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  1. Burundi court backs third-term bid
  2. First visit of a US secretary of state to Somalia
  3. Senegal to send 2,100 troops to Yemen
  4. Ugandan MPs 'get 40% pay rise'
  5. Kenya cattle raid in north-west kills 46
  6. Send us comments and story suggestions using hashtag #BBCAfrica

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for today's news

More updates on Wednesday

That's it from us today. Listen to the

Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with stories from across the continent on the
BBC News website.

We leave you with this photo of the Somali coast as seen from John Kerry's plane as it neared the airport in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. He is the first US secretary of state to ever visit Somalia.

View of Somali coast

'I hid in a cupboard from al-Shabab'

Nineteen-year-old Kenyan student, Cynthia Cheroitich, survived a terrifying ordeal. She hid from gunmen for two days at Garissa University College, which was attacked in April 2015 by militant Islamists from al-Shabab.

They singled out 148 students, and killed them.

Cynthia told BBC Outlook's Jo Fidgen about that day.

Cynthia one of the survuvors of the garissa attack
Richard Hooper

Boko Haram captives describe rescue

At least 15 female captives of Boko Haram died during a rescue operation carried out by the Nigerian military last week. Survivors say most of those who died were caught in the cross-fire between the army and fleeing Boko Haram militants.

The BBC's Will Ross has more stories of how some women and children managed to escape on BBC Focus On Africa TV at 17:30 GMT on BBC World News.

one of the women rescued from Boko Haram speaks to the BBC

Nigerian military say they have freed 700 women and children from Boko Haram in the last week.

Sierra Leone's Ebola struggle

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

There have been two confirmed cases of Ebola recorded today in Sierra Leone - both from one of the worst slums in the country, Moa Wharf, east of the capital Freetown.

Compared to Liberia, where its last Ebola fatality was recorded on 28 March, Sierra Leone is struggling. It has had 120 deaths and 55 new cases in that time.

The fight is concentrated in Freetown and in the northern Kambia district on the border with Guinea.

Ebola worker in Sierra Leone
According to the WHO's latest figures, there have been 3899 Ebola deaths in Sierra Leone

Burundi: Your reactions


Lots of you have been getting in touch on the

BBC Africa Facebook Page about the decision by Burundi's Constitutional Court to allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term.

Sadat Norris: "Look, this issue of dictatorship in Africa needs to stop or else we will continue to be subjects of the West."

Joe Dennis Kasiya: "If the courts have ruled in favour of the third term bid there's very little that can be done but to respect the ruling. Anything short of that is promoting anarchy. Proponents of the rule of law need to accept and swallow even judgements that go against them!"

Edward Igesa: "The court has already declared him winner; incumbents in Africa never face opposition in elections."

Fighting stigma

A website dedicated to albinism, entitled "People with albinism: Not ghosts but human beings" has been launched by the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The site tells the stories of 12 people with albinism "who are working to debunk the myths and ensure that people with albinism can live a life free of stigma".

Screen grab from the albinism website

Seeking safety in Somaliland

The BBC's Ahmed Said Egeh has just snapped these photos of 165 Somalis who fled fighting in Yemen arriving in the port of Berbera in the self-declared republic of Somaliland this afternoon:

Boat arriving in Berbera in Somaliland
Passengers disembarking from a boat in Berbera, Somaliland

Earlier this morning, a boat carrying 836 people from Yemen landed in Bossasso, the main port in north-eastern Somalia, the regional deputy interior minister told the BBC Somali service.

Why is Senegal sending troops to Saudi Arabia?

Senegal is sending 2,100 troops troops to Saudi Arabia. It may sound surprising but it's not the first time. The BBC's Abdourahmane Dia in Dakar remembers a much smaller contingent was sent 24 years ago.

Read his full piece here.

Senegalese soldiers (fple photo)
Senegalese forces are among the best trained in Africa

Liberia brings trafficking charges

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

The Liberian authorities have brought charges in a case related to the trafficking of at least 10 Liberian women to Lebanon in 2011 and 2012.

