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Summary

  1. British colonialist's statue falls in South Africa
  2. Lowest Ebola figures in nearly a year
  3. Row over 'missing' students after Garissa massacre
  4. Sierra Leone's VP to challenge sacking

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight - we'll be back tomorrow

That concludes our Africa Live coverage for today. Download the

Africa Today podcast and visit
BBCAfrica.com for the latest news on the continent.

And we leave you with this photo of an Ethiopia worshipper in Jerusalem's Old City ahead of the Orthodox Easter.

An Ethiopian Orthodox worshipper in Israel
Reuters

Foreigners targeted

Hundreds of foreigners living in the South African city of Durban have fled their homes after xenophobic attacks. They were targeted by some angry locals who accuse them of taking their jobs, which the immigrants deny.

A man shaves in front of a tent on a sports field in Durban. Several hundred foreign nationals have sought refuge in the tents after xenophobia driven violence forced them to flee their homes.
Reuters

Many of the foreigners are now taking shelter in tents.

Women with children, who are the first to receive food, stand on a sports field in Chatsworth in the south of Durban
Reuters

Charities have come to their aid, giving them food and other essentials.

'Fry Nigeria's big fish'

A pressure group in Nigeria has called on President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to publicly declare his assets after he takes office on 29 May.

In a statement, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project also said that Gen Buhari should not shy away from "frying big fish" accused of corruption.

'Colonial pain'

People on the

BBC Africa Facebook have been joining the debate over what should be done with controversial historic statues in South Africa.

Banda Sekani says: "The statues need to be destroyed so that all memories of colonialism can be forgotten. By keeping the statues it reminds black South Africans of the colonial pain."

Tabu Jasper says: " It's not about bringing the statues down, the problem is how can we unite all South Africans together no matter what colour we are."

Jimmy Olowal says: " I think that Africans in general are becoming more concerned about their identity and so I don't think it is a good idea to keep the statue on campus."

Students surround the decades old bronze statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes, top left, as the statue is removed from the campus at the Cape Town University, Cape Town, South Africa,
AP
The statue was at the university for 81 years

'Warning to South Africa'

Mohammed Allie

BBC Africa, Cape Town

When the crane removed Cecil Rhodes' statue, it was a huge victory for black South Africans fed up with a lack of education and job opportunities more than 20 years after apartheid ended.

"We finally got the white man to sit down and listen to us," said a student who had campaigned for it to be taken down. Some were chanting "one settler; one bullet" - a sign that anger could boil over if the lives of black people do not improve.

Students shout out as they climb on top of the decades old bronze statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes, as the statue is removed from the campus at the Cape Town University, Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, 9 April 2015
AP

There was a mixed crowd watching - with many white academics and students also supporting its removal.

But the whole affair serves as a wake-up call to South Africans to tackle racial inequality. People point to the fact that at the University of Cape Town there are only five black South African-born professors.

Garissa dormitories

A week since 148 people were killed in Kenya in an carefully planned attack by the Islamist group al-Shabab, the BBC has been given exclusive access to the university dormitories in Garissa University College where the students died.

Watch Karen Allen's report.

Quad inside Garissa University College
BBC

#BringBackOurGirls

In Nigeria, campaigners are taking part in a "peaceful walk" through the capital, Abuja, to raise awareness for the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Next Tuesday it will be exactly a year since the Chibok girls were taken. BBC Hausa's Mohammed Kabir Mohammed sent these photos:

campaigners in Abja walk in honour of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April last year
BBC

Campaigners have been tying red ribbons as they go to honour the 219 girls who are still missing.

a campaigner ties a red ribbon to a lamp post in Abuja as part of a walk to remember the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram
BBC

Grace Mugabe 'not interested' in presidency

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has denied that his wife Grace harbours ambitions to succeed him, the UK Guardian newspaper reports.

