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'Militants killed' in Burkina Faso and Mali raid

Louise Dewast

BBC News

Twenty-four suspected militants have been killed in Burkina Faso and Mali by regional counter-insurgency forces, the French military says.

G5 Sahel troops, supported by France, also destroyed a bomb-making workshop and seized more than 100 phones and weapons in an operation lasting two weeks.

A Mauritanian G5 Sahel soldier pictured in 2018
Troops from Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad are serving in the G5 Sahel force

The identities and affiliations of the militants have not been made public, but al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group are known to operate in the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso border zone where this operation happened.

It comes as defence and foreign ministers from across Africa meet in Senegal to discuss security, in particular in the Sahel region, where security forces are struggling to contain the spread of Islamist militant groups.

On Monday, militants killed 24 Malian soldiers and injured another 29.

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Poor sewage forces 'frogmen' to dig out faeces by hand

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Up to 90% of Tanzania's biggest city is not connected to the sewage system, a joint report released on World Toilet Day has found.

It says Dar es Salaam's four million residents largely rely on the services of a band of illegal workers known as "frogmen" to deal with human waste.

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This group of clandestine night workers, who are predominantly men, earned their nickname from the tactics they use removing human waste from latrines across the city.

Their hazardous work is the focus of the joint report by the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank and WaterAid.

"Frogmen" dive into pit latrines with buckets and a shovel - then dig out fecal sludge by hand.

They use no equipment or protection which exposes them to a wide variety of health hazards and diseases, and sometimes even death. There are no available figures to give a picture of just how prevalent health problems arising from their work is because it is illegal.

Organisations such as WaterAid are working with frogmen to help them build legal businesses and carry out their essential work more safely.

Meanwhile the government points to the risk of latrine collapse and disease which arises from poor construction in the city’s slums. But for many residents, the frogmen offer an affordable alternative to the legal waste removal trucks.

Kenyan students launch #CampusMeToo campaign

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

University students in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have launched a campaign to end sexual harassment in the country's higher learning institutions.

A recent survey in Nairobi by the campaign group ActionAid suggests that half of all female students and a quarter of all male students have experienced a form of sexual harassment from a staff member at their university or college.

Under the hashtag #CampusMeToo students are gathering signatures for a petition that will be handed to the education ministry.

Among their demands are mandatory induction sessions for newly enrolled students, regular training sessions for university staff and the appointment of an investigation committee on all campuses to handle sexual harassment cases.

UN Women Kenya has been tweeting about the campaign:

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Inside the lives of LGBTQ refugees in Kenya

Ugandan Mbazira Moses and his friends are trying to rebuild their lives after fleeing anti-gay discrimination.

They ended up in a safe house in Kenya earlier this year, after being attacked in the Kakuma refugee camp where they were staying after applying for asylum.

Watch this film following them in the months leading up to a landmark ruling in Kenya in May, where the country's High Court was reviewing a colonial-era law banning gay sex:

In response to allegations about attacks at the Kakuma refugee camp, the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) told the BBC:

"Efforts by UNHCR continue to make sure LGBTI persons in Kakuma are able to live with a degree of physical safety and security... Security for refugees is provided by the state authorities, not UNHCR."

Merkel hosts African leaders for business summit

BBC World Service

President of the Republic of Rwanda, Chairperson of the African Union Paul Kagame, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the Republic of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa attend the G20 Investment Summit
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (L), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (M) and President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa at last year's G20 Investment Summit

The leaders of 12 African countries will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday for discussions on boosting business investment in Africa.

They will take part in the Compact for Africa Conference, an initiative set up during the German presidency of the G20 in 2017 to promote private sector investment in Africa.

It aims to create jobs, improve lives, and reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Europe.

Since the 2015 refugee crisis in Germany, the government has launched various projects to help improve African economies but German businesses have been slow to respond.

US slaps travel ban on Kenya's ex-attorney general

Amos Wako
Getty Images
Amos Wako was Kenya's attorney general from 1991 to 2011

The US State Department has barred Amos Wako, Kenya's former attorney general, from entering the US because of his "involvement in significant corruption".

Mr Wako's wife and son have also been barred.

"Today's action sends a strong signal that the United States is a valuable partner in Kenya's fight against corruption," said a statement from the US State Department.

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Mr Wako has yet to react to the US ban - the second one targeting him.

In 2009, the US banned him after accusing him of blocking political reforms in the country following the 2007 post-election violence.

At the time Mr Wako denied the allegations and threatened to sue the US.

The BBC sought comment from the US embassy in Nairobi about the link between Monday’s announcement and the 2009 travel ban, but an embassy official said: “Stick to the text of the released statement."

Mr Wako, 73, served as Kenya's attorney general from 1991-2011.

He is currently a senator as well as a member of the Building Bridges Initiative - a 14-member team put together by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga aimed at addressing issues that could spark political violence in Kenya.

Uganda orders recall of faulty condoms

Life Guard condoms
Marie Stopes Uganda
The affected batches are labelled 19040205 and 19050105

The authorities in Uganda have ordered the recall of two batches of condoms distributed by Marie Stopes Uganda, a non-government organisation that offers reproductive health services.

"While the Life Guard brand follows strict quality controls, unfortunately two recent batches have fallen short from the quality we demand," Dr Carole Sekimpi, Country Director at Marie Stopes, said in a statement.

She stressed that the problems only affected these two batches. The Daily Monitor newspaper reports that this amounts to four million condoms.

Tests had found "holes and burst properties" in the Life Guard brand, Uganda's National Drug Authority (NDA) said in a recall letter sent at the end of last month, according to images of the memo circulating on social media.

"We have given you two weeks to submit a recall status report indicating the details of distribution and the clients that have been notified of the recall," Victoria Nambasa, NDA's product safety officer, wrote.

According to data from Uganda's ministry of health, an estimated 800 million condoms are needed to protect Ugandans from unplanned pregnancies, HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases, the Daily Monitor says.

Tuesday's wise words

Our proverb of the day:

The river is never so high that the eyes of a fish are covered."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Yemi Akintokun in Ibadan, Nigeria
An illustration of a river

Click here to send in your African proverbs.

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