Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Kenya's Odinga makes election ultimatum
  2. Flamboyant DR Congo politician indicted
  3. Seychelles votes to decriminalise gay sex
  4. Swazi king's plane "seized" in Canada
  5. EgyptAir flight with 66 people on board plunges into sea
  6. Freed Chibok girl meets Nigeria's president

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.  

A reminder of today's wise words:

He who knows much speaks with silence."

An Amharic proverb sent by Solomon Bizuneh, Gambella, Ethiopia.

Click here to send us your Africa proverbs.

And we leave you with a photo of a man walking past huge elephants painted by graffiti artist Falko in South Africa's main city Johannesburg:

A man walks past huge elephants painted by graffiti artist "Falko" in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, 19 May 2016.
EPA

Buhari: No girl should be 'forced to marry'

Here are some of the key comments from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's statement after his meeting with freed Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki, and her four-month-old baby girl (see earlier post at 17:03).

Amina will receive the best care that the Nigerian government can afford. We will ensure that she gets the best medical, psychological, emotional and whatever other care she requires to make a full recovery and be reintegrated fully into society.

Yesterday, medical personnel from government and other NGOs examined her for a total of about five hours. Trauma experts from Unicef also met her.

Amina must be enabled to go back to school. No girl in Nigeria should be put through the brutality of forced marriage. Every girl has the right to an education and a life choice."

Mr Buhari also said that Amina's rescue had given the government fresh hope of finding the 218 girls who are still being held by Boko Haram.

See 17:03 post for more details 

Read more: Who is Amina Ali Nkeki?

EgyptAir crash: What we know

Here are some of key points about the EgyptAir crash: 

  • Egyptian minister says terrorism most likely cause of crash
  • Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo went missing over Mediterranean
  • 66 people on board included 30 Egyptians, 15 French and 10 other nationalities 
  • Greek minister says plane turned sharply and plunged before disappearance

EgyptAir - what do we know?

EgyptAir Flight MS804 latest updates

Kenyatta calls for end to protests

Kenya's opposition politicians and supporters run away from tear gas, on May 9, 2016 in Nairobi
AFP
Police fired tear gas and used clubs to break up a protest on Monday

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the opposition to stop its protests to demand that the electoral commission be dissolved and that a new one be formed ahead of general elections next year. 

Mr Kenyatta said the opposition should  "follow the law" if it wanted the current commission to be scrapped, a government statement posted on Facebook quotes him as saying

He added: 

We cannot agree to do that which is against the law and our Constitution just to please a few individuals."

Rights groups accused Kenya's security forces of using "gruesome violence" on Monday to put down an opposition protest in the capital, Nairobi. 

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is expected to run against Mr Kenyatta in the elections, told the BBC earlier that there would be no elections unless their demands over the electoral commission were met.  

See 14:00 post for more on Mr Odinga's warning

Sudan wants UN force out of Darfur

Sudan wants the UN-backed force in Darfur to leave when its mandate expires in June, on the grounds that rebel activity had receded and civilians are no longer under threat, Foreign Minister Kamal Ismail has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

The joint African Union-United Nations force, known as Unamid, has been in Darfur since 2007 to curb violence between government forces and rebels. 

Members of the UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) patrol the area near the city of Nyala in Sudan's Darfur on January 12, 2015
AFP

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has an arrest warrant out for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of genocide in Darfur. He has has denied the charges. 

South Africa has already announced that it will be withdrawing its troops in Unamid over the next few months. 

Buhari 'delighted' at Chibok girl's freedom

President Buhari meets Amina (L) and her baby
Re
Amina gave birth while in Boko Haram captivity

Nigeria's President Buhari has been speaking at his meeting with freed Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki:

Like all Nigerians and many others around the world, I am delighted that Amina has regained her freedom"

Mr Buhari added that his government would do everything possible to improve the life of 19-year-old Amina:

The continuation of her education must be a priority for the government."

'Deadly crash' in Burkina Faso

 At least 24 people have been killed and 36 injured in a collision between a bus and lorry in Burkina Faso, officials say, AFP news agency reports. 

The collision happened at around midnight on the main road between the capital, Ouagadougou and the western city of Bobo-Dioulasso, the agency quotes officials as saying. 

Twenty-eight of the 36 wounded are said to be in a critical condition. 