Four Lebanese nationals and a Liberian face charges including human and migrant trafficking and gang rape, according to the state-run Liberia Broadcasting System.

The accused allegedly tricked the women into travelling to Lebanon on the promise of well-paid jobs working in supermarkets and other industries, but then sold them into service of Lebanese landlords as housemaids, where they suffered abuse.

People protest near the U. Embassy against the alleged trafficking of Liberian women to Lebanon - Tuesday 28 April 2015
There were protests about the trafficking case in Monrovia last week

Crowded pavements

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Streets in the centre of Zimbabwe's capital are becoming increasingly difficult to navigate as informal traders set up shops on Harare's pavements.

Street vendors in Harare, Zimbabwe

These vendors have mushroomed in the last year.

Shoe seller on a pavements of Harare, Zimbabwe

Government figures show that more than 4,000 companies have shut in the past four years - and 17,000 people have lost their jobs.

Street vendors in Harare, Zimbabwe

Mali rebels 'reinforce'

Alex Duval Smith

Bamako, Mali

It is still unclear who has the upper hand in the fighting in Tenenkou, which is about 80km (50 miles) west of Mopti (see earlier post).

The rebels, an alliance of Tuareg secessionists and Islamist militants, have brought in reinforcements after at least six of them were killed this morning.

While Tenenkou is in the centre of Mali, it is north of the Niger River. So until the rebels cross the river one cannot say southern Mali or the capital are in danger.

Archive shot of the River Niger near Mopti, Mali
Tenenkou, which was attacked by rebels at dawn, is north of the Niger River - pictured here a few years ago

Mozambican 'did not use false name'

The family of a Mozambican man whose murder during the recent wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa was caught on camera has denied that he was using a false name,

the state-run Mozambique News Agency (AIM) reports.

After his death, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said that the man initially identified as Emmanuel Sithole was in fact an illegal immigrant called Manuel Jossias.

But the man's sister, Thando Sithole, says he was not in South Africa illegally and his passport was used to obtain the death certificate, AIM says.

Boko Haram captives in emotion reunion

For six months, 15-year-old Fatima's family had no idea if she was dead or alive, after she was abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Then Fatima's brother Hassan spotted her online in an image showing captives recently rescued by the military.

The BBC's Will Ross witnessed the extraordinary family reunion at a government camp in Yola, north-eastern Adamawa state.

Girls rescued from Boko Haram weep after being reunited with families in Yola state

Nigerian striker to join Werder Bremen

Nigerian football striker Anthony Ujah is to leave Cologne and join German Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen next season,

reports BBC Africa Sport.

Anthony Ujah
Getty Images
The 24-year-old has scored 10 goals for Cologne this season

'Surplus rhinos'

BBC Monitoring

South African game farmer Marnus Steyl has told a court that many of the rhinos hunted on his farm in 2010 and 2011 were "surplus" animals and "would have died anyway".

According to South Africa's Citizen newspaper, he is applying for a permanent stay of prosecution on charges ranging from illegally trading in rhino horn to money laundering.

He was linked to a Thai man jailed in 2012 for organising illegal rhino poaching expeditions. The Thai businessman said that none of his associates were aware of the fraud, the paper reports.

A rhino in South Africa's Kruger National Park
Getty Images
A record number of rhinos were slaughtered for their horns in South Africa last year

Online job hunting in Africa

With internet access exploding across the continent, online job applications are growing fast.

But how can you help jobseekers find the right company, and companies find the right employees?

The BBC's Gabriella Mulligan has been meeting entrepreneurs in Nairobi trying to find the answer.

Man using ImpressMe
Byte Orbit
The ImpressMe app lets job seekers upload a video selfie to send to prospective employers

Burundi opposition leader reacts

Burundian opposition leader Agathon Rwasa has said the constitutional court ruling in favour of a third-term bid for President Nkurunziza is "a putsch against the constitution", reports the BBC's Robert Kiptoo from the capital, Bujumbura.

