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Summary

  1. Police boss warns secessionist movement in Nigeria
  2. Egyptian diplomat called sub-Saharan Africans 'slaves and dogs'
  3. Kenyan tests show '80% of shisha has narcotics'
  4. Ivory Coast's first crimes against humanity trial starts
  5. Sudan accused of forcibly deporting Eritreans
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Tuesday 31 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

We'll be back on Wednesday

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page 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 eats last is king"

A Ndebele/Tswana proverb sent by Timothy Nyathi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of young Kenyans in the capital Nairobi displaying their taekwondo skills as part of a cultural exchange with South Korea:

Young Kenyans display their Taekwondo skills on stage
EPA

Northerners 'killed in pro-Biafra protests'

Abdussalam Ibrahim Ahmed

BBC Hausa, Enugu, Nigeria

Protester
BBC

At least 15 northern Nigerian businessmen were reportedly killed in the south-eastern city of Onitsha yesterday, as protests by a secessionist movement turned violent, leading business representative Alhaji AbdulHamid Mohammed has said. 

However, members of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) denied it killed the businessmen. 

It accused the police of shooting dead 30 of its members and wounding 40 others (see previous entries). 

Police confirmed the deaths of 10 protesters and two police officers in the clashes in Anambra state yesterday. 

The protesters were marking the anniversary of the 1967 declaration of the breakaway republic of Biafra.  

How close is Africa with North Korea?

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

Uganda promised to halt military cooperation with old ally North Korea on Monday after a visit to the capital, Kampala, by the South Korean president this weekend. 

Uganda had been one of North Korea’s closest allies in Africa – largely as a way for President Yoweri Museveni to show his independence from the West.

Mr Musveni’s foreign minister says that while Uganda is cutting military ties with North Korea - following the visit by the South Korean president - diplomatic relations will remain in place.

Economic opportunities with South Korea are considered more lucrative but many African nations also see benefits in terms of agriculture, technology and construction in maintaining strong ties with both Koreas.

North Korean company Mansudae Overseas Projects has worked on several projects, including monuments like the African Renaissance Monument in Dakar, Senegal and Namibia’s presidential palace.

Earlier this year, a panel of UN experts criticised some African nations for not fully implemented UN sanctions against Pyongyang and said Mansudae was linked to North Korea's main arms dealer.

The Niger girls who give birth too young

Niger is a country with one of the highest number of child brides in the world. 

Three out of every four girls there are married before the age of 18.

More than a third are already married by the age of 15 and face serious health problems as a result of giving birth at too young an age.

Newsday's Julian Keane visited a clinic in central Niamey in the Nigerien capital to find out more.

The health problems facing young girls who get married before the age of 18.

Egypt 'hits back at Kenyan diplomat'

Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry listens while US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement to the press during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism at the US State Department February 19, 2015 in Washington, DC
AFP
Egypt's foreign minister says the allegation will be investigated

Egypt will send a "sharply worded" memo to the Council of African Ambassadors in Kenya to protest against accusations that one of its diplomats called sub-Saharan Africans "slaves and dogs", its foreign ministry has said in a statement, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri had ordered an investigation into the allegation made by Kenyan diplomat Yvonne Khamati, but information already available showed that such language was not used, the statement added.

Ms Kimathi said the diplomat, whom she did not name, made the comment at the end of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, last week.

AFP quotes the Egyptian foreign ministry statement as adding:

It is unacceptable to fall into the trap of generalization and direct flimsy accusations against the state of Egypt, its people and its African identity as well as its ability to assume its responsibilities in championing African interests.''

SA's Ntini named acting Zimbabwe cricket coach

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Ntini celebrates after taking a wicket
Getty Images
Ntini was the first black cricketer to represent South Africa

Former South Africa bowler Makhaya Ntini has been named as a shock choice to lead the Zimbabwe national team. 