Video: Buhari meets baby of freed Chibok girl

The official Twitter account of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has posted a video of his meeting with the freed Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki and her baby in Abuja:

View more on twitter

Read more: Who is Amina Ali Nkeki?

Chadian on EgyptAir flight 'had just lost his mother'

A spokesman for Chad's embassy in France, Muhammed Allamine, has confirmed a Chadian citizen had been on board the EgyptAir plane which crashed into the Mediterranean. 

"He just lost his mother actually," Mr Allamine said. "He was going to Chad to mourn his mother. He [was] going to give condolences to his family."

Mr Allamine added that the man, whom he did not name, had been a student at France's leading military academy in Saint Cyr.

Buhari and Chibok girl meet

Haruna Shehu Tangaza

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is now meeting freed Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki, her four-month-old baby girl and her mother at the presidential palace in Abuja - a day after she was rescued from Boko Haram captivity. 

President Buhari cradles the baby with Amina standing by
BBC
President Buhari cradles the baby of freed Chibok girl Amina (l)

How did the plane change direction?

  Based on what Greek authorities have said, this is how it appears flight MS804 changed direction in the moments before it disappeared while flying from Paris to Cairo  

Graphic
BBC

Place card for Chibok girl at president's table

A place card has been created for the freed Chibok girl who is due to meet Nigeria's leader Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential mansion, according to this tweet: 

View more on twitter

'Arrest warrant' for DR Congo football tycoon

Mr Katumbi (R) in this archive shot
AFP
Mr Katumbi (R) has dismissed the allegations as false

A football tycoon in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Moise Katumbi, has been charged with recruiting foreign mercenaries, a government spokesman has said, AFP news agency reports.

Mr Katumbi announced about two weeks ago that he will be running for the presidency in elections due in November. 

Government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP that an arrest warrant had been issued for Mr Katumbi, the owner of TP Mazembe football. 

Mr Katumbi has previously described as a "grotesque lie" the allegation that he had recruited mercenaries, and said it was aimed at preventing him from contesting elections. 

It is unclear whether elections will be held in November, and whether President Joseph Kabila plans to step down after two terms in office. 

Read more; Could football boss become DR Congo president?

What's it like being a chieftain and radio DJ?

Ghana has several royal chieftains who rule their regions, administering ancestral land and enjoying traditional privileges.

It’s a respected position within Ghanaian society. 

Nana Ansah Kwao IV juggles his royal duties with his job as radio host. 

He told What’s Up Africa's Ikkena Azuike what it's like to be a chief:

View more on twitter

Freed Chibok girl: How Nigeria's press has covered the story

BBC Monitoring

In their widespread coverage of the rescued Chibok girl, many of Nigeria's online papers have delved into the human stories behind the news.

Most papers have published the army's pictures of a timid girl cradling her baby.

Punch newspaper website's report quoted Amina as saying when she met her emotional mother: "Please Mum, take it easy, relax. I never thought I would ever see you again, wipe your tears..."

A woman carries placard to press for the release of missing Chibok school girls during a rally by civil society in Lagos on May 5, 2014.
AFP
A global campaign was launched to draw attention to the abductions

Many readers in their comments to the Vanguard and Daily Nation congratulate the military for its success and cheer the "amiable" President Buhari.

But social media posts have highlighted inconsistencies, such as conflicting accounts on whether it was a military rescue operation or if she was found by local vigilante groups who have been defending communities against Boko Haram. 

Read: Boko Haram 'took my children

Was Egypt plane brought down by 'terrorists'?

Egypt's civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy
AFP

Egypt's civil aviation minister  Sherif Fathy says the possibility that "terrorism" caused the EgypAir flight to crash cannot be ruled out.

 Addressing the media, he said:

Let's not try to jump to the side that is trying to identify this as a technical failure - on the contrary. The situation may point - and I say 'may' because I don't want to speculate and I don't want to go to assumptions like others - but if you analyse the situation properly, the possibility of having a different action, or having a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical [fault]."

Read: Plane made 'sharp turns before plunging'

Photo of Chibok girl at presidential mansion

Haruna Shehu Tangaza

BBC Africa, Abuja

Amina Ali sitting in a leather-backed chair
BBC

With her face covered, rescued Chibok girl Amina Ali is now seated along side her mother at the presidential palace in Abuja, waiting for the arrival of Mr. Buhari.  

