BBC News Africa

Top Stories

Features & Analysis

Watch/Listen

Programmes and podcasts

Latest Updates

  1. French police ban DR Congo star's Paris concert

    Werrason performing on stage
    Image caption: The arena where Werrason was supposed to perform tweeted that the tickets are refundable

    Authorities in France have banned a Congolese musician’s Paris concert scheduled for 25 September because of security concerns, warning it poses a threat to public order.

    In a statement the Paris police chief said Werrason’s Zénith Arena gig could ignite tensions between different political factions of the Congolese diaspora in France.

    "The concert is taking place in a particularly tense and violent political context between supporters and opponents of the current regime," Didier Lallement is quoted as saying by French radio station RFI.

    The statement goes on to say that Werrason – whose real name is Noël Ngiama Makanda – is viewed as close to Congo’s President FélixTshisekedi, as well as his predecessor Joseph Kabila.

    Werrason has tried his hand at a political career before. In the 2018 elections he was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for Mr Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC).

    In 2011 Werrason had to cancel two concerts due to threats of disturbances, according to the police statement.

    Werrason is not the only artist opponents of the Congolese regime have targeted in France. There was violence on the sidelines of Latin singer Fally Ipupa’s February 2020 concert, according to RFI.

    Werrason has not yet commented on the cancellation, but just a week ago he assured fans that security services would be present at the event.

  2. Kenya and UK 'working' on a Covid travel plan

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC health reporter, Nairobi

    Passengers at the airport
    Image caption: The WHO has been opposing vaccine passports for international travel

    The Kenyan and British governments say they are working on a system to recognise Covid vaccine certificates issued in both countries, to facilitate travel between them.

    This comes after the UK changed its controversial international travel traffic light system to make it easier for fully vaccinated passengers to travel to England.

    But despite being removed from the UK's red list, Kenyans intending to travel there will still have to take a test three days before travelling, quarantine for 10 days on arrival, as well as pay for Covid tests while in isolation.

    Under the UK's new rules effective from 4 October, fully vaccinated people from countries that are not on the red list will be exempt from the compulsory quarantine.

    But Tuesday's joint statement by the British High Commission and Kenya’s health ministry just shows how complicated the matter still is and may not be resolved soon.

    "Establishing a system to mutually recognise each other's vaccine certificates for a vaccine passport program for travel takes time particularly in an unprecedented pandemic," the statement says.

    Health experts in Kenya say the recent announcement from the UK will have an impact in the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

    People from other African countries that remain in the UK red list have criticised the new travel rules saying it's discriminatory.

    The World Health Organization has been against vaccine passports for international travel due to unequitable availability of Covid-19 vaccines globally.

    Read: UK recognises Covishield jab after India outcry

  3. UN warns against return to Mozambique attack-hit areas

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    authorities have been encouraging people who fled their homes to return
    Image caption: Authorities have been urging Mozambicans who fled their homes to return

    The United Nations is urging “caution” over people returning to the restive northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

    It says it is still unclear whether the ongoing military operation has reduced jihadist groups’ capacity to stage attacks there “as their presence and fighting continues in certain locations and civil authorities have not yet been re-established”.

    The caution by the UN's Department of Safety and Security comes at a time when authorities have been encouraging people displaced by the attacks to return home.

    Joint Mozambican, Rwandan and other forces operating in areas previously occupied by militants have been accompanying populations on their way back to Palma – an area next to gas projects that was hit by deadly Islamist attacks in March.

    But the UN wants some principles it considers fundamental to be established first so that those displaced by the conflict can return home.

    This includes civilians desiring to return being able to do it voluntarily and without being part of military convoys – which the UN says could make the population and humanitarian agencies a target.

    Besides the uncertainty about the insurgents, the UN also notes that areas destroyed by militants need to be fixed and services restored to allow people to return gradually.

  4. Namibia protest against Germany deal over genocide

    Two men with chains around their necks
    Image caption: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas asked Namibia and victims' descendants for forgiveness

    A protest has taken place in the Namibian capital Windhoek against an agreement made with Germany after it apologised for a genocide in the southern African country in the early 20th Century.

    Various political parties and traditional chiefs have dismissed Germany's offer to pay $1bn in development aid, and say the deal was made without properly consulting the victims.

    Some of the demonstrators stormed the parliamentary building:

    View more on twitter

    Various political parties and traditional chiefs say the deal was made without properly consulting the victims.

    Between 1904 and 1908 German colonisers killed tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people as a punishment for taking part in an uprising.

    In May the German government acknowledged that the killings amounted to a genocide and pledged $1bn in development aid.

    The agreement was widely criticised in Namibia for failing to include reparations for the affected communities.

    Read more:

  5. University of Liberia suspends classes amid strike

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC News, Monrovia

    University of Liberia signpost

    Classes have been suspended at the University of Liberia as a result of a strike by teaching staff.

    They are locked in a dispute with management over salaries and other working conditions.

    The crisis worsened on Monday when police tear-gassed students protesting against the absence of their teachers and poor sanitation.