There are more protests today in the Bujumbura suburb of Musaga:

Protesters stand at a burning barricade in the Musaga neighbourhood of Bujumbura, Burundi, on 5 May 2015

Earlier, people manning a barricade in another district of the capital, listened to the Constitutional Court's ruling on their mobile phones:

Protesters listen to a the announcement of the constitutional court's ruling on radios at a barricade in the Cibitoke of Bujumbura, Burundi, on May 5, 2015.

Don't mess with the Pink Panthers

Female motorcycle taxi drivers in Liberia were fed up with being robbed. So they formed a collective, called the Pink Panthers and donned bright helmets and jackets which made sure they were easy to spot.

See the full picture story here.

Dearest Coleman
Ricci Shryock

Dearest Coleman was working as a motorcycle taxi driver when she drove into an ambush. When she didn't hand over her keys, the thieves beat her up and stole her bike.

Motorcycle taxi
Ricci Shryock

So in January she formed the Pink Panther women's motorbike taxi collective with nine other women.

Motorcycle taxis
Ricci Shryock

Ms Coleman says she still doesn't feel safe. "We have a whole lot of struggle, a whole lot of challenges".

Court backs Sierra Leone VP

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Sierra Leone

In a unanimous decision, the five judges of ‪‎Sierra Leone's‬ Supreme Court have dismissed an application to suspend the country's new vice-president.

Victor Bockarie Foh in 2006
Victor Bockarie Foh was appointed vice-president in controversial circumstances in March

Lawyers for Samuel Sam-Sumana, who was sacked as vice-president in March, had requested the suspension while they challenge their client's dismissal.

It is unclear whether the president has powers to remove his deputy. Some people argue that a vice-president can be removed only through a parliamentary impeachment.

Malawians killed in South Africa

Raphael Tenthani,

BBC Africa, Blantyre

Six Malawians died in the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa, Malawi's President Peter Mutharika said in a state of the nation in parliament.

"To date 3,590 Malawians have been repatriated. This process will continue until every willing Malawian is repatriated," he said.

A demonstration in Lilongwe, Malawi - Tuesday 21 April 2015
There has been anger in Malawi over the violence in South Africa

South Africa says a total of seven people died - three South Africans, two Mozambicans, an Ethiopian and a man believed to be from Zimbabwe.

Wave energy power plant for Guinea-Bissau

A $500m (£300m) 500 MW wave power plant is to be built along Guinea-Bissau's coastline, energy firm Blackbird International has announced.

Bijagos archipelago, Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau boasts many islands along its Atlantic coast

The renewable energy project will be a joint venture with Guinea-Bissau's government, it said.

"Guinea-Bissau is a perfect location to introduce sea wave energy as a viable and profitable solution for rising energy needs by implementing our patented technology," Blackbird director Shmuel Ovadia said in

a statement.

'Strolling in Mogadishu'

John Kerry has been talking on his visit to Mogadishu - the first ever by a US secretary of state to the Somali capital.

"Great progress has been made, and you have all contributed to that progress," the Associated Press quotes him as saying.

"The next time I come, we have to be able to just walk downtown," he said after talks with the president and other leaders held at the fortified airport.

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
John Kerry and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud share a lighter moment at their historic meeting

Mali fighting shifts south

Alex Duval Smith

Bamako, Mali

Rebels attacked the town of Tenenkou, near Mopti in central Mali, at dawn this morning.

An army spokesman says soldiers are holding their positions although "fighting is continuing".

The rebels are from The Co-ordination of Movements for Azawad (CMA) and include ethnic Tuareg secessionists as well as elements close to Islamist militant groups.

The fighting marks the latest evidence of a deterioration in Mali's security situation and a shift in rebel activity to the previously safe centre of the country.

A boat ferries goods down the river Bani, a branch of the river Niger, at the commercial port of Mopti in Mali - 2013
The centre of the country has until now been unaffected by the insecurity in the north

Child soldiers to be freed in CAR

Armed groups in the Central African Republic have agreed to release all children associated with their forces and to immediately end child recruitment,

the UN children's agency says.