See previous entries for full details. 

BreakingRescued Chibok girl arrives at presidential palace

Haruna Shehu Tangaza

BBC Africa, Abuja

In the past few minutes, freed Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki has arrived at the presidential palace in Abuja to meet Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari.

Uganda introduces public smoking ban

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa Uganda correspondent

Stringent new anti-smoking legislation has come into effect in Uganda. 

From today, people lighting up in bars, restaurants or hotels face being $60 fined or imprisoned for up to two months. 

Smokers must be at least 50 metres away from a public building. 

The new law also bans the sale of electronic cigarettes and flavoured tobacco, which has recently become very popular in the clubs of the capital Kampala. 

It's unclear how rigidly police will enforce the legislation, given the number of other crimes they have to deal with.

Smoking is not common in Uganda. But the authorities have been worried about the rise of diseases like cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure and their connection to the habit.

Ugandan man lights up cigarette
AFP

Caf investigates 'assault on referee'

Eric Otogo-Castane was one of the referees at the Under-20 World Cup last year
Getty Images
Eric Otogo-Castane was one of the referees at the Under-20 World Cup last year

The Confederation of African Football says it is investigating a Sudanese official after he appeared to hit Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane in the face. 

The incident occurred in the 84th minute of Wednesday's Confederation Cup match between Sudan's Al Merreikh and Kawkab Marrakech of Morocco.

Caf is reviewing the incident and awaiting the match officials' report.

Al Merreikh's Hatim Mohamed Ahmed is alleged to have hit the referee. 

Read the full BBC Sport story 

Inside Rwanda's genocide memorial

This month marks 22 years since the genocide in Rwanda in which more than 800,000 people were killed.

The genocide memorial in the centre of the capital Kigali is the final resting place for over 250,000 victims.

It receives thousands of visitors every week, as the BBC's Milton Nkosi reports.

Kenya's opposition leader in poll warning

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's opposition supporters demonstrate, on May 9, 2016 in Nairobi
AFP
Mr Odinga's supporters allege that the election commision is biased

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has told me that there will be no election in the country next year unless the current members of the electoral commission are replaced. 

The former prime minister has been leading protests every Monday in the capital, Nairobi, to demand the resignation of the commissioners. 

They have refused and have challenged the opposition to push for their removal through the parliamentary process. 

Some of the opposition protests have been violent, with looting, mugging and police brutality caught on camera. 

Kenyan riot police officers raise batons over a man during a demonstration of Kenya's opposition supporters in Nairobi, on May 16, 2016
AFP

 Mr Odinga denied allegations his supporters were responsible for some of the violence seen in Nairobi on Monday.    

What we know about EgyptAir flight MS804

A relative of a passenger who was flying aboard an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo overnight cries as family members are transported by bus to a gathering point at Cairo airport on May 19, 2016.
AFP
Relatives are waiting anxiously for news about their loved ones on the plane

Here's a quick update on the missing EgyptAir plane:

  • French President Francois Hollande says the Airbus A320 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea as it travelled from Paris to Cairo
  • Egypt's civil aviation minister says the plane remains missing as no debris has been found
  • EgyptAir says it disappeared from radar at around 02:30 Cairo time (01:30 BST), when it was 280km (174 miles) from the Egyptian coast
  • EgyptAir says the plane was carrying 56 passengers - 30 Egyptians, 15 French and 10 other nationalities, including one Briton
  • There were also 10 crew members on board
  • Anyone concerned can call 0800 7777 0000 from any landline in Egypt and +202 259 89320 from any mobile phone or from outside Egypt

Record drugs bust in Malian capital

packets of drugs recovered from car in Bamako
OCS Mali

Malian authorities have made a record drugs haul in the capital Bamako, according to the national drug agency.

Agents recovered 1,505 bricks of cannabis, weighing nearly two tonnes (1,700 kg) in an operation last Friday, OCS Mali said in a statement on its official Facebook page.

The drugs were discovered in a vehicle with a trailer coming from Ghana, and were hidden behind a door which had been wedged in the back to create a secret compartment.

Agents swooped on the traffickers as they were unloading their cargo in the middle of the night at a safehouse in the capital.

