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  1. Mali junta receives Russian jets and helicopter

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Mali has received five military jets and a combat helicopter from Russia - a close ally in its fight against a jihadist insurgency.

    At a ceremony for the handover, Defence Minister Sadio Camara paid tribute to what he called Mali's win-win partnership with Russia.

    The Malian presidency tweeted images of the military equipment:

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    Ties between the two countries have grown since a coup in May last year.

    That second military take-over in just over a year plus Mali's decision to hire Russian mercenaries were key reasons why France chose to pull its troops out of the country.

    Jihadist attacks have increased in recent weeks.

    Over the weekend Islamist militants shot dead 17 soldiers and four civilians.

    The army said nine other troops were missing and 22 soldiers were injured in the attack.

  2. Guinea junta dissolves opposition coalition

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Members of Guinea's armed forces celebrate after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, in a coup d'etat in Conakry on September 5, 2021.
    Image caption: The men who seized power last year want a three-year transition to civilian rule

    The military-led government in Guinea has issued a decree dissolving the country's leading opposition movement which it accuses of using violence during what it calls banned demonstrations.

    The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution or FNDC is an alliance of political parties, trade unions and civil society groups.

    It led protests which prompted the overthrow of the former president Alpha Condé in a coup last year.

    It seems the authorities in Guinea are worried about the possibility of protests gaining momentum.

    Friction has been growing for months between the FNDC opposition movement and the military-led government.

    The FNDC has called for countrywide demonstrations next week at a time when some Guineans want the military to speed up the return to civilian rule.

    The men who seized power last year want a three-year transition.

    The decree dissolving the opposition movement says its behaviour threatens national unity and peace.

    If people do take to the streets it will be no surprise if there is a violent response from the military.

  3. US concerned by reports Rwanda backing DR Congo rebels

    David Bamford

    BBC World Service News

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Washington is very concerned about what he called credible reports that Rwanda has provided support to rebels in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Mr Blinken, speaking in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, called on all parties to halt any co-operation with the M23 rebel group.

    The conflict in eastern DR Congo was a key focus during his meeting with President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday.

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    M23 controls a large swathe of territory in the region, and its attacks have displaced tens of thousands of people.

    Mr Blinken is heading for Rwanda on the next stage of his Africa tour.

  4. Kenya vote count continues in tight race for president

    BBC World Service

    An election official displays a rejected vote at Nakuru Boys Polling Center

    Votes are being counted in Kenya where a new president is being chosen to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Polling day was largely peaceful, but turnout was low, amid voter apathy and frustration over rising food prices, corruption and fears of violence.

    The electoral commission estimated turnout at around 60%, well short of the 80% seen at the last election five years ago.

    Kenyans are eagerly waiting to find out if the next leader is the former prime minister, Raila Odinga, who's backed by Mr Kenyatta, or the vice president, William Ruto.

    People have also been electing county governors and MPs.

    Official results are not expected for several days. A tight race is predicted.

  5. Video content

    Video caption: 'Answers don't lie with the boss. People are the business'

    Mpumi Zikalala, CEO of Kumba Iron Ore, shares an insight for our CEO Secrets series.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Kenya 2022 elections: 'What is it like to vote as a blind person?

    Angeline Akai Lodi describes her experience as a blind voter in the Kenyan general election.

  7. Arrests made in Owo church massacre - Nigerian police

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News

    People point to blood stains on the floor.
    Image caption: Forty people were killed in the June attack

    The Nigerian military says security forces have made arrests in connection with a deadly attack on a Roman Catholic Church in the south-western city of Owo two months ago.

    The suspects have not been named - and it's not clear how many have been arrested - but an army officer said they would be paraded before the public after investigations.

    Forty worshippers were killed when gunmen stormed the St Francis Catholic Church in Ondo State in June.

    Nigeria's government blamed the attack on a local branch of the Islamic State group.

