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  1. French forces 'kill hostage mastermind' in Mali
  2. Nigeria child bride who 'murdered' husband to be freed
  3. Burundi police 'shoot dead' soldier during protest
  4. West Africa drops plan to impose presidential limits

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Listen to the

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

And we leave you with this photo of Kenyan athlete Jonathan Ndiku following his victory earlier today in the Men's 3,000 metre Steeplechase at the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing:

Kenyan Jonathan Ndiku celebrates at the end of the Men's 3000m Steeplechase at the IAAF World Challenge held at the National Olympic Stadium or "Birds Nest" in Beijing on 20 May 2015

Nkurunziza pledges inquiry

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza says there will be an immediate inquiry into

alleged attacks against wounded rebel soldiers in a hospital in the capital Bujumbura.

Staff at the Bumerec hospital told the BBC that police loyal to the president opened fire in wards on Friday as they hunted for soldiers allegedly involved in the failed coup attempt.

Mr Nkurunziza said it was important for Burundians and the international community to know the truth, and that those found guilty would be punished within the law.

Nkurunziza in 'come home' plea

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has urged more than 100,000 people who have fled violence in the last month to return home, saying "99.9%" of the country is peaceful and safe.

In an address on state television, Mr Nkurunziza also said that no Burundian wished to revive ethnic divisions.

"The blood that was spilt in the past has taught us a lesson," he said.

Protester in Bujumbura 19 May 2015
Burundi has been hit by protests over the president's bid for a third term

Toure 'close to joining Inter'

Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure

is close to joining Inter Milan, says the Italian club's vice-president Javier Zanetti.

Toure, 32, is likely to leave City this summer after five years with the club.

The Ivorian midfielder is reportedly City's highest earner on more than $342,000 (£220,000) per week, and has scored 10 goals in 28 Premier League appearances for City this season.

yaya toure
Getty Images

Somali defection reactions

Commenters have been reacting on the

BBC Africa Facebook page to our
interview with Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi, the senior al-Shabab figure who defected to the Somali government.

George Earl says: "Defecting is good, urging the other members to stop is also great, but those actions are not enough. Expose them, their identities, hideouts, ideologies, mode of operation and sponsors too."

Peter Noble adds: "I thought he should be in prison for all the terrorism he has committed."

Top jihadists 'killed' in Mali

French special forces have killed four militant Islamists in Mali, one of whom was suspected to have been linked to the

kidnapping and execution of two French journalists in 2013, the French defence ministry says.

Amada Ag Hama, known as Abdelkrim the Tuareg, was suspected to have masterminded the abductions.

Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon
RFI reporters Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were abducted and killed in 2013

Another top leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ibrahim Ag Inawalen, was also among those killed by special forces, the ministry said.

Rapping the news

A Senegalese duo who became famous for rapping news bulletins are going from strength to strength, reports the BBC's Thomas Fessy from the capital, Dakar. They've now launched Season Three of the show, which has also been sold to broadcasters in Ivory Coast. Watch the first episode of the new season


Senegalese news rappers

Nigeria oil strike

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

Oil workers in Nigeria are on strike to protest against the transfer of two state-run oil wells to private firms.

The strike has raised fears that that the current fuel shortage in Nigeria could worsen.

Cars in Nigeria
Motorists have been queuing for up to seven hours to fill petrol

Catching up with Semenya

South African athlete Caster Semenya has been

speaking to the BBC about rebuilding her life and career after the humiliation she faced when her gender was questioned in 2009, following her victory at the World Championships in the 800 metres. She told the BBC's Ben Smith: "If it wasn't for my family, I don't think I could have survived."

Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya won silver at the 2012 London Olympics

Twitter diplomacy

A US diplomat has challenged Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza on social media to explain alleged human rights abuses involving the security forces and the ruling party's youth wing, Imbonerakure.

Tom Malinowski has not yet received a reply from Mr Nkurunziza, but the Burundian leader's spokesman Willy Nyamitwe has been responding:

@PierreNkurunziz Mr. President, we get daily reports of Imbonerakure attacks. Will you commit to stopping them? #Burundi’s future's at stake

@Malinowski What's the interest do u have to criticize the ruling party and it's youth ? Could you take time to investigate ? #Burundi

@Willynyamitwe We see what’s happening. Can you explain the killing of wounded at #Bumerec hospital? #Burundi 1of2

@Willynyamitwe Our interest is in stopping violence & attacks on civilians. Only gov can restrain its police/military/militia #Burundi 2of2

UN under attack in Mali

Alex Duval Smith

BBC Africa, Bamako, Mali

A Malian security guard is in hospital with gunshot injuries after a failed overnight machine gun attack on a house occupied by UN peacekeepers in the capital, Bamako.

Two unexploded hand grenades were found at the scene, a UN statement said.

No group has said it carried out the attack. A similar attack on 6 March at a nightclub bar in Bamako killed five people. Militant Islamist group Al-Mourabitoun claimed responsibility for it.

