing experience. It can also carry radio stations and interactive services.

    All countries in southern Africa were meant to have switched to digital by 2015 but things were held up in Mozambique because of a lack of money.

  15. Somali court convicts foreigners for al-Shabab recruitment

    Juneydi Farah

    BBC Somali service

    Two men in court
    Image caption: Darren Anthony Byrnes (L) and Ahmed Mustagim bin Abdihamid (R) were accused of helping recruit militants

    A military court in Somalia has sentenced a British and a Malaysian citizen to 15 years in prison for belonging to Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

    Briton Darren Anthony Byrnes, 44, and Malay Ahmed Mustagim bin Abdihamid, 34, were convicted of recruiting foreign fighters.

    They travelled to Somalia just over a decade ago.

    During the trial Mr Byrnes explained that he entered the country after paying $50 (£36) to a group of soldiers from neighbouring Kenya.

    "I presumed that was my visa end of story," he said.

    The two men were arrested in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland while trying to board a boat to Yemen.

    They had both denied working with al-Shabab.

  16. 'Angel of Burundi' denies alleged role in grenade attacks

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Marguerite Barankitse

    Award-winning Burundian humanitarian worker Marguerite Barankitse has denied any role in recent deadly attacks in the country's economic and political capitals.

    A series of grenade attacks on Gitega and Bujumbura earlier this week claimed the lives of four people and injured more than 100, security officials said.

    Ms Barankitse, who has been nicknamed "the angel of Burundi" for adopting thousands of children displaced by war over the years, was accused by the state prosecutor of planning what he described as terrorist acts.

    "The allegations seek to scare me and discourage my charitable activities, but I am not afraid. I am standing tall," Ms Barankitse told the BBC Great Lakes service.

    She now lives as a refugee in neighbouring Rwanda.

    Also named as suspects were former journalist Alexis Sinduhije and François Nyamoya. They're in exile and leading the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy opposition party.

    Mr Nyamoya said the allegations were baseless and politically motivated.

    Burundi has issued international arrest warrants for all three.

    Early this year, Ms Barankitse and former army officers, journalists and activists in exile were sentenced in absentia to life for taking part in the 2015 failed coup that plunged Burundi into crisis.

    Ms Barankitse, who is a critic of Burundi's government, said she played no part in the unsuccessful putsch.