    Read more:

  8. US air strike targets Islamists in Somalia - state media

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    State-owned media in Somalia says the US military has carried out an air strike against al-Shabab fighters in the central Hiran region.

    It said this followed a request from the Somali government.

    The US-Africa Command has not yet commented.

    American officials said two airstrikes in June and July killed seven jihadist fighters.

    Al-Shabab has increased its attacks on government targets in recent months and has carried out cross border raids into Ethiopia.

    A former leader of the group, Mukhtar Robow, has just been made Somalia's minister of religious affairs.

    His appointment is seen as an attempt to counter al-Shabab's extreme ideology.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Solar power in Gambia: ‘The Sun has changed my life’

    Fatou Njie has trained, around 80 female students how to install solar panels in her community in Gambia.

  10. Half of a Yellow Sun film director dies aged 54

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC West Africa correspondent, Lagos

    Film director Biyi Bandele (L) speaks to the cameraman on set.
    Image caption: Biyi Bandele (L) is remembered as hardworking and passionate

    One of Nigeria’s best known film directors and authors, Biyi Bandele, has died at the age of 54.

    "He was taken from us much too soon," said his daughter Temi Bandele on Monday, announcing that he had died the day before in Lagos.

    "He was a storyteller to his bones, with an unblinking perspective, singular voice and wisdom which spoke boldly through all of his art, in poetry, novels, plays and on screen."

    Bandele was perhaps best known for directing the 2013 film Half of a Yellow Sun, adapted from the novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

    He also directed Fifty, about modern African womanhood, which was screened at the 2015 London Film Festival. Later projects included directing two episodes of the Blood Sisters series on Netflix.

    His friends and colleagues have described him as hardworking and committed.

    "Biyi had an eye for a story, was always passionate about his work and had a great love for Yoruba culture. We will miss his dedication, cheerful spirit and collaborative nature. Rest in peace, dear friend," said Mo Abudu, the CEO of Ebony Life group, on Instagram.

    Filmmaker Kenneth Gyang tweeted: "My heart is heavy. We were planning to make his book Burma Boy into a major motion picture. There were many others in the works."

  11. Dozens killed by suspected Islamists in Mali - military

    Lalla Sy

    BBC News

    At least 17 soldiers and four civilians were killed on Sunday, with nine others missing, after an attack attributed to Islamists in the town of Tessit in the area close to the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which is frequently the scene of clashes and attacks.

    There were at least two other jihadist attacks on Sunday - killing 12 civilians on Saturday in central Mali and five police officers on Sunday in the south-west.

    The death toll from the attack in Tessit, however, is still provisional and likely to change - according to a Malian army statement released Monday.

    The army said it had killed seven people in Tessit thought to be from the Islamic State in the Great Sahara, using drone and artillery support to set off explosives.

    The Malian army also reported 22 wounded in its ranks, plus significant damage to civilian homes, including vehicles and military installations.

    Mali has been under threat from Islamist militants since 2012, initially confined to the north but has spread to central and southern Mali, as well as to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

    A map of the Sahel nations showing the areas where Islamist groups Ansaroul Islam, Boko Haram, Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and JNIM operate.

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  12. Ecowas halts recruitment amid complaints from Nigerians

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Nigeria is threatening to withdraw from the regional group, Ecowas, following allegations that Nigerian candidates are being sidelined for jobs and promotions.

    Some in Ecowas have also complained of nepotism - alleging that relatives and cronies are sometimes selected for posts.

    Sidie Tunis, the Ecowas parliamentary speaker, has ordered all recruitment to the organisation be suspended, and created a panel to investigate alleged malpractice to report its findings within a week.

    The Ecowas parliament leadership has said it will uphold and protect the rights of all citizens of the community to aspire to positions in any Ecowas institution, in line with the provisions of the body’s founding protocols.

    The Economic Community of West African States, Ecowas, was established in 1975 to promote economic integration among its 15 member countries.