Door hiding compartment in back of the vehicle
OCS Mali

Egypt plane briefing

The Egyptian aviatian ministry is giving a briefing on the EgyptAir plane which has gone missing while flying over the Mediterranean. 

You can watch the briefing live here 

Historic SA university hit by unrest

South Africa's government says celebrations to mark the centenary of a famous university will go ahead on Friday, despite violence aimed at disrupting it. 

Yesterday, students at Fort Hare University set fire to the tent where the celebrations are supposed to take place, and vandalised some buildings in a protest against high tuition fees and alleged poor financial financial management, local media report. 

Some of Africa's most prominent leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe, studied at the university in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.

Four people have been charged in connection with the unrest, police told local media. 

The government said in a statement that student grievances were being dealt with. 

It condemned the violence, adding: "Security agencies are on the ground at Fort Hare to ensure that the 100 year centenary celebrations are held in a safe and secure environment." 

There have been mixed reactions among South Africa's Twitter users to the violence: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Chibok teacher describes reunion with Amina

Blamadu Lawan, the vice-principal of Chibok school, was one of the first people to see Amina Ali Nkeki after her rescue from Boko Haram (see earlier entry at 09:07). 

Ms Nkeki, who is the first of the missing Nigerian schoolgirls to be found since their capture two years ago, is due to meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja later.

Mr Lawan was speaking to the BBC's Newsday programme:

I was shocked and at the same time I was very pleased. I didn't think we would ever see any of these girls again."

Listen to the full interview with Mr Lawan here: 

French police 'investigate Paris ground crew'

BBC Monitoring

Back to the story on the missing EgyptAir plane... The French newspaper Le Figaro quotes a French border police source as saying that investigators will be focusing their attention on ground crew at Charles de Gaulles airport, to establish whether any airport employees posed a security risk. 

The source said that, in the past, a number of Salafists - ultraconservative Muslims - had been detected among those with access to the areas used for the loading and unloading of aircraft.

Le Figaro also recalled that last December, the head of the Paris airports authority, Augustin de Romanet, announced that since the beginning of 2015 security clearance had been withdrawn from almost 70 employees who had worked in the most secure areas of the main Paris airports, citing one of the reasons as "radicalisation".

Follow latest updates on EgyptAir Flight MS804

Who is Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki?

A mother of an abducted Chibok girl walks on April 14, 2015 past the school hostel where 219 schoolgirls by Boko Haram Islamists the girls were abducted ater a gathering to mark the one-year anniversary of their abduction in the northeastern Nigerian city of Chibok in Borno State
AFP
More than 200 children were seized from their boarding school

The Chibok girl rescued from the captivity of Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram grew up in a small mud house with her widowed mother in the remote north-east. 

She had 13 children, but Amina Ali Nkeki and her older brother were the only two to survive.

The family is from Mbalala, which is about 10km (6 miles) from Chibok.

Journalist Samson Aboku, who is from Mbalala, says that it is a mostly Christian town of approximately 30,000 people, but Amina is a Muslim who was captured by the militants in 2014 while she was at a boarding school in Chibok.

You can read more about her here.

Hollande: 'Plane crashed'

At a press conference in Paris, French President Francois Hollande says that all the information gathered so far indicates that flight MS804 crashed - but, he says, no hypothesis as to the cause has been ruled out.

"The information we have gathered - ministers, members of government and, of course, the Egyptian authorities - confirm, sadly, that it has crashed. It is lost."

Follow latest updates on EgyptAir Flight MS804

Five UN peacekeepers killed in Mali

Five UN peacekeepers in Mali have been killed in the northern Kidal region in an ambush.

The convoy of the Chadian contingent hit an improvised explosive device at about 18:00 GMT on Wednesday and then came under fire from an unknown group of gunmen, the UN said in a statement.

Three others were injured during the attack. 

The UN is trying to restore peace to the north, which was overrun in 2012 by jihadists and ethnic Tuareg groups.  

Peacekeepers in a desert convoy
Minusma
There are currently 12,000 UN peacekeepers in Mali

Read more: Why Mali is world's most dangerous peacekeeping mission

Rescuers hopeful that SA miners will be found

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

"Good progress" has been made in efforts to rescue two miners trapped after a shaft collapsed on Tuesday, mine spokesman Johan Theron has said. 