United Nations (UN) soldiers patrol on 27 July 2013 in the northern Malian city of Kidal.
UN troops have been battling to restore stability in Mali

MTN hit by strike

Milton Nkosi

BBC News, Johannesburg

Nearly 2,000 workers are on strike at the headquarters of African telecoms giant MTN in Johannesburg. Workers, who were singing and chanting anti-establishment slogans, are demanding bonuses and a 10% wage increase.

strikes in Johannesburg

Communications Workers Union national organiser Tshepo Matlou told me that they also want temporary workers' contracts to be upgraded to permanent staff.

Arrest over museum attack

Italian police have arrested a man suspected of taking part in the March attack on Tunisia's national museum which killed 22 people, mostly tourists.

Ebola spike in Guinea

There has been a spike in Ebola cases in Guinea. There were 27 cases reported from 11-17 May, compared to seven the previous week.

The UN says this is largely due to unsafe burials. Community resistance continues to be an issue in some areas. And the arrival of the rainy season poses new problems.

Follow the latest on the

BBC Ebola Community on Facebook.

Ebola cases 16 May 2015
Getty Images

Adebayor saga continues

Piers Edwards

BBC Africa sport, London

Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor has posted a third account on Facebook detailing the family wrangles that have followed him throughout his football career.

In the latest episode, he reveals how he has contemplated suicide on many occasions, only to be talked out of it by his sister Iyabo.

"But if I die, no-one would know my story, no-one would learn from it," the Tottenham Hotspur player wrote in his post.

Emmanuel Adebayor
Getty Images
Tottenham gave Adebayor permission to return to Togo for personal reasons in December

'Rat poison' charges dropped

Yusuf Yakasai

BBC Africa, Kano

Murder charges have been withdrawn against a 15-year-old Nigerian girl accused of using rat poison to kill the 35-year-old man she had married last year, Kano state attorney-general Maliki Kuliya Umar told me.

He added that the man's family had forgiven the girl and had agreed that the charges should be withdrawn.

Mr Umar said he would inform the High Court of the decision on 9 June.

Earlier today, the court refused to formally withdraw the charges saying it first needed an oral or written presentation from Mr Umar's office.

When the case was reported last year, it threw a spotlight on the issue of child brides and forced marriages in Nigeria.

Journalists 'blocked' in Bujumbura

Some foreign journalists in Burundi say they were briefly blocked by police from entering a neighbourhood in the capital Bujumbura. They say a security operation has been going on in the area as protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza continue.

Sonia Rolley, RFI reporter in Bujumbura, tweets (translated from French below):

"Burundi #Musaga : Police ban access to the neighbourhood at the same time as threatening journalists with death. Operation out of sight."

#Burundi #Musaga : Police interdit l'accès au quartier d'un côté et menace de mort les journalistes de l'autre. Opération à huis clos @RFI

Le Monde newspaper's Africa editor in Bujumbura tweets (translated from French below):

"Impossible to give details about what is going on in Musaga: There is gunfire. But the press have been denied access. #Burundi

Impossible d'avoir des précisions sur ce qui se passe à Musaga. On tire. Mais la presse interdite d'accès. #Burundi

RFI's Sonia Rolley tweets that "after several gun shots, access to the area has now been granted. The police officer has left.

#Burundi #Musaga : après qques coups de fil, accès rétabli. L'officier de police s'en va @RFI

Thumbs up for Ethiopia poll

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

African Union observers say Ethiopia is ready to hold parliamentary elections on Sunday but have asked the country to review some laws which might hinder participation.

Observer team head Hifikepunye Pohamba said at a press conference that campaigns and preparations have been conducted in a calm and stable atmosphere.

However, some laws "perceived to restrict fundamental freedoms" could be considered for review, he added.

Ahead of the polls, some opposition parties have complained of harassment, arbitrary arrests and intimidation.

Soldier death update

Andrew Harding

Africa correspondent

I am just back from the Nyakabiga neighbourhood in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, where there have been protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term. The police have withdrawn from at least parts of the neighbourhood. We only saw the army there now.

An army commander confirmed to a colleague that one soldier had died. It is entirely unclear whether it was an accident. It is very likely, but then again there are tensions between the police and army - the police resenting the army's tolerant attitude towards the protests. The crowds we saw were fairly small.

Policemen hold rifles during a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi, 20 May 2015
Relations between the police and army are said to be tense

Burundi 'police kill soldier'

Charlotte Attwood

BBC Africa, Nairobi

There are reports that one soldier has been shot dead by police during demonstrations in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. A resident of the neighbourhood of Nyakabiga told the BBC that police started firing on demonstrators. Soldiers arrived and one was shot.

He says clashes are ongoing and that demonstrators are very angry and blocking roads.

Hooked - Part 3

Here's the third instalment of our graphic novel, telling the story of the human impact of global drugs trade in Guinea-Bissau.

Life is changing for Buba as he spends his money on drugs and forgets about his business.

Missed part one and two?

Click here to start from the beginning:

hooked part 3

Award for migrants

South Africa's government will give annual awards to migrants to recognise their "very big" contribution in various fields, including business, sports and arts, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has said.

The awards would also help South Africans understand that migrants were not a drain on the economy and social services, he added.