Unicef believes between 6,000 and 10,000 children have been recruited by armed groups in CAR: They work as soldiers, messengers, or cooks, and sexual abuse is common.

Children play cards at the Italian NGO Coopi reception centre for child soldiers in Bangui in 2013
Child soldiers will take a long time to recover from their traumatic experiences, Unicef says

The agreement came after week-long meetings in the capital, Bangui.

The country descended into ethnic and religious violence in 2013 after a rebel takeover. Following international mediation, UN peacekeepers are now trying to maintain peace in the deeply divided nation.

Firing near US embassy in Burundi

Live rounds have been fired near the US embassy in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, at people demonstrating against the president's bid for a third term in office.


@FeliciaBuja, who describes herself as a reproductive health specialist,
first tweeted the news.

"The riot police deployed several canisters of tear gas and fired several warning rounds into the air," Reuters news agency quotes Becca Archer Kepper, the embassy's public affairs officer, as saying.

Security tight for surprise visit

Mohamed Moalimu

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

The police, army and the African Union troops have been deployed across the city to improve security for John Kerry's surprise visit.

All main roads from the capital to the main airport are in lockdown and will remain closed until the US secretary of state leaves.

US Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from his plane as he arrives at the airport in Mogadishu on 5 May 2015
John Kerry's surprise visit is the first ever of a US secretary of state to Somalia

Mr Kerry's talks with Somali leaders are taking place in a guest house at the airport.

Somalia presidential spokesman Daud Aweis says they will focus on the fight against terrorism, US aid and democracy.

Deadly livestock raid

At least 46 people have been killed and many others injured when cattle raiders attacked a remote village in north-western Kenya, officials say.

Gunmen from the Turkana ethnic group are suspected of raiding the Pokot community area and driving away some livestock in what may have been a revenge attack, Kenya's Daily Nation paper


According to Kenya's Standard newspaper, Monday's gun battle

lasted for hours.

"Pokot who are also armed hunted down the attackers and waylaid them at Kasarani area where gun fight ensued for over six hours," the Red Cross chairman of Baringo county is quoted as saying.

Turkana pastoralists in Kenya - March 2014
Pastoralist communities in north-western Kenya are often involved in deadly livestock raids

BreakingBreaking News

Dozens of migrants have drowned in Mediterranean after their boat sank south of Sicily,

Save the Children says.

Burundi protesters back on the streets

Following the Burundian Constitutional Court's backing for President Pierre Nkruniziza to seek a third term in office (see earlier posts), more than 500 people are on the streets of Musaga, an southern suburb of the capital, Bujumbura, where three people died in protests on Monday, reports the BBC's Maud Jullien.

Here a policeman clears up debris this morning from protests in the city centre on Monday:

A policeman clears the debris from a barricade in the Bwiza neighbourhood in Bujumbura, Burundi on 5 May 2015

Meanwhile, the interior ministry is holding a meeting with diplomats and non-governmental organisations to brief them about the coming elections.

Analysis on John Kerry's visit to Somalia

Mary Harper, BBC World Service Africa editor

BBC News

The US plays a crucial if controversial role in Somalia. It supports the weak central government in its fight against al-Shabab, a jihadist group affiliated to al-Qaeda.

A number of al-Shabab leaders have been killed in US drone strikes.

But the US is careful to take a less visible role than it did in the 1990s, when what was initially a largely humanitarian mission to help starving people ended up in a bloodbath, with the bodies of US servicemen dragged through the streets of the capital, Mogadishu.

Somali troops in an operation to flush out al-Shabab - 2012
Somali troops have been battling to recapture territory from al-Shabab for several years

Absentee fathers targeted

BBC Monitoring

Namibia plans to publish pictures of absentee fathers in the media, the country's justice minister

is quoted by the private daily paper The Namibian as saying.

Albert Kawana said it was a "desperate and last resort" aimed at warning the public about individuals who were failing to honour the maintenance responsibilities for their children.

