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  1. Obama praises Buhari's commitment to fight Boko Haram
  2. Chaotic start to war crimes trial of Chad's ex-ruler
  3. Italian workers kidnapped in Libya
  4. AU team blocked from entering Burundi

Live Reporting

By Naziru Mikailu 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 Africa News website.

And a reminder of today's wise words‬: A frog does not jump backwards. Sent by Sunday Nyeleti, Lusaka, Zambia, and Idua Olunwa, Dallas, US.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo from Liberia of Moses Duo, 9, receiving a certificate to show he has recovered from the deadly Ebola virus:

Moses Duo, 9, receives a certificate for being cured of the Ebola virus in Paynesville, Liberia, July 20, 2015

Buhari wants US military aid

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has written

an article in The Washington Post, calling for greater US military help to fight militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

Mr Buhari is in Washington for talks with US President Barack Obama.

President Buhari and Barrack Obama

Habre trial adjourned again

The war crimes trial of Chad's former President Hissene Habre has been adjourned until Tuesday. The judge said he will be forcibly brought to court after he refused to attend the first day of his trial in Senegal's capital, Dakar.

He is in the custody of Senegal's authorities who arrested him while he was exiled in the West African state for alleged atrocities committed during his eight-year rule which ended with his overthrow in 1990 by current leader Idriss Deby.

He denies the charges and refuses to recognise the African Union-backed court's right to try him.

Top Nigeria coach fired

Okey Emordi

Nigeria's football league champions Kano Pillars have sacked their coach Okey Emordi.

The side are struggling in the league this season - they are ninth in the table and nine points behind leaders Sunshine Stars and Enyimba.

The club's board will meet on Tuesday to discuss a replacement.

Somalis flee amid fears of clashes

At least 600 families have fled their homes in south-western Somalia's Bai region amid fears that heavy fighting could break out between militant Islamist group al-Shabab and African Union (AU) troops, the regional governor has told the BBC Somali service.

The families have arrived in Baidoa, the regional capital, after fleeing two towns controlled by al-Shabab, said Abdirashid Ali Mohamed.

Ethiopian troops operating under the AU banner are advancing by road towards Bardere and Dinsor towns to recapture them from al-Shabab.

The militants have been preparing to defend the towns, and have planted landmines in an attempt to block troops from over-running them, residents told the BBC Somali service.

Al-Shabab members in Somalia (November 2008)
Al-Shabab has been forced to retreat of major cities

Burundi explosion update

Maud Jullien

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

We have just been to the location of the grenade attack in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.

There were no casualties, in the blast near Independence Square in the city centre.

A car was targeted - its windows were smashed and tyres punctured. The attackers are unknown.

Vehicle in Burundi

The explosion came ahead of Tuesday's presidential election, which has been marred by protests and violence since Burundi's leader Pierre Nkuruniza announced in April that he will be running for a third term.

Stars at Zanzibar festival

The annual Zanzibar international film festival (ZIFF) is underway on the Tanzanian island, reports the BBC's Sammy Awami from there.

Two South African icons were on stage last night - Dorothy Masuka and Leleti Khumalo.

South African music starts

Khumalo told the audience that she is now venturing into directing films.

She added that at the moment, Africa has very few female directors and it is time to change that.

South Africa's 'snake' pastor released

Mohammed Allie

BBC News, Cape Town

A South African pastor who ordered his followers to eat a live snake in the belief it would turn into chocolate has been freed on $120 (£77) bail.

Pastor Penuel Mnguni of the End Times Disciples Ministries appeared in a magistrate's court outside the capital, Pretoria, on a charge of cruelty to animals after being reported to the police by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Pictures of him purportedly dangling a live snake before dropping it into a worshipper's mouth went viral on social media platforms last week‚ with one of his followers saying the reptile actually did taste like chocolate.

Obama hails Buhari

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, July 20, 2015

US President Barack Obama has praised Nigeria's leader Muhammadu Buhari, saying he has a clear agenda to defeat militant Islamist group Boko Haram and to tackle corruption, Reuters news agency.

He was speaking as he met Mr Buhari for the first time at the White House since the Nigerian president was elected to office in March.

Africa forces Fifa vote delay

Alex Capstick

BBC Sport reporter

Sepp Blatter

I have been told by a credible source that a January date for the Fifa election was blocked by African delegates because it would have clashed with The African Nations Championship, which is taking place in Rwanda from 16 January to 7 February.

The election to choose Fifa president Sepp Blatter's successor will now take place on 26 February.

Blast rips through Bujumbura

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

A huge explosion has just been heard in the city centre of Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.

Details are still sketchy, but it could be a grenade attack.

Suicide attack 'kills four' in Nigeria

At least four people have been killed and several others wounded by a suicide car bombing at a military checkpoint in Nigeria's north-eastern city of Damaturu, police and witnesses have said.