At least seven people were killed in xenophobic violence in South Africa last month.

A foreign man shaves in front of a tent on a sports field in Isipingo, south of Durban, 9 April 2015
The violence left some 5,000 people homeless

'Bad leadership' row

A row has broken out between the US embassy in Harare and Zimbabwe's information minister. It comes after the US embassy twitter account said Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe had been given an award for bad leadership by leading South African academic Moeletsi Mbeki. 

Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe has led the country for 35 years

Moeletsi Mbeki gives awards on bad leadership, the gold awards are shared between Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi sharing with Mugabe #MWFcon15

And here's the reply from Zimbabwe's information minister:

How does an accredited diplomatic mission in Harare go down the gutter to fetch & peddle this rubbish? Undiplomatic!…

Zambia lifts big cat hunting ban

Zambia has lifted a ban on the hunting of leopards and lions, the tourism minister has said.

Jean Kapata said leopard hunting will begin in July. The hunting of lions will start next year.

Hunters would only be allowed to kill old male animals and those rejected by their families, she said.

baby lion cubs in south africa
Getty Images
Big-game hunters will not be allowed to shoot baby lion cubs

The ban was imposed two years ago because of dwindling wildlife numbers and corruption allegations over the awarding of hunting licenses.

Zambia has more than 4,000 lions and 8,000 leopards.

Emotive issue

Mary Harper

BBC News

West African leaders have rejected a proposal to impose a limit on the number of terms a president can serve. Togo and The Gambia strongly resisted the suggestion of a two-term limit during a summit in Ghana. Neither country currently has term limits for presidents.

The third-term issue ignites passions across Africa. In some cases, such as Burkina Faso, violent protests have pushed from office presidents seeking to stay on. In others, such as Togo, they have failed.

Burundi protest 19 May 2015
Burundi has been hit by protests over the president's bid for a third term

In Burundi, both the president and the protesters are refusing to budge. But some leaders seem immune to the so-called African spring. The presidents of Zimbabwe, Angola and Equatorial Guinea have all been in power for more than three decades. And they show no sign of giving up anytime soon.

Algeria 'kills IS-linked militants'

BBC North Africa correspondent

22 militants believed to have ties to IS killed by security forces east of Algiers-dubbed as one of the largest operations in yrs. #Algeria

Presidential limit plan dropped

West African leaders have dropped plans to impose a two-term limit on presidents after Togo and The Gambia mounted a spirited campaign against it, reports BBC Ghana correspondent BBC Sammy Darko.

"This dissenting view [from Togo and the Gambia] became the majority view at the end of the day," Ghana's Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh told Reuters news agency.

Yahya Jammeh greets militants on 22 November 2011 in Gambia
Gambia's President Jammeh took power in a coup in 1994

The proposal was discussed at a summit of regional leaders in Ghana's capital, Accra.

Togo and Gambia are the only members of West African bloc Ecowas that do not limit the number of presidential terms to two.

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe, candidate for his re-election, greets supporters during a presidential campaign meeting in Togblekope, near Lome, on 22 April 2015
Togo's President Gnassingbe took office in 2005 after his father died

Burundi election delay

Ruth Nesoba

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has signed a decree delaying parliamentary and local elections by ten days to June 5, according to a presidential adviser.

The more contentious presidential election is still due to go ahead on 26 June.

Mr Nkurunziza insists he will contest the election, despite domestic and international pressure on him to step down after two terms in office.

pierre nkurunziza
Mr Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005

UN warns of Burundi withdrawal

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

UN special envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay has warned in a BBC interview that any potential withdrawal of Burundian troops from an African Union (AU) force in Somalia will have a huge effect on the fight against militant Islamic group al-Shabab.

Earlier in the week, the US announced it would be cutting military funding to Burundian troops over alleged human rights violations while putting down an attempted coup in the central African state.

The AU has also delayed the deployment of a new contingent of Burundian troops to Somalia.

African Union soldiers from Burundi patrol in an armoured vehicle on 25 July 2012 in Baidoa, Somalia
Burundi is a key contributor to the AU force

Marikana police chief to retire

The South African police officer who was in charge of operations during the Marikana massacre will retire at the end of the month, Johannesburg's

IOL news site reports.

Lt-Gen Zukiswa Mbombo's retirement comes as South Africa's President Jacob Zuma studies the findings of a judge-led inquiry into the killing of 34 striking workers at the Markikana mine in 2012.

Police officers look at protesting miners near a platinum mine in Marikana on 16 August 2012
Police ay they were trying to restore order at the mine

It was the deadliest police action in post-apartheid South Africa, causing international outrage.

"People are linking this announcement with Marikana, which is unfortunate. This timing is sheer coincidence because she [Lt-Gen Mbombo] will turn 60 on May 22. That is retirement age," her spokesman is quoted as saying.

Wise words

Today's African proverb: The camel that burnt in the maize field knows what a fire is. A Somali proverb sent by Ali Ahmed, Kenya.

Click here to send your proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page. We are following news stories across the continent and will bring you updates throughout the day.