"She doesn't have those ambitions. No, I don't think so. She has accepted the post of being secretary for women's affairs and she has got her own charity to care for,"

Mr Mugabe told the newspaper.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) flanked by his daughter Bona (L) and his wife Grace (R) stand with some of the children who share the same birthday with him at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 28 February 2015
EPA
Mr Mugabe's wife Grace (R) entered the political fray last year

Focus TV

Coming up at 17:30 GMT on Focus on Africa TV on BBC World News:

One week on from the Garissa attack, we have exclusive access to the dormitories where the students were staying when al-Shabab militants struck. We'll also have a report from Cape Town University, where a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes has been removed. And in sport, we'll have more reaction to the choice of Gabon as the host of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Garissa bodies collected

Milton Nkosi

BBC News, Nairobi

I have just been to Chiromo mortuary in Nairobi where I saw distraught relatives coming to take their loved ones home, for the last time.

Near the entrance, pictures of those students who died in the Garissa University College massacre were lined up for identification. I saw the attached birth dates. Many of them were in their early twenties, some were born in 1994 and others in 1995. Funerals are expected to be held in the rolling hills and valleys of Kenya this weekend.

relatives look on as coffins carrying a victim's body are loaded into a vehicle
BBC
The bodies of those killed in the Garissa attacks are now being released to their families

'Racist symbol'

The removal of the British colonialist's statue comes after weeks of protest by black students. They said it was a racist symbol, and leaders who fought minority rule in South Africa should be commemorated.

The Cecil Rhodes statue
EPA

The statue has been taken away to a nearby construction site, according to local media.

Occupation

Students are occupying the pedestal where Rhodes stood.

Celebrations

Students are singing and dancing as they celebrate the statue's removal.

Statue down

The statue of Cecil Rhodes has been removed.

'Challenging patriarchy'

@JennaEtheridge

Journalist Jenna Etheridge

tweets from the University of Cape Town: "When we ask for Rhodes to fall, we are asking for patriarchy to fall," says student in front of statue. #RhodesHasFallen"

'Historic moment'

The BBC's Mohammed Allie is at the University of Cape Town. He told

BBC Focus On Africa radio that there's a "special atmosphere" for what is "a historic moment".

Many people are taking photographs before the crane lifts the statue up and it is taken away to an undisclosed location.

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes on 9 April 2015
EPA
The statue was defaced by black protesters

Freedom songs

A crowd has burst into singing freedom songs at South Africa's University of Cape Town, as people wait for the statue of Cecil Rhodes to be pulled down. It was to have happened 20 minutes ago, but there is a delay.

You can follow events live via eNCA News's YouTube channel.

Garissa suspect's mother speaks

The mother of a Tanzanian man arrested in connection with the Garissa University College massacre has been speaking to local media. Fatma Ali told The Citizen newspaper that she was shocked by the arrest of her 21-year-old son, Rashid Charles Mberesero.

She said he had passed his secondary school exams with "flying colours" and she had hoped that he would become a doctor.

On Tuesday, a Kenyan court gave police permission to detain Mr Mberesero for 30 days, while investigations into the attack continue. He has not yet been brought to court on any charges.

A relative holds a potrait of his relative as he watches her coffin being rolled out by Kenya Red Cross personnel at Chiromo funeral parlour in nairobi,
AFP
Most of the 148 people killed in the attack were students

Pop plagiarism

BBC Focus on Africa radio has reported on an Algerian singer who was recently found guilty of plagiarism in France for a song he released more than 20 years ago.

Cheb Khaled
Getty Images
Cheb Khaled is known as the King of Rai music - a type of Algerian pop music with Arabic and French influences

Cheb Khaled is reportedly appealing the verdict and the fine he was ordered to pay by a High Court in Paris. The lesser known Algerian musician Cheb Rabah claims to have written at least part of the song

Didi, which was played at the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

It reached the top 10 in the singles charts in France and cover versions of it have been made in at least five other languages.

Silent protest

In this photo, an arts student performs a silent protest in front of the statue, which is bound by straps connected to a crane prior to its removal.