    The university's financial difficulties have worsened since President George Weah announced three years ago that tuition will be free.

    But the government insists it has increased financial support to the university since then.

  6. Nearly 500,000 South Sudanese affected by floods - UN

    Nichola Mandil

    Juba

    Flooding in South Sudan
    Image caption: Many people have been affected by floods

    Nearly 500,000 people have been affected by flash flooding in six regional states in South Sudan, according to the UN.

    The six most affected states are Jonglei in the eastern part of the country, Western Equatoria, Warrap, Northern Bahr El- Ghazal, and the two oil-rich producing states of Unity and Upper Nile in the northern part of the country.

    “An estimated 426,000 people have been affected and displaced by floods in South Sudan since May. Insecurity in Warrap State has made it difficult to respond to people’s needs there,” OCHA says in a press release.

    It says the floods have made communities more vulnerable, with many displaced people seeking refuge in churches and schools.

    The UN says the affected people need emergency shelter, health and food supplies among other items.

    Early seasonal rains that have caused an overflow of the River Nile are being blamed for flooding vast areas of land and settlements.

    More heavy rains and flooding are forecast in the coming months.

  7. Eritrean detainees not seen for 20 years

    Teklemariam Bekit

    BBC News Tigrinya

    Rights group Amnesty International is waging a campaign to demand that the Eritrean government release 21 political prisoners who were arrested in a sweeping crackdown 20 years ago.

    In September 2001, the government shutdown the country’s independent media and arrested 11 politicians who publicly criticized President Isaias Afewerki, and 10 journalists who published their call for reforms.

    The government says those arrested were a threat to national security.

    The detainees have never been charged, and their whereabouts are unknown.

    Amnesty's campaign is taking place on Twitter under the hashtag #WhereAreEritreasDissidents?

    View more on twitter

    Eritrea has not held elections since independence in 1993, and President Isaias has been in power for nearly 28 years.

    Amnesty has documented extremely poor prison conditions in Eritrea, in some cases amounting to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

    Eritreans in the diaspora and family members of the detained political prisoners also plan to hold exhibitions around the world over the next 12 months to draw attention to the plight of the detainees.

    In 2022, it will be exhibited at the House of Commons in London and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and various Amnesty International branches.

  8. Hotel Rwanda hero jailing sparks row with Belgium

    Didier Bikorimana

    BBC Great Lakes Service

    Paul Rusesabagina
    Image caption: Paul Rusesabagina was handed a 25-year prison sentence

    Rwanda has called off high-level talks with Belgium, in the latest twist to a diplomatic row over the conviction of the man who inspired a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide.

    In a statement, Rwanda said Belgium had shown "contempt" for its justice system after it criticised the 25-year prison sentence handed down to Paul Rusesabagina - a Belgian citizen of Rwandan origin - for terrorism.

    Rwanda's Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta was due to meet Ms Wilmès on the side-line of the UN General Assembly in New York this week, but the meeting has now been cancelled.

    Rusesabagina,67, was found guilty on Monday of backing a rebel group involved in deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.

    Belgium's Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès said he did not receive "a just and fair trial".

    In the Oscar-nominated movie Hotel Rwanda, Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, was shown as a hotel manager who managed to protect more than 1,200 people who had sought shelter during the genocide.

    In a period of 100 days from April 1994, 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group, were slaughtered by extremists from the Hutu community.

    Some survivors have gone on to question the version of events in the 2005 film.

    The US, where Mr Rusesabagina’s family lives, also questioned whether he had received a fair trial.

  9. Egyptian honours killed children using their toys

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    A poster of "66 Toy Stories” an art exhibition in honour of 66 children victims of Gaza conflict
    Image caption: A poster of the 66 Toy Stories exhibition honouring children killed in Gaza

    Egyptian artist Shosha Kamal has set up a special art exhibition honouring 66 children who died during 11 days of the Israel-Gaza conflict last May.

    The one-day exhibition in Cairo, dubbed 66 Toy Stories, features toys and belongings of the killed children.

    Kamal, a 35-year-old designer, says the exhibition will “pay homage to humanity”.

    “It is a sincere call to all conflicting parts to respect human lives, especially those of the children we cannot bring back to life, but it may help us restore our humanity,” the designer adds.

  10. Log lifting champ gets big ovation in Burkina Faso

    Iron Biby working out outside his home
    Image caption: Iron Biby (pictured) cartwheeled after his historic lift

    A Burkina Faso sportsman who broke the world record for log lifting on Saturday received a raucous welcome at Ouagadougou airport on Monday, according to French radio station RFI.

    Cheick Ahmed al-Hassan Sanou - known as Iron Biby - lifted a 229kg (36st 1lb) log over his head at the Giants Live World Tour Finals in Scotland smashing the previous world record of 228kg.

    A smiling Iron Biby dedicated his trophy to Burkina Faso, and is quoted by RFI as saying his win sends a message of hope.

    “It’s a big deal for me, because since 2018 I’ve been trying to break the world record.”

