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Live Reporting

Emmanuel Onyango, Basillioh Rukanga and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

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  1. South Sudan elections in 2023 looking doubtful - UN

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    South Sudan has never conducted an election since becoming independent in 2011 – and polls expected next year are looking in doubt.

    The 2018 peace deal that ended a five-year civil war says a vote should be held at the end of the transitional period - which would be next February.

    But the UN peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) says many political parties have expressed concerns that conditions are not currently favourable for conducting free and credible elections then. Nevertheless, the could change, Unmiss head Nicholas Haysom said.

    “I am aware that a number of parties believe that those conditions do not yet exist and that may be true as of June 2022. Is it possible to create those conditions? I believe it would be if there is good will and serious intent to do so,” he told journalists.

    Concerning the possibility of postponing the vote, he said the onus was on South Sudanese parties, not the UN.

  2. Oromia attack: New figures give death toll of 338

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News, Addis Ababa

    The Ethiopian government says 338 people were killed earlier this month in what was one of the deadliest ethnic attacks in years.

    It had previously been reported that at least 250 mostly Amhara people died in the attack on 18 June in the Oromia region.

    An official from the prime minister's office said police were still carrying out investigations.

    The government has rejected calls - including by the UN - for there to be an independent investigation.

    The armed group the Oromo Liberation Army was blamed for the attacks but it denied any involvement.

  3. Nigeria deportee: My life is at risk because I'm gay

    Marco Oriunto

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    A man draped in a rainbow flag
    Image caption: Nigeria criminalises same-sex relationships

    A man who has been deported to Nigeria from the UK has told the BBC he fears for his life because he is gay.

    “My life is at risk for being gay,” Adeniyi Raji, who landed in Lagos with other deportees on Thursday morning, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

    Nigeria criminalises same-sex relationships - and he says that is why he left the country in 2017.

    People can be deported from the UK if they are not a British citizen and have been convicted of a criminal offence.

    But Mr Raji says he has never been in trouble with the police in the UK - and that he was deported because the British authorities did not believe that he was gay.

    “I have not been to prison before, I have not been convicted before.

    “The only offence I’ve committed is that I’m a gay man,” he said.

    “They deported me because they said I don’t need humanitarian protection in their country because they don’t believe I am gay.”

    The 46-year-old said he decided to seek asylum in the UK after losing his job in Nigeria because of his sexuality.

    “I was working as a health officer they sacked me" after witnessing I was a practising gay man, he explained.

    He had then been threatened by the police and left Facebook because he faced so much abuse about his sexuality, he added.

    A man who had been in a relationship with him for two years had offered a statement to the UK authorities, but it was ignored, Mr Raji said.

    “More than 45 MPs were fighting for my case, but the Home Office wouldn’t listen - why is it that they don’t want to listen, is it because I’m a black man?

    “When the flight took off from the runway I wept because the UK has already let me down - and they let the LGBTQ [community] down completely.”

    However, Mr Raji will continue efforts to return to the UK as he does not feel safe anywhere on the African continent as a gay man, he said.

  4. Chinese miners kidnapped in deadly Nigerian raid

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    Map

    Gunmen in Nigeria launched a deadly attack on a mine in the state of Niger on Wednesday, kidnapping at least four Chinese miners.

    Niger state police commissioner Bala Kuryas told the BBC that at least four police officers, two members of a local vigilante group and some soldiers were killed in the raid in the district of Shiroro.

    A search-and-rescue operation for the abducted Chinese nationals has begun.

    It is not immediately clear who carried out the attack, but Niger is one of Nigeria’s states worst affected by kidnappings for ransom.

    Islamist militants who usually operate in the north-east of the country sometimes also team up with the kidnapping gangs.

    Foreigners have been targeted by the kidnappers in the past.

    In recent years, the number of Chinese nationals working in the mining, construction and agricultural sectors has increased in Nigeria.

    More on this topic:

  5. Libyans fail to agree at election pow-wow

    Mike Thomson

    BBC World Service Newsroom

    UN-brokered talks in Geneva aimed at paving the way for elections in Libya have ended with little progress.

    The country’s two rivals for power - the eastern-based House of Representatives and Tripoli’s High State Council - failed to agree on the eligibility of candidates for the polls.

    Disputes on this issue led to the postponement of presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of last year.

    Many Libyans fear that without an agreement their divided country, which has seen little real peace since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi a decade ago, could be plunged back into conflict.

  6. Anti-coup protesters shot dead in Sudan - doctors

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A protester in Khartoum, Sudan - 30 June 2022
    Image caption: Protesters take to the streets on Thursday despite efforts to stop them

    Doctors in Sudan say six people have been shot dead and a large number injured by the security forces during pro-democracy protests in the capital, Khartoum.