An arts student performs a silent protest in front of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes which is bound by straps connected to a crane prior to its removal from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, 9 April 2015
EPA

'Vindicated' over Rhodes

The South African student who threw human excrement at Cecil Rhodes's statue says he feels vindicated by the University of Cape Town's decision to take it down.

Chumani Maxwele told the local News24 site that the dignity of black academics who faced discrimination at the university during white rule has been restored.

Bounties on al-Shabab

Somalia's government has placed bounties on 11 leaders of al-Shabab following a cabinet meeting.

Top of the list is Ahmed Diriye with $250,000 (£169,000) offered - the other amounts range from $150,000 to $100,00.

James Copnall

BBC Africa, Khartoum

A prominent Sudanese politician Farouk Abu Issa and a leading human rights activist Amin Makki Medani have just been released from jail. The two have been in detention since December, and were arrested after they signed an agreement with a rebel group.

'Meaningless legacies'

BBC Monitoring

South Africa's Daily Maverick highlights the need for more reforms. "The specific legacies of Rhodes and Kruger are largely meaningless… the statues are a symbol of all that remains to be done, of real transformation,"

says the paper's op-ed.

The Citizen is less optimistic,

suggesting the "race war" in South African universities shows that "our academics are not succeeding at their most fundamental task: producing critical but tolerant graduates".

'Oppressive past'

BBC Monitoring

South Africa's media has been debating how the country should deal with its troubled past following the decision to remove the Cecil Rhodes statue. "Symbols aren't inanimate objects, they are powerful devices that must be removed if they pay homage to a dark and oppressive past,"

argues the Mail & Guardian.

But writing in the News24 website, Vusi Kweyama warns against "erasing" history: "We must teach our children how to remember in a way that is empowering and educational."

Mugabe in Soweto

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is finishing his state visit to South Africa with a visit to Soweto, where he placed a wreath on the memorial to Hector Pieterson, the schoolboy who died in the 1976 riots against inferior education for black people.

David Smith, Africa correspondent for the UK's Guardian newspaper,

tweets: As Mugabe climbs into his car, a man in Soweto shouts: "Long live the president!" Mugabe pauses and acknowledges him.

Coming up

Akwasi Sarpong

BBC Africa

I'll be your host on

BBC Focus on Africa radio at 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00 GMT. Here are some stories on our radar:

  • The Kenyan government dismisses claims regarding the number of students still unaccounted for following the Garissa University College attack
  • We gauge the impact of the closure of 13 "hawalas" - the cash transfer services offered by Somali businessmen
A Somali man counts the money he collected from a money-transfer service in Mogadishu, Somalia - Wednesday 8 April 2015
AP
  • A look ahead to next week's elections in Sudan, which are widely expected to extend President Omar al-Bashir's 25-year rule, despite continued unrest and a faltering economy
  • And a Paris court to rule on the case of the Algerian singer accused of plagiarising a colleague's song.

Plus a round-up of African sports stories. You can text us some your comments on +44 77 86 20 50 75.

Powerful play

@Mary_Morgan_

Mary Morgan

BBC Africa

tweets from London: "Went to Lampedusa play @sohotheatre last night. Interesting, positive perceptive on immigration etc- and made me cry! http://sohotheatre.com/whats-on/lampedusa/ …"

Mountain fire

Rajitha Kariyawasa, who is visiting South Africa from Sri Lanka, says he has seen a fire close to Table Mountain in Cape Town.

He took these pictures of fire-fighting helicopters trying to douse the fire at noon local time (10:00 GMT).

A fire on a mountain near Cape Town
Rajitha Kariyawasan
A fire-fighting helicopter in Cape Town, South Africa
Rajitha Kariyawasan

Prison populations

Ignatius Bahizi

BBC Africa, Kampala

We are getting some interesting statistics on the number of prisoners in Africa from a meeting of prison chiefs. There are 1.15 million of them in jails across Africa, excluding Eritrea and Somalia. In East Africa, Kenya has 54,000, Uganda 42,000 and Tanzania 35,000.