"A vehicle loaded with explosives was detonated at one of our checkpoints on the outskirts of Damaturu, Yobe state" a police officer told the BBC Hausa service.

The checkpoint is on a major highway which connects the city with Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and the biggest city in north-eastern Nigeria.

On Thursday, at least nine people were killed in Damaturu by a young female suicide bomber as worshippers gathered to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Blatter announces Fifa reforms

Fifa President Sepp Blatter has announced a number of reforms to world football's governing body, which has been besieged by allegations of corruption.

He said the measures would include term limits and integrity checks for top officials.

Mr Blatter also explained his sudden resignation, shortly after his re-election in May, saying he was defending Fifa, not himself.

Sepp Blatter

The organisation will choose a new president in February 2016.

Buhari to meet Obama

Nasidi Adamu Yahya

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is holding talks in Washington with President Barack Obama shortly.

The two leaders will focus on co-operation in combating the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The US had previously agreed to help Nigeria in its fight against the insurgents especially after the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok early last year.

However relations between the US and the previous administration of Goodluck Jonathan were strained, amid accusations of human rights violations by the Nigerian military.

Mr Buhari has also promised to tackle corruption and has said he will recover billions of dollars hidden in banks in the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere.

President Buhari with Madeleine Albright
Nigerian government
Mr Buhari has already met former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Habre dramatic photos

More pictures have come in of the dramatic way in which Senegalese police removed former Chadian leader Hissene Habre from court, where he is standing trial for crimes against humanity, after he denounced the authority of the judge.

Hissene Habre

He refuses to return for the trial which has now been postponed until 1500GMT and the judge asked for Mr Habre to be brought back.

Hissene Habre

Clooney's Africa mission

Hollywood star George Clooney has launched an initiative aimed at ending conflicts in Africa by tracking the money that fuels them, the AFP news agency reports.

U.S. actor George Clooney greets fans upon his arrival at the Japan premiere of Disney"s latest film Tomorrowland in Tokyo Monday, May 25, 2015
The actor has campaigned for peace for a long time

The Sentry, founded by Clooney and ex-US government official John Prendergast, will probe the financing of conflicts in South Sudan, Sudan, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, the report says.

"Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause," the 54-year old Oscar-winner said in a statement.

He has a long history as a rights campaigner in Sudan and South Sudan,

Obama dominates Kenyan press

BBC World Have Your Say presenter tweets from Nairobi

#Kenya Monday front pages: Obama, Obama, Obama #4daystoObama @BBCOS #bbcpapers

#Kenya Monday front pages: Obama, Obama, Obama #4daystoObama @BBCOS #bbcpapers

Annan rules out Fifa role

United Nations former secretary-general Kofi Annan pictured during an interview with BBC World Service, Broadcasting House, London

Former UN chief Kofi Annan's office has been reacting to calls for him to lead an independent commission which will look at how football governing body Fifa should be reformed.

"Mr Annan has not been formally approached on this matter nor does he plan to widen scope of already busy schedule," his spokesman said.

Campaign group NewFifaNow put forward the Ghanaian's name, saying: "Please come in and clean up this mess."

Fifa sets election date

With Mr Habre's trial abruptly adjourned, we continue our coverage of other stories: Fifa has announced that the election of a new president will take place on 26 February 2016 in Zurich.

Musa Bility, President of the Liberia Soccer Association (LFA) at his office in Monrovia, Liberia, 22 June 2015
Mr Bility is the only African to have entered the race so far

The chairman of Liberia's Football Association Musa Bility has already indicated his interest to run for the post.

However, Michel Platini, from European football's governing body Uefa, has been asked by a majority of world football chiefs to stand for the presidency, says BBC sports correspondent Richard Conway.

Crucially, however, it is thought Platini has yet to decide if he will stand as a candidate to succeed Sepp Blatter, he adds.

Road to trial

Many of Mr Habre's alleged victims have been calling for the trial since his overthrow and exile in Senegal in 1990.

A Chadian truth commission found in 1992 that his regime was responsible for 40,000 deaths and disappearances, leading many to dub him Africa's Pinochet, after the Chilean military ruler Augusto Pinochet.

A Chadian village burned by FANT troops of Chad president Hissene Habre during a scorched-earth offensive against the guerilla in southern Chad.
At least 25,000 people were forced to leave the village of Nadili following offensive by Habre's troops in 1984

In 2005 a court in Belgium issued a warrant for his arrest, claiming universal jurisdiction but, after Senegal referred the issue to the African Union, the AU asked Senegal to try Mr Habre "on behalf of Africa".

Senegal's then-President Abdoulaye Wade appeared to be reluctant to put Mr Habre on trial but this changed under his successor Macky Sall.

Mr Habre was indicted in 2013. He denies all the charges and refused to cooperate with the special court.

