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  1. Somalia blast kills over 10 soldiers - reports

    BBC World Service

    More than 10 soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a military base in the Somali capital Mogadishu, reports say.

    A reporter at the scene said the bomber, posing as a military trainee, walked into the army camp in the Wadajir district of the Somali capital and detonated explosives strapped to his waist, during morning training.

    At least 10 other people were injured.

  2. UN calls for free and fair elections in Mali

    A convoy of FAMA (Malian Armed Force) escorts the vehicle of the new President of Mali's transitional government Assimi Goita as he returns from Accra after a meeting with the ECOWAS
    Image caption: Mali has had two coups in nine months

    The UN Security Council has called for free and fair elections in Mali in the wake of a military takeover of the government.

    The majority of the 15-member council said that the military leaders should not participate in the elections scheduled for February next year - while underscoring the need to ensure they were free and credible.

    French ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Riviere said at the forum that "the absolute priority must be the organisation of the presidential election in February 2022".

    "The Malian political class must now show responsibility," he said.

    It came as the UN's special envoy for Mali El-Ghassim Wane called for strong international support amid a "deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the country".

    Mr Wane said the new president and prime minister of the transition had reassured international partners that they would respect the transitional calendar.

    He however said that immediate action was required for critical reforms in preparation for a credible electoral process.

    "We cannot allow [Mali] to slide into further instability with drastic consequences for the subregion and beyond," Mr Wane said, according to a statement from the UN.

    Mali has had two coups in nine months with the military junta leader Col Assimi Goïta recently declaring himself transitional president.

    He named opposition leader Choguel Maïga as prime minister of his transitional government.

    Read more:

  3. Kenya launches elephant naming festival

    Family of elephants in Amboseli National Park.
    Image caption: Amboseli is home to more than 3,000 elephants

    Kenya is set to hold an elephant naming ceremony aimed at promoting conservation.

    The festival was launched on Monday by the tourism minister and will culminate in an official ceremony on 12 August during the World Elephant Day.

    Well wishers will be required to contribute funds for conservation and will be given a chance to adopt an elephant and give it a name.

    The elephants' second names will be given by elders from the Maasai community based on history and profile.

    The ceremony will be held at the Amboseli national park that is home to more than 3,000 elephants out of the country's total population of more than 34,000, according to the wildlife service.

    Kenya is in the process of conducting its first ever census of all its wildlife to provide crucial data for conservation.

    Elephants are at risk of poaching because of their tusks.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Goma volcano: ‘I don't know what happened to my family.’

    Several children are missing after becoming separated from their family while fleeing the lava flows.

  5. Zimbabwe hero's kin fights state plan to seize farm

    A son of a Zimbabwean national hero has taken to social media to protest against the government's plan to take back agricultural land for resettlement in ongoing land reforms.

    Siphosami Malunga, son of Sydney Malunga, who was part of the independence struggle, said the re-acquisition was not about land reforms and that they would fight back.

    Zimbabwe has been undertaking land reforms that are aimed at redistributing colonial-era land grabs.

    View more on twitter

    Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba commented on the tweet telling the public not to get involved in the matter.

    "Be careful not to be used by attaching yourselves to something you don’t know or what you don’t have enough knowledge of! You are not the acquiring authority; you are not the Malungas. Just making some noise because Sipho has howled to a notice of intention to acquire the land? What are the facts? Tell us you who know," he wrote.

    Journalist Hopewell Chin'ono - a fierce critic of the government - wrote: "This is really petty by [President Emmerson] Mnangagwa’s regime. It is an opportunity to expose the ridiculousness of this regime’s land reform program! This is crazy, you must be supported by all well meaning Zimbabweans."

  6. Senegal president seeks action over beach deaths

    People swimming at the popular Mammelles beaches, in front of construction sites in Dakar, on June 27, 2020. -
    Image caption: The president has called for better security on the beaches

    Senegalese President Macky Sall has called for urgent action after at least eight people died off the beaches in the capital Dakar.

    "The death of young people by drowning on the beaches of Malika is intolerable," he said in a statement on Twitter.

    View more on twitter

    Seven bodies were recovered on the beach on Sunday, and one was washed up on shore on Monday, the AFP news agency reported.

    All the victims were in their 20s.

    The president on Monday offered his condolences to the grieving families of the deceased and those who were still missing.

    He called for urgent measures by authorities to provide better security and for parents to be more vigilant on the beaches.