In a statement, Zimbawe Cricket said:

Head coach Davenell Whatmore has had his contract terminated with immediate effect. Bowling coach Makhaya Ntini has taken over in an acting capacity until the appointment of a substantive head coach."

Anti-racism protest cancelled in India

African students often complain that they are racially abused in India
Getty Images
African students often complain that they are racially abused in India

African students in Delhi have called off a protest against a spate of allegedly racist attacks on them in India.

The decision came after student leaders met police and foreign ministry officials, who assured them that steps would be taken to guarantee their safety.

In a statement, the students said that African diplomats had also urged them to "take the path of diplomacy and hold the Indian government to their words". 

In two high-profile attacks this month, a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo was beaten to death by a group of Indian men after an argument in Delhi and a Nigerian was allegedly assaulted with an iron rod in southern Hyderabad city. 

Polisario leader dies

Mohamed Abdelaziz looks on during an interview with AFP in Madrid on November 14, 2014.
AFP

The head of the independence movement in Western Sahara, Mohamed Abdelaziz, has died after a long battle with cancer, the Polisario Front has said in a statement. 

He died in hospital in Algeria. 

The movement has declared a 40-day mourning period, following which a new leader will be chosen, the statement added. 

Indictment read out in Simone Gbagbo trial

Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo (C), who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes for her alleged role in a 2011 civil war, arrives in a domestic court in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 31 May 2016
Reuters
Simone Gbagbo's husband Laurent Gbagbo ruled Ivory Coast from 2000 to 2011

Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo was part of a small group of officials from the ruling Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party that organised violence against political opponents, according to the indictment against her, AFP news agency reports.

The aim of the alleged violence was to stop Presdient Alassane Ouattara, then the opposition leader, from taking power after his election win in December 2010.

The indictment, read out by prosecutors at the start of the ex-first lady's crimes against humanity trial in the main city, Abdidjan, added:  

The FPI put in place a crisis cell in January 2011 that met at the presidential residence and constituted the organ charged with planning and organising the repression."

Simone Gbagbo did not immediately enter a plea. However, the indictment said she rejected the charges. 

The names of witnesses were read out in court, at which point she turned in her seat and scanned the public gallery, AFP adds. 

Angolan artist's futuristic 'robots with hearts'

Angolan artist Daniela Ribeiro mixes art and technology in her latest collection at the Gallery of African Art in London to explore her fears about artificial intelligence.

Many of her pieces make use of recycled technological waste like mobile phones and computer parts, epoxy resins, vinyl and PVC.

Ribeiro, who has lived in both Angola and Paris, says she uses her artwork to explores the relationships between the past and present.

Her current exhibition is "an African message for the world, we can't live without humanism, without love", she says.

Angolan artist's futuristic 'robots with hearts'

Kenya: 'Dadaab camp to close by November'

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's Interior Minister Joseph Nkaisserry says the Daadab refugee camp will be closed by November. 

The Dadaab camp is home to more than 300,000 Somalis.  

He says the decision is final and they are working closely with the UN and the Somali government. 

Kenya has set aside $10M (£6.9m) for the repatriation and countries willing to support it can focus on preparing Somalia to host returnees. 

Mr Nkaisserry said the exercise will be carried out in a humane manner. 

He spoke to journalists after receiving a report from a task force he formed to advise him on the repatriation process.

Aerial view of the vast Dadaab camp in the desert
Reuters

Read more: Somalia president warns against Dadaab closure

Egyptian diplomat in 'slaves and dogs' row

A Kenyan diplomat has accused an Egyptian diplomat of calling sub-Saharan Africans "slaves and dogs" in Arabic, at the end of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Kenya last week.

Yvonne Khamati has demanded an apology from Egypt for the “undiplomatic, irresponsible, uncivilised and insulting behaviour” of the diplomat, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Egypt's ambassador to Kenya, Mahmoud Ali Talaat Mahmoud, defended the diplomat, telling Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper:

If there was any insulting, it is something we are investigating, but we should not take any decisions or anticipate anything without knowing it because I don’t think he said these things.