Do you think absentee fathers should be named and shamed? Let us know using the hashtag


Kerry in talks

Mohamed Moalimu

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

US Secretary of State John Kerry is now holding a closed-door meeting with the Somali president and prime minister in the capital, Mogadishu.

He is the first US secretary of state to visit the country, which is recovering from decades of civil war and where the UN-backed government is still battling al-Qaeda-affiliated militants.

Rwanda warns Burundi

The Government of Rwanda

has issued a warning to Burundi over the deteriorating security situation there, saying that 25,000 refugees have crossed over into its territory in recent weeks.

The statement from the foreign affairs ministry says that "increasing reports of unrest and violence targeting unarmed civilians are particularly worrying".

Burundian refugees arrive in Gashora in Rwanda on 3 April 2015
Thousands of Burundians have been fleeing in recent weeks fearing trouble

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo adds: "While we respect Burundi's sovereignty in addressing internal matters, Rwanda considers the safety of innocent population as a regional and international responsibility."

Burundi judge 'felt threatened'

Maud Jullien

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

A spokesman for Burundi's president has told the BBC six out of seven judges at the Constitutional Court voted in favour of President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term.

The seventh fled the country on Monday, telling the AFP news agency he felt threatened.

Sylvere Nimpagaritse said initially four out of seven judges ruled that the president's bid was illegal, but were then pressured into reconsidering.

A protester holds a placard as they demonstrate against the ruling CNDD-FDD party's decision to allow Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third five-year term in office, in Bujumbura, 4 May 2015
Presidential candidates are expected to hand in their nominations this week

At least 10 people have died in seven days of clashes between policemen and anti-third-term protesters.

Gunning for Arsenal

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said he still wants to buy English Premier League football club Arsenal, despite being rebuffed in 2010.

"I still hope, one day at the right price, that I'll buy the team," the Nigerian industrialist

told the Bloomberg news agency.

"I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won't want to resist. I know my strategy."

Arsenal's Theo Walcott (L) in action with Hull City's Paul McShane on Monday 4 May 2015
Arsenal beat Hull in a Premiership match on Monday night

Your favourite new African fiction?

The chair judge for the Caine Prize for African writing, Zoe Wicomb, said the shortlist (see entry below) was "an exciting crop of well-crafted stories" and it would be "no easy task to settle on a winner".

"Unforgettable characters, drawn with insight and humour, inhabit works ranging from classical story structures to a haunting, enigmatic narrative that challenges the conventions of the genre."

What new African fiction would you have liked to see on the shortlist? Send us your suggestions on


BreakingBreaking News

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on an unannounced visit.

He is the first American secretary of state ever to visit the city. Mr Kerry will meet Somalia's president, regional leaders, and civil society groups.

Africa writing shortlist

The shortlist for the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced:

  • Nigeria's Segun Afolabi for The Folded Leaf
  • Nigeria's Elnathan John for Flying
  • South Africa's F T Kola for A Party for the Colonel
  • South Africa's Masande Ntshanga for Space
  • Zambia's Namwali Serpell for The Sack

The winner of the £10,000 ($15,000) prize will be announced on Monday 6 July.

Burundi term arguments

Burundi's Constitutional Court has approved the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza, one of the judges has told the BBC.

Critics of the 51-year-old, who came to power after a civil war, had said he should not run again as he had already served two terms.

But the court has back his supporters who said that as he was appointed by parliament in 2005 - and not directly elected - he had only served one term.

Click to read a profile of Mr Nkurunziza.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza doing a header in Ivory Coast - 2007
President Nkurunziza, who came to power in 2005, owns his own football team

Burundi fears after ruling

The decision by Burundi's President Pierre Nkrunziza to run for a third term has sparked deadly protests.

Correspondents say the ruling by the Constitutional Court backing his bid could result in more trouble.

This man posed with a wooden rifle this morning in the Musaga - the neighbourhood of the capital, Bujumbura, which has been at the centre of the protests.

A man poses with a wooden rifle in the Musaga neighbourhood in Bujumbura, Burundi on May 5, 2015.