    The latest number of deaths were a rare spike, the AFP reported, even though deaths not uncommon during the hot season in Senegal's capital - when residents seek to cool off in the Atlantic beaches .

  7. Kaunda in 'serious but stable' condition

    Kenneth Kaunda
    Image caption: Kenneth Kaunda, pictured here in 1987, led Zambia from 1964 to 1991

    Zambia's founding father Kenneth Kaunda is in a "serious but stable condition", a source close to the former president has told the BBC.

    The 97-year-old, who served as president from 1964 to 1991, was admitted to hospital last Tuesday with a minor chest infection, and was actually due to be discharged today, the BBC was told.

    But his condition changed overnight and became worrying this morning.

    He is still breathing on his own and not on a ventilator. But the situation at the moment is concerning - given his age, our source said.

    Both Zambia's President Edgar Lungu and South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa have urged people to pray for Mr Kaunda.

    He is one of the last surviving members of a group who struggled against colonialism in Africa in the aftermath of the Second World War.

  8. Egypt upholds death penalties for Muslim Brotherhood members

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Protesters in Cairo
    Image caption: Egypt was gripped by pro- and anti-Morsi protests in 2013

    An Egyptian court has upheld the death penalty for 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including two senior officials of the organisation.

    The court of cassation has reduced the sentencing of 31 other members to life in prison, according to a judiciary official quoted by AFP.

    The suspects had taken part in 2013 in an anti-government sit-in in Cairo.

    Hundreds were killed when the police used force to disperse the protesters. They were accused of "possession of weapons and resisting the police".

    There is no possibility of appeal against the rulings.

    The Muslim Brotherhood organisation has been banned and tagged a terrorist organisation after a military coup led by then-Defence Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

    Morsi, a senior official in the Muslim brotherhood, was jailed and later died in prison. He remains Egypt's only democratically elected president.

  9. South Sudan vaccinates 16,000 against coronavirus

    Nichola Mandil

    Juba

    The health authorities in South Sudan have said that they have so far vaccinated more than 16,000 people against Covid-19. South Sudan has a population of 13 million.

    In March, the country received 132,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax facility, and another consignment of 59,000 doses from the African Union (AU) and South African telecom giant, MTN.

    But the 59,000 doses donated by the AU could not be used as they expired on 13 April before South Sudan could start a vaccine rollout.

    Other doses have been donated to neighbouring Kenya.

    But now the vaccine programme has started.

    On Monday, Dr John Romunu Pasquale, head of preventive health services at the health ministry, said that 16,509 doses had so far been administered.

    “We are doing well with vaccination, I am happy to inform you that now all the 10 [regional] states and the three administrative areas are having Covid-19 vaccination," he told reporters.

    South Sudan has so far recorded 115 deaths from coronavirus.

  10. Kenya mourns top businessman Chris Kirubi

    U2 lead singer Bono (R) and Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS board member Chris Kirubi
    Image caption: Chris Kirubi worked with Bono in 2004 in an HIV/Aids campaign

    Kenyans have been paying tribute to businessman Chris Kirubi who has died aged 80 at his home in the capital, Nairobi.

    Mr Kirubi, one of the country's richest people, had interests spanning manufacturing, investments and media and was known for his colourful lifestyle.

    He became a part-time radio personality at a station he owned and was known by his moniker: DJ CK.

    Employees at his companies and those who have worked for him previously have hailed his as a good friend and mentor.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta said Mr Kirubi, who sat on several company boards, was a "great coach".

    “Besides his celebrated business acumen, Kenya will remember Chris a great coach and business mentor who raised some of our country’s best businessmen and corporate leaders,” Mr Kenyatta said.

    The late businessman name is the top trend on Twitter in Kenya with some users sharing a screengrab of his last tweet, sent just hours before his death was announced:

    View more on twitter
  11. Ramaphosa joins prayers for Kaunda

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa says his country has joined the people of Zambia in prayer for the health of founding father Kenneth Kaunda.

    Mr Kaunda is in hospital being treated for an undisclosed illness

    In a tweet Mr Ramaphosa wished the 97 year old a "speedy and full recovery":

    View more on twitter
  12. 'Cervical cancer is very much a man's issue'

    Is cervical cancer a man's issue?

    Kenyan journalist Mariga Thoithi thought it was something he didn't need to think about - until a good friend died of it at just 29 years old.

    He then started researching the cancer and was horrified at what he found.