'Serve and suffer'

How can the Kenyan police force be expected to respond to terror attacks if it's under-funded and poorly equipped? That's the question Kenyans have been debating online after an investigation by Kenya's NTV was rebroadcast last night.

Originally aired two years ago, the documentary Serve and Suffer details how monthly wages of about 23,000 Kenyan shillings ($250; £168) for some officers and inadequate housing makes it difficult for them to do their jobs properly.

Francis Waithaka, in Nairobi,

tweets a photo of corrugated-iron huts which are used as accommodation for police officers in Kericho county: "Houses for our police officers. Then we expect them to secure our borders? Never gonna happen #ServeAndSuffer"

Nasir

tweets: "Going by this @ntvkenya story, we demand so much from our police yet invest so little in them. How do they then fight crime so ill equipped?"

Kenyan writer Maina Wambui

tweets: "As a country we must prioritize the equipping, renumerating and training our police force, that will help in the war on terror."

Kenyan police officers provide security during a special prayer service for the 148 people killed in an attack on Garissa University College
EPA
Kenya's security forces are under pressure to prevent attacks by militant Islamists

Fatal shooting in Puntland

Mohamed Moalimu

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

The wife of Puntland's former President Abdirahman Farole has been shot dead. Amina Abiib was killed when a gun went off accidentally.

Party people

Every year thousands of people flock to a tiny island off Guinea-Bissau to party hard at a three-day music festival.

Musicians from across Guinea-Bissau, as well as France, Portugal and Senegal, attended the festival last weekend.

MC Lady, pictured, travelled from across the water from Bissau.

Guinea Bissau hip hop artist MC Lady performs at the Festival de Bubaque.
Ricci Shryock

The festival is in its sixth year.

Boys on the first day of Bubaque festival
Ricci Shryock

Most of the revellers come from Bissau in ferries put on especially for the festival. The ride is over five hours long and people were flagging on the way back.

Two young men sleep on a ferry travelling to Bissau from Bubaque Island after the last day of Festival de Bubaque.
Ricci Shryock

More photos are on BBC Africa.

Court challenge

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

Sierra Leone's Vice-President Samuel Sam-Sumana is challenging his dismissal in the country's highest court. He is seeking an injunction to stop his successor from occupying the position while the court considers whether President Ernest Bai Koroma acted constitutionally by sacking him last month.

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma (L) and Samuel Sam-Sumana arrive at the National Electoral Commission in Freetown on 11 October 2012
Reuters
Mr Koroma (L) and Mr Sam-Sumana (R) had a frosty relationship

Giving coffins

Milton Nkosi

BBC News, Nairobi

Kenya's government has started giving coffins to the relatives of those killed in the Garissa massacre so that they can prepare for their burials. You can watch my report

here.

Lifting Rhodes

Preparations are underway for the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town, expected at around 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT). Members of the construction crew are testing the strength of the crane "to see if we can lift him", according to South Africa's

News 24 website.

wokers prepare to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town
Joshua Nott

Football star injured

@oluwashina

Oluwashina Okeleji

BBC Sport

tweets: "Knee trouble: Veteran #Mali Seydou Keita, 35, has suffered an injury setback which has ruled him out of AS Roma's weekend trip to Torino."

Garissa students missing denial

Kenya's government has dismissed claims that 162 students from Garissa University College have not been accounted for, a week after al-Shabab's assault on the campus. It says the claims, made by Kenyan university academics, are unfounded and only worsen the pain and suffering of relatives in mourning.

#RhodesHasFallen

Yesterday it was #RhodesMustFall, today #RhodesHasFallen is trending on twitter in South Africa, after the decision by the University of Cape Town to remove a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes.

picture of Cecil John Rhodes
AP
The statue has provoked heated debate in South Africa

Speaking to the BBC's Newsday programme, governing party MP Christian Martin argued that such statues are of historical significance and should not be vandalised.

"It's all about how we as citizens of South Africa can live together with each other's history... The good history of South Africa should also be told with the bad history," he said.