Judge's order

Thomas Fessy

BBC News, Dakar

The judge has now ordered bailiffs to bring Mr Habre to court. It is unclear how they are going to do this. The court session has been suspended until 15:00 GMT.

Proceedings resume

Thomas Fessy

BBC News, Dakar

The trial of Mr Habre has resumed. A judge has asked security officials to bring in Mr Habre. After some silence, one of them says that the former Chadian ruler has refused to come to court.

Media restrictions

BBC West Africa correspondent tweets

#HisseneHabre session to resume. Only #Senegal state TV allowed to film now, audience urged not to take pics or record. Gendarmes watching.

Habre's landmark trial

Hissane Habre

The decision by Senegal and the African Union to try Mr Habre is seen by many as a landmark.

Watch the BBC's Laeila Adjovi report from Dakar.

Lawyer speaks

BBC West Africa correspondent tweets from court on what a lawyer representing alleged victims of Mr Habre's rule said: 

Jacqueline Moudeina: "in the name of humanity, which #HisseneHabre never granted to his victims" pic by @ReedBrody

Jacqueline Moudeina: "in the name of humanity, which #HisseneHabre never granted to his victims" pic by @ReedBrody

Three judges

The special court trying Mr Habre is made up of three judges - one from Burkina Faso and two from Senegal.

Court adjourns

The judge has announced the end of the opening session in the war crimes trial of Mr Habre. The case will resume in about 30 minutes.

Where is Habre?

BBC West Africa correspondent tweets from court

Empty chair. #HisseneHabre boycotts his trial. He was forced to attend but then taken away as he sparked commotion.

Empty chair. #HisseneHabre boycotts his trial. He was forced to attend but then taken away as he sparked commotion.

International focus on trial

"The world is watching this trial... It is for the sake of humanity," Jacqueline Moudeina, a lawyer for the victims of Mr Habre's alleged brutality, has told the court.

Mr Habre is being tried by an African Union-backed court in Senegal for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during his rule from 1982 to 1990.

He was exiled in Senegal, when he was arrested about two years ago to stand trial. He denies all the charges.

Emotions at Habre trial

BBC West Africa correspondent tweets:

Short statement by victims lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina, visible emotion among team of lawyers/victims here. #HisseneHabre

Prosecutors end statement

Thomas Fessy

BBC News

Prosecutors at the war crimes trial of former Chadian leader Hissene Habre have ended their statement to the court telling Mr Habre, who is not there, that "your silence will not be seen as a defence strategy" and will not affect a fair trial.

Habre hearing underway

BBC West Africa correspondents tweets that a prosecutor is adddressing the court in Mr Habre's war crimes trial, although the former Chadian ruler is not there: 

View more on twitter

Habre's 'hypocrisy'

Journalist with the UK-based Times newspaper tweets on Mr Habre's tirade against Western powers at his war crimes trial:

This is from the guy who became president of Chad in 1982 because of France and America - Reagan sent in the CIA…

Anti-Habre protest

Laeila Adjovi

BBC Africa, Dakar

Protests in Senegal

A small crowd protested against Mr Habre outside the court where his war crimes trial is taking place.

The protester below carries a cartoon of human rights lawyer Reed Brody demanding justice for victims of the alleged atrocities committed during Mr Habre's rule in Chad from 1982 to 1990:

Protests in Senegal

Who is representing Habre?

BBC West Africa correspondents tweets

Judge "court would like to know if defense represented?" - silence. #HisseneHabre not being brought back in.

Habre's tirade

Thomas Fessy

BBC News, Dakar

Before Mr Habre was taken away from court, he shouted: "Down with imperialists! It is a farce by rotten Senegalese politicians! African traitors! Valet of America!"

Rowdy protest in court

Laeila Adjovi

BBC Africa, Dakar

There was much drama in court when Mr Habre's supporters entered, shouting that his war crimes trial was biased and controlled by the West.

"No to traitors, no to this justice bought by the West," one of his supporters shouted.

They also chanted that the same people who killed African revolutionary Thomas Sankara were now behind the trial because Mr Habre "would not give up the oil of his country".

Scuffle inside a court in Senegal

While this was happening, Mr Habre was being evacuated from the court.

Survivors in court

Human rights lawyer tweets a photograph of those who survived the alleged atrocities committed by former Chadian leader Hissene Habre:

Survivors Gueye Guengueng and Abaifouta at #HissèneHabre trial opening in Dakar

Survivors Gueye Guengueng and Abaifouta at #HissèneHabre trial opening in Dakar

Who is Hissene Habre?

Hissene Habre
Habre ruled Chad from 1982 until he was deposed in 1990

Chad's former leader Hissene Habre has been dubbed "Africa's Pinochet" because of the atrocities allegedly committed during his eight-year rule.

BBC News profiles him.