    Only about one in six women in Kenya will be screened for what should be a preventable disease, and 3,000 Kenyan women die of it each year.

    Of the 20 countries in the world with the highest rate of cervical cancer, 19 of them are African. The problem is that the cause of the cancer - the infection HPV - is primarily sexually transmitted - meaning taking a test can be stigmatised.

    He's now written an article entitled "The fight against cervical cancer is very much a man's issue".

    He adds:

    Quote Message: Men are primarily the spreaders of the HPV. Most of us will get HPV in our lifetime... Men wouldn't see themselves as part of the problem, but I feel this is exactly why men should be involved in finding the solution."

    Listen to his interview with BBC Newsday:

    Video content

    Video caption: Mariga Thoithi's friend died of the disease at the age of 29
  13. Tanzania gold plant launched in plan to stop exports

    David Nkya

    BBC Swahili

    Tanzania has launched a $5.2m (£3.6m) gold refining plant that is aimed at ensuring the country no longer exports raw gold.

    The Mwanza Precious Metals Refinery factory has a capacity of refining 480kg gold per day, and is one of three new factories established in Tanzania.

    The factory, which is touted to be the largest in the East African region, is expected to earn revenue for Tanzania through levies and royalties.

    It is also expected to provide more than 100 direct jobs and over 300 indirect jobs for Tanzanians.

    The factory is a partnership between the Tanzanian government - which holds a 25% stake - and other investors.

  14. Somalia normalises diplomatic relations with Kenya

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Somalia has said it has normalised diplomatic relations with Kenya after it lifted a ban on flights to and from Mogadishu.

    Somalia's ministry of foreign affairs called on Kenya to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu.

    The ministry said Somalia would in turn re-open its embassy in Nairobi.

    Relations between the two East African neighbours have been tense in recent years due to a maritime border row.

    Somalia severed relations with Kenya in December, accusing Nairobi of meddling in internal Somali affairs.

    Kenya has denied the accusation.

  15. Concern as 'diamond rush' hits South African village

    Large crowds of people have gathered in a South African village in KwaZulu-Natal province where diamonds are rumoured to have been discovered, local media report.

    Videos posted on social media showed people digging the ground in search of the precious stones.

    The provincial government also shared one of the videos on Twitter and expressed concern its concern over the "diamond rush".

    It added it had "noted with concern, the reports of illegal mining activity taking place at KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith".

    View more on twitter

    Local authorities have not yet determined whether the stones are genuine diamonds.

    The national department of minerals and energy is said to have promised to send its team - including enforcement and compliance units, plus geoscientists - to inspect the site.

    The KwaZulu-Natal government also said in a media statement that it was concerned that the crowding at the site could violate Covid-19 regulations.

  16. Bobi Wine supporters released after six months

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Bobi Wine's supporters surrounded by police in Kalangala district, Southern Uganda, on December 30, 2020
    Image caption: The supporters were among 49 people arrested in southern Uganda

    The military court in Kampala has released on bail 18 supporters of opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, who had been arrested at an election campaign rally in December 2020.

    They include Bobi Wine’s personal bodyguard Edward Sebuwufu, Eddie Mutwe, and his musician colleague Bukeni Ali known as Nubian Li.

    They were part of a group of 49 people charged with possession of four rounds of ammunition. They have all now been released on bail.

    Out of those arrested, 13 were granted bail in February and 18 others in late May.

    They had been arrested in the Lake Victoria island district of Kalangala, during a rally at which Bobi Wine was also picked up and flown against his will to his home in Kampala in a military helicopter.

    During the election campaign season and the months following the January polls, Uganda witnessed a wave of arrests and alleged kidnaps of what are believed to be hundreds of opposition supporters.

    A statement presented to parliament by then Internal Affairs Minister General Jeje Odongo in April showed that the security forces were holding at least 1000 people at one point.

    Families in the capital Kampala and other parts of the country continue to ask government to produce loved ones who they say were arrested by security personnel and remain unaccounted for.

    Read more:

  17. Pray for our beloved KK - Lungu

    Zambia's President Edgar Lungu has asked people to pray for his predecessor and the country's founding father, Kenneth Kaunda, who is in hospital.

    The 97-year-old is receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness.

    "I call the nation to prayer for our beloved KK who is hospitalised, that God may touch him with His healing hand," Mr Lungu tweeted.

    View more on twitter

    Dr Kaunda became president in 1964 and left power in 1991.