    Large crowds have gathered in several cities calling on the military to leave politics.

    Bridges in the capital have been blocked and internet services have been cut, in an effort to stop people marching.

    Protesters in Khartoum, Sudan - 30 June 2022
    Protesters in Khartoum, Sudan - 30 June 2022
    Image caption: Protesters cover their mouths because of tear gas
    Protesters in Khartoum, Sudan - 30 June 2022

    Since last October, when military leaders toppled the transitional government in a coup, frequent mass rallies have been held.

    Sudanese security forces have responded violently leaving more than 100 protesters dead.

    People are angry at what they see as the reversal of hard won reforms and the return of those loyal to former President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019.

    On local TV, coup leader Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan has said power will be handed over to an elected government.

    But there is huge mistrust of the military and the dangerous stand-off between protesters and the security forces goes on with yet more loss of life.

    More on this topic:

    Update 17:20 GMT: This post has been updated to reflect the new number of deaths being reported by the doctors.

  7. South Africa power cuts: My blackout misery

    Mohammed Allie

    BBC News, Cape Town

    A person in South Africa holding a mobile phone
    Image caption: People are going through their phone data quickly as the wi-fi goes off doing a power cut

    The ongoing power cuts, euphemistically labelled “load-shedding” by the state-owned company Eskom, who hold the monopoly on power supply in South Africa, is really starting to take its toll on my mental wellbeing.

    I say this without exaggeration because one has become so demoralised about the power cuts dictating one’s professional and social lives that you sometimes feel helpless.

    Here are a few examples of how the power cuts, which thankfully are scheduled, have affected me this week as they increased to up to six hours each day.

    On Tuesday I had to submit a weekly column to a newspaper by lunchtime. After rushing to get it done by midday when our power would be cut for two hours, I managed to finish in time but then couldn’t email it because my wi-fi was off and my phone’s data had been chewed up after using it as a personal hotspot.

    This meant I had to wait for the power to come back on before I could send off the column. Fortunately the editor, who was equally livid about the impact of the power cuts, fully understood my predicament.

    On Wednesday morning, after returning from gym my garage door opened only slightly before the power was cut. Having left my house keys inside, I had to crawl and roll under the door - which was about 30cm off the ground - to get in!

    When power was restored, the door malfunctioned but fortunately I was able to do a video call with my long-serving technician who kindly helped me sort out the problem. Now I can fix garage doors...

    And this kind of situation you could multiply probably millions of times around the country - some people have appliances like fridges and stoves damaged by the power surges, it’s extremely frustrating and annoying.

    A woman by a fridge in South Africa
    Image caption: There is little to smile about with perishables in fridges that can get damaged by power surges

    Some media outlets are now even providing advice on how to preserve food and perishable items that are stored in fridges while coffee shops, especially those in malls where generators are their saving grace, report increased patronage from people keen to continue working on their laptops while using the free wi-fi.

  8. Less than half of expected deportees land in Nigeria

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    A person holding a rainbow flag
    Image caption: Campaigners fear members of the LGBTQ+ community will face persecution in Nigeria

    Nigeria had been expecting 38 deportees from the UK on a specially chartered flight - but less than half that number arrived in Lagos on Thursday morning.

    One of those who has arrived has told the BBC that he is gay and fears for his life.

    Before the flight left on Wednesday night, human rights campaigners in the UK had expressed concerns that members of the LGBTQ+ community, who had sought asylum in the UK, were among them.

    They said they could be persecuted either because of their religion or on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    Many of those on the plane had lived for decades in the UK, and according to Nigeria’s foreign ministry were being deported for alleged immigration-related offences.

    The flight landed first in the Nigerian city of Lagos, where between 10 and 13 men disembarked, and then continued on to Ghana’s capital, Accra, with seven men and one woman.

    Those who arrived in Lagos were seen through security before being taken away to a facility and were not allowed contact with the public or journalists at the airport.

    Update 15:30 GMT: This post has been revised after one of the deportees spoke to the BBC.

  9. BBC Africa Twitter Spaces: Forced to beg

    An undercover BBC Africa Eye investigation published this week exposed a human-trafficking network smuggling disabled children from Tanzania to Kenya.

    Join BBC News Africa on Twitter Spaces at 16:00 GMT to discuss how disabled children should be protected from traffickers.

    View more on twitter
  10. Burkina Faso announces release of Polish hostage

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Map

    The military authorities in Burkina Faso have announced the release of a Polish hostage who was kidnapped on 27 April 2022, state-owned RTB has reported.