"They’re right there in the area now, where the people were last working, but progress has been delayed by large rocks so they have to be very careful. We hope we’re near them," he added. 

Seven miners have already been rescued from the Impala Platinum mine in Rustenburg town, which is north-west of South Africa's main city, Johannesburg. 

The reason for the collapse is still unclear. 

In the same mine earlier this year, four miners died in an underground fire.

South Africa is the largest platinum producer in the world and mine safety has been a source of concern since the days of apartheid.

Freed Chibok girl in hospital

Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

BBC Africa, Abuja

Army with baby and suspected militant in hospital
Nigerian military

A security source has told me that rescued Chibok girl Amina Ali Nkeki, her baby and alleged husband, are having medical checks at a hospital in the main city in north-eastern Nigeria, Maiduguri. 

Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima will be meeting them later today, before they fly to the capital, Abuja, for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the source added. 

Ms Nkeki, 19, is the first to be found since militant Islamist group Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the north-eastern town of Chibok. 

A vigilante group found Ms Nkeki, 19, in the Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram hideout in the region.

She had a four-month-old baby with her. 

Suspected militant Mohammed Hayatu, who alleged he was her husband, was arrested, the military said.  

Read: The town that lost its girls

SA's women powerlifters raise the bar on male-dominated sport

Powerlifting has traditionally been thought of by many as a masculine pursuit, but in recent years more and more women have been taking up the sport.

This week the World Bench Press Championships are taking place in the South African city of Potchefstroom, with both sexes well represented. 

One of the women who will be there is Antoinette Kriel. 

She explains why she loves the sport so much, in this video report from the BBC's Chris Parkinson: 

Why power lifting is femine

Seychelles Mps vote to decriminalise gay sex

Seychelles' parliament has approved legislation to decriminalise gay sex, the state-owned news agency reports

The move came after President James Michel said in his state of the nation address in February that he wanted to abolish the law, inherited from the colonial era, which criminalised homosexual acts. 

Church leaders in the mainly Catholic country opposed him, arguing that homosexuality was against their religious beliefs. 

However, MPs who voted for the legislation said the constitution promoted equality, and people could not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. 

"Out of 28 members present for the vote, 14 voted in favour while the other half abstained," the state-owned media added. 

ourists walk on a beach on Praslin island on March 6, 2012.
AFP
The Indian Ocean island is a popular tourist destination

SA miners trapped

Rescue operations have resumed today for two miners who went missing after a rockfall at a platinum mine in South Africa's Rustenburg town, the local Eyewitness news reports.

One of the shafts at the mine collapsed on Tuesday, trapping several miners.

Chadians and Sudanese on board missing EgyptAir flight

Several people from sub-Saharan Africa were on board the EgyptAir plane which went missing over the Mediterranean.  

Graphic
BBC

Follow the BBC's dedicated Flight MS804 live page for updates

Plane crashed 'into sea'

A Greek aviation source has told the AFP news agency that the missing EgyptAir plane crashed into the sea off the southern Greek island of Karpathos at about 01:30 BST.

AFP are the only news outlet to report this so far.

The plane was flying from Paris to Cairo.

Map
BBC

Swaziland king's jet 'impounded' in Canada

The private plane of Swaziliand's King Mswati III has been detained in Canada for the second time in two years due to a debt dispute, according to Canadian court documents, Reuters news agency reports.

The plane was detained as part of a court case by a former business partner of the king, Singaporean entrepreneur Shanmuga Rethenam, who says he is owed around $8m (£5.5m) by the monarch, it adds.

Swaziland government spokesman Percy Simelane on Wednesday denied that the king owed any money, and said he could not comment further as the matter was in court.

Swaziland is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies.  

King Mswati III in traditional head dress
AFP
The king often appears in public in traditional dress and has many wives.

Read more: African leaders and their jets

Chibok girl to meet Nigerian president

Amina was found with a four-month-old baby
Sahara Reporters
Amina was found with a four-month-old baby

The first of the missing Nigerian schoolgirls to be rescued since her capture two years ago is to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.

Amina Ali Nkeki, 19, was found with a baby by an army-backed vigilante group on Tuesday in the huge Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroon.

She was one of 219 pupils missing since they were abducted from a secondary school in the north-eastern town of Chibok in April 2014.

Read the full BBC story here