Ms Kimathi, in a memo sent to Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed and other officials, did not name the diplomat, but said he was the head of the Egyptian delegation and president of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment. 

She accused him of making the remark during discussions on Gaza, when he "dismissed our concerns" and said Egypt "would speak in their sovereign capacity and to that extent, referred to sub-Saharan Africa as dogs and slaves", Kenyan media has quoted the memo as saying.  

Death toll rises after pro-Biafra protests

Emeka Ojukwu in the
AFP
Emeka Ojukwu led the attempt to create a separate state in the south-east

At least 10 pro-Biafra supporters were killed during protests on Monday as they marked the anniversary of the 1967 declaration of their breakaway republic, according to Nigerian police, AFP news agency reports.

A police spokesman in Anambra state told AFP that five bodies had been recovered in Onitsha town, adding to the five already confirmed dead from the violence in Asaba (see earlier entry), which lies just across the other side of the River Niger.

Two police officers were also killed in Asaba.

Police say that protesters from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement opened fire on them first, forcing them to retaliate. 

IPOB denies this and says that least 35 members of the group were killed in Onitsha alone on Monday.

Read more: Should new Biafra protests worry Nigeria?

Kenya health ministry clarifies shisha cocaine findings

The Kenyan health ministry has contacted the BBC to clarify earlier reports that it had found traces of cocaine and other drugs in samples taken from shisha pipe products. 

It says the information from the tweet (see below) should not be directly attributed to the ministry, but to the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada), which is a government body. 

Earlier Nacada chairman John Mututho said 240 out of 300 shisha samples they collected were found to contain heroin, cocaine and nicotine.  

View more on twitter

Kenya's opposition 'wins right' to hold rally

The high court in Kenya has given the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) the go ahead to hold a Freedom Rally in the capital, Nairobi, tomorrow, overruling a ban imposed by the government, the local K24 television station has reported. 

It says police chief Joseph Boinnet has been ordered by the court to ensure there is enough security before and after the rally so that no violence takes place. 

Smiling Simone Gbagbo in court

Ivory Coast ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo is in court for her crimes against humanity trial - the first such case in the West African state. 

Several dozen of her supporters cheered when she arrived, while she waved and smiled at them, Reuters news agency reports.

Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo arrives for her trial at the Abidjan Justice Court on 31 May 2016
afp

Prosecutors accuse her of being part of her husband Laurent Ggagbo's inner circle as they planned violence to cling to power following disputed elections in 2010. 

See our earlier posts for more details.

Kenyatta and Odinga meet over Kenya electoral tensions

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is holding talks with opposition leader Raila Odinga in a bid to diffuse tensions ahead of elections next year. 

Mr Odinga cut short his attendance at a funeral in the south-western town of Natol to attend the meeting with Mr Kenyatta in the capital, Nairobi. 

"I just got a call from State House for a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta. I request your permission as the people of Narok to go and talk to him," he was quoted by the Daily Nation newspaper as telling mourners.

"I will announce to Kenyans if we agree, and we if don’t, I will also let you know,” Mr Odinga added.

Raila Odinga gestures during an interview with AFP on July 15, 2014 at his office in Nairobi
AFP
Mr Odinga is expected to run against President Kenyatta in next year's elections

Mr Odinga's Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) has vowed to press ahead with a rally in Nairobi tomorrow, despite the fact that the government announced yesterday that it was banned. 

Several people have been killed in violent clashes this month between police and opposition supporters demanding electoral reforms.

Japan makes 'arrests after SA bank defrauded'

Two men have been arrested in Japan for allegedly stealing money from ATM machines, AFP news agency reports, as investigations to crack a gang that used fake South African card details to defraud South Africa's Standard Bank of about $19m (£13m) continue.

The suspects, who were Japanese labourers, conspired to withdraw and steal $11,000 "by using [fake] credit cards" 12 times, a police spokesman told AFP. 

The men have not yet commented on the allegation. 