    RFI reports similar words from the country’s Sports Minister Dominique Nana.

    “The Burkina Faso flag has triumphed.”

  11. Zuma too sick to appear in court - lawyer

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Former South African President Jacob Zuma speaks to supporters after appearing at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, May 17, 2021
    Image caption: Jacob Zuma has been dogged by corruption allegations for more than a decade

    South Africa's former President Jacob Zuma has failed to appear at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg for the resumption of his corruption trial.

    His lawyer has told the judge that Mr Zuma could not attend for medical reasons. He is facing 16 counts of fraud and racketeering related to an arms deal in the 1990s.

    Mr Zuma denies the charges, insisting they're politically motivated. The 79 year old is already serving a 15-month sentence for failing to testify in a separate corruption inquiry.

    He was recently granted medical parole and is recovering from surgery. His arrest sparked a wave of violence in which more than 300 people were killed.

  12. Troop presence stepped up in Sudan cities

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa correspondent

    There seems to be an increased presence of the military in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, and neighbouring Omdurman city, following reports of an attempted coup.

    Footage shared on social media shows tanks deployed on the streets and soldiers on guard.

    A government official says there had been an attempt to take control of state radio in Omdurman.

    State media has also blamed elements loyal to the former President Omar al-Bashir for the attempted coup.

    Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir stands in a defendant's cage during the opening of his corruption trial in Khartoum on August 19, 2019
    Image caption: Omar al-Bashir was imprisoned following his overthrow

    Sudan’s transitional government, which has been in place since 2019, is under pressure to speed up economic and political reforms amid competing demands from conservative and liberal constituencies.

  13. Egypt's ex-military chief Hussein Tantawi dies at 85

    BBC World Service

    Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi
    Image caption: Tantawi served in government until 2012

    The former Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, has died.

    He was 85.

    Following the ousting of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, in 2011, Mr Tantawi became the de-facto head of state until the inauguration of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt 16 months later.

    He continued to serve in the government until August 2012.

  14. At least three killed in blasts in Burundian city

    BBC World Service

    At least three people have been killed and dozens injured in a series of explosions in Burundi's economic capital, Bujumbura, reports say.

    Witnesses said at least two grenades exploded in a bus parking area, causing panic.

    A third explosion targeted a market and a fourth grenade exploded near a packed bus in the suburbs.

    It comes a day after a deadly grenade explosion in a bar in the Burundian capital, Gitega, and a mortar attack at Bujumbura airport on Saturday, which a rebel group (RED-Tabara) said it carried out.

  15. Zuma corruption trial due to resume

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Former South African President Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: Mr Zuma is not expected to expected in court

    Former President Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial – which has been rescheduled a number of times – is due to resume on Tuesday in a Pietermaritzburg high court.

    Mr Zuma is facing a string of charges in connection with a multibillion-dollar arms deal in which he is accused of accepting bribes from a French company Thales in the 1990s.

    Both Zuma and the arms company have denied the accusations.

    He insists that his court cases are politically motivated, but has provided no evidence of this.

    The 79-year-old Zuma - who was recently granted medical parole over an undisclosed condition - is not expected appear in court.

    But his supporters, who have been a regular feature at previous appearances, are expected to gather outside the courthouse.

    He was sentenced to 15 months in prison for failing to appear before an investigation into wide-scale corruption known in South Africa as state capture - and served a little over two months, most of that time in hospital.

    In that matter, it’s claimed Zuma and his friends known as the Gupta brothers – unduly benefited from millions of dollars worth of government contracts while he was president. They’ve all denied any wrongdoing.

  16. By Angus Crawford and Tony Smith

    BBC News

    Tower Bridge in London

    Twenty years ago, a young African boy was murdered and his torso was dumped in the Thames. It's the longest unsolved child murder case in the recent history of the Metropolitan Police.

    Read more
    next
  17. US calls on Somali president and PM to resolve row

    Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo addresses delegates in Mogadishu,  27 May 2021
    Image caption: President Mohamed Farmajo and Prime Minister Hussein Roble have not been in agreement over key appointments

    The United States has urged Somalia’s president and prime minister to resolve their differences for the sake of the stability of the country.

    It said the co-operation of Somalia's leaders, especially President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and PM Hussein Roble, were essential for the country to “quickly complete its ongoing electoral process".

    The dispute between the two leaders, sparked by the government’s handling of a missing spy’s case, has raised fears that Somalia’s electoral process could suffer further setbacks.

    The row escalated last week after the president suspended the executive powers of Mr Roble, a move swiftly rejected by the premier as "unlawful".

    “We call on the President and the Prime Minister to avoid further provocative statements or actions and to resolve their disagreement over personnel appointments and their respective authorities peacefully,” a statement by State Department’s spokesperson Ned Price said.

    The Horn of Africa nation is scheduled to hold indirect parliamentary elections between 1 October and 25 November.

    The US says that any further delay may increase the "potential for violence and plays into the hands of al-Shabab and other extremist groups seeking to destabilise the country".