    Another news website, Infowat.net, quoted the information minister as saying that the Polish national had been taken hostage by an unnamed armed group on the Matiacoali-Kantchari axis in the east of the country as he was travelling to Niger.

    He is said to have been released last Friday and transported by security forces to the capital, Ouagadougou, before being handed over to a Polish delegation on Tuesday.

    Al-Qaeda militants have previously said they have been involved in kidnapping foreign nationals in the Sahel region, including Burkina Faso.

    Last April, three foreign journalists - two Spaniards and one from Ireland - were found dead after they went missing in eastern Burkina Faso.

  11. Kenyans mourn pioneering journalist Joe Kadhi

    Kenyans are paying tribute to veteran journalist Joe Kadhi, who has died at a hospital in the capital, Nairobi.

    He had a long and distinguished career, once serving as managing editor of the country’s biggest newspaper, the Daily Nation - with some referring to him as the "godfather of print media" in Kenya.

    He was also a media trainer and lecturer at the University of Nairobi, the University of Addis Ababa and the United States International University in Kenya before he retired.

    William Ruto, Kenya's deputy president and presidential election front-runner, called him a “truly gifted, dedicated and enthusiastic journalist who leaves behind an extraordinary body of work”.

    "His mantra "'Publish and Be Damned' still rings in my head each time I need to defy power," journalist Joe Ageyo tweeted.

    View more on twitter

    Linus Kaikai, the editor of Citizen TV, said it was a “sad day” to lose “a mentor, professional guardian, legendary trainer and a pioneer of the golden generation”.

    “Sad to learn of the passing on of Joe Kadhi, a respected member of my profession. He mentored many and inspired most of us with his knowledge and skills,” tweeted Philip Etale, spokesperson for prominent presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

    Kadhi's family said he would be buried later on Thursday, according to the final rites of his Muslim faith.

  12. Nigerian senator in court over organ-harvesting plot

    Tom Symonds

    Home Affairs Correspondent

    Ike Ekweremadu
    Image caption: Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu served three terms as deputy senate president

    A prominent Nigerian senator has appeared in court in London for a second time charged with arranging to bring a child to the UK for organ donation.

    Ike Ekweremadu, who is 60, stood in the dock wearing a grey tracksuit and holding a bible.

    He was told his case would next be heard at Westminster Magistrates Court on 7 July.

    Part of the alleged offence was committed abroad and as a result the consent of the attorney general is required for the case to continue, which was the reason for the hearing.

    No bail application was made and Mr Ekweremadu will remain in custody. He did not speak and has not been asked yet to enter a plea.

    He faces a charge of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person for exploitation under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

    His wife Beatrice, 55, is charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of another person for exploitation and will appear in court later due to a delay in her transport from prison.

    Earlier this week the Nigerian Immigration Authority denied the victim was a child.

    Nigeria's Comptroller General, Idriss Jerre, said the victim’s birth certificate and National Identity Number, which were presented during registration for his passport, showed that he was 21 years old.

    In response, the Metropolitan Police in the UK said the child was 15.

  13. M23 rebels behaving like a conventional army - UN

    Didier Bikorimana

    BBC Great Lakes Service

    M23 fighters pictured in Uganda in 2014
    Image caption: The M23, which says it is fighting for DR Congo's Kinyarwanda-speaking people, accuses the government of failing to honour previous peace accords

    The M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are behaving “more and more like a conventional army rather than an armed group”, with “sophisticated” weapons, a senior UN official has said.

    Bintou Keita, the UN’s special representative in DR Congo, told a UN Security Council meeting that the group has been using “long range” and “precision" weapons in the most recent fighting in Rutshuru in North Kivu province.

    The rebels - who control the town of Bunagana on the border with Uganda - resumed attacks against the Congolese army in April after a decade without a major offensive.

    Each side blames the other for starting the fighting, in which at least 23 civilians - including six children - have been killed and more than 170,000 people have fled their homes, according to the UN.

    “In the most recent fighting, M23 has behaved more and more like a conventional army rather than an armed group,” Ms Keita said on Wednesday.

    The rebels had sophisticated fire power “namely in terms of long-range firing capacity, mortars and machine-guns and precision strikes on aircraft”, she said.

    “It is imperative that the council redoubles its efforts in favour of a rapid de-escalation of the situation and the disarmament, without conditions, of M23.”

    But the rebel group says it will not lay down its weapons unless there are honest talks with the DR Congo’s government.

    It says it is fighting for Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese - those it says are marginalised.

    The government accuses it of being a Rwandan proxy, receiving logistical support from neighbouring Rwanda - a claim both the authorities in Kigali and the M23 have vehemently denied.