Last week, Standard Bank said it had been the victim of "a sophisticated, co-ordinated fraud incident" in Japan.

Cash was withdrawn in less than three hours from 14,000 convenience store cash machines across Japan, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The withdrawals targeted 7-Eleven cash machines which, unlike most in Japan, accept foreign cards.

A street scene in Japan
Getty Images

DR Congo mega-dam project criticised

The plan to construct the world's largest hydroelectric power plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo has long been controversial.

The Inga Three dam, the first of three parts of the Grand Inga project, will span the Congo river.

Critics say it will displace thousands of people, cost an enormous amount of money and have serious consequences for the environment. 

Its backers say it will generate around a third of the future electricity of Africa and the continent desperately needs power.

So is it worth it? 

BBC Newsday's Nkem Ifejika has been speaking to Rudo Sanyango, Africa Programme Director with International Rivers, an NGO based in South Africa, which is against the project.

If fully completed, it would be the world's largest hydroelectric dam.

Shisha in Kenya 'contains cocaine'

Kenya's health ministry has been raising the alarm over the popular past-time of smoking shisha, on World No Tobacco Day, which was set up by the World Health Organization to warn people about the harmful effects of tobacco smoking. 

In a tweet, the ministry says that it has found traces of cocaine and other drugs in four out of five samples it took from tobacco products people smoke using the water pipes:

View more on twitter

Some people are not convinced by the findings: 

@MOH_Kenya Why would any drug dealer put even a microgram of cocaine in a 150 bob packet of shisha!! the economics do not add up!!

Police extend arrest of Ivory Coast's Serge Aurier

French police have extended Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier's detention in Paris by 24 hours to allow for further investigations.

He was originally arrested and placed in police custody early on Monday morning after an incident in Paris.

The 23-year-old, who plays for French side Paris St Germain, is alleged to have had an altercation with police.

The incident occurred in the Champs Elysees area in the early hours of Monday as Aurier left a nightclub.

Aurier in the PSG kit
Getty Images
Aurier has made 31 appearances for Ivory Coast

Read the full BBC Sport story

Egyptian soldiers 'killed' in Sinai explosion

A roadside bomb has hit a military vehicle in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing six soldiers and wounding six others, security and hospital staff are quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying. 

No group has said it carried out attack, but militant Islamists have been battling the security in northern Sinai for years.

Biafra protests: Your reactions

Our Facebook readers have rallied to the defence of Biafra protesters after Nigeria's police chief accused them of carrying out "premeditated attacks" and vowed to disarm them (see our earlier posts).

Here is a sample of views, starting with those of Agbo Anayochukwu: 

Biafrans are peaceful people, but Nigeria's security agents have been infringing on our rights as indigenous people. They have killed Biafrans in cold blood. No matter the intimidation, Biafra must be achieved."

Obinna Onyekwere adds: 

These men were unarmed. They only gathered in churches and schools to remember and pray for the souls of their departed heroes. Why will Nigerians always go for soft targets? They are only encouraging these men to arm themselves next time."

Gerald Onyekachi Ugwuanyi is also critical of the police response:

These guys are not armed. They are peaceful protesters. The Nigerian government is just trying to justify their crimes against this group by painting them black. By the way, the BBC never reported the protests."

Foreign players set to leave Algeria

Ghislain Guessan on the training pitch
other
Ghislain Guessan is hoping to secure a move to Europe

"I did not believe it at first, as every professional league has foreigners and that improves the quality of football"

Ghislain Guessan, RC Arbaa striker

BBC Sport has been investigating the impact of Algeria's decision to ban foreign players from its leagues from next season, especially on players from sub-Saharan Africa.

Read the full BBC Sport story

Nigeria orders disarmament of Biafra secessionists

Nigeria's police chief has ordered the immediate disarmament of members from a secessionist group accused of involvement in violent protests on Monday, a police statement said.

Solomon Arase has also ordered the arrest of anyone from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) found in possession of a weapon, the statement added.

He accused IPOB activists of carrying out "premeditated attacks" on police officers, and said they would face justice for the killings. 

A Nigerian television station has been tweeting about his statement:

View more on twitter

Deadly Biafra protests

Crowd of protesters with Biafran flags and banners calling for independence
BBC

At least seven people were killed on Monday in the eastern Nigerian city of Asaba during clashes between pro-Biafra secessionists and security forces, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Five civilians and two police officers were killed when violence broke out at a demonstration calling for Biafran independence, according to police in Delta state.

More than a million people died in the civil war between 1967-1970, in which the army fought to prevent the east of the country breaking away to form the independent state of Biafra. 

Members of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) told media that the death toll was higher than that given by police. 

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the other main secessionist group, also held demonstrations on Monday (30 May), the date of Biafra' declaration of independence in 1967. 

There is currently a resurgence of support for the campaign to create the breakaway state.

View more on twitter

Letter from Africa: Should new calls for Biafra worry Nigerians?

Historic trial in Ivory Coast

Tamasin Ford

BBC Africa, Abidjan

The crimes against humanity trial of Ivory Coast's ex-First Lady Simone Ggagbo will be the first such trial in the West African state. 

She has been in custody in Ivory Coast for five years.

Unlike her husband, former President Laurent Gbagbo, who is on trial for the same crimes at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, she will be tried here in Abidjan – the country’s economic capital.

Although she was also indicted by the ICC, Ivory Coast's government refused to hand her over, saying it could hold a fair trial. 

Human rights groups acting on behalf of victims have refused to participate. They say their lawyers have not been given access to everything they need and, therefore, cannot possibly defend them.  

The trial is due to start later today. 

Laurent Gbagbo's supporters burn tyres on a road in Gagnoa on February 20, 2010
AFP
Ivory Coast plunged into chaos after Laurent Gbagbo refused to give up power in 2010

Sudan 'deports' Eritreans

Girls in butterfly costumes take part in a parade
BBC
Eritrea celebrated 25 years of independence from Ethiopia this month

Sudan has deported at least 442 Eritreans, including six registered refugees, back to their country this month, campaign group Human Rights Watch has said. 

“Sudan is arresting and forcing Eritreans back into the hands of a repressive government without allowing refugees to seek protection,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at HRW. 

“Sudan should be working with the UN refugee agency to protect these people, not send them back to face abuse,” he added. 

Sudan has not yet commented on the allegation.

In pictures: Eritrea celebrates 25 years of independence

Kenya row over Freedom Day

A High Court in Kenya is due to rule on whether the opposition can press ahead with tomorrow's Freedom Day rally banned by the government. 

Recent opposition protests calling for electoral reform have led to deaths and accusations of police brutality.

However, the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy said it wanted to use Freedom Day as a day of reflection.   

The National Security Advisory Council (NSC) has warned that political rallies in the capital, Nairobi, threatened national security. 

"We have serious challenges in this country today and we need to trace our roots. We start with truth, justice and reconciliation and peace,” said its leader, former prime minister Raila Odinga. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to address official Freedom Day celebrations in western Nakuru city in Kenya's Rift Valley province. 

Freedom Day commemorates Kenya attaining internal self-government in 1963 with Jomo Kenyatta as Prime Minister. It achieved independence from British rule six months later.

Kenyan police fire tear gas to disperse a small group of opposition protesters who tried to gather outside the offices of the electoral commission, in downtown Nairobi
AP
Opposition protests in Nairobi this month have been marred by clashes with police

Ivory Coast's ex-first lady due in court

Ivory Coast"s former first lady Simone Gbagbo (C) speaks with lawyers at the courthouse of Abidjan, on May 9, 2016
AFP
Simone Gbagbo was arrested with her husband in April 2011

Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo goes on trial today in the main city, Abidjan, on charges of crimes against humanity. 

Known as the "Iron Lady", she has already been sentenced to 20 years in prison for "attacking state authority" over her role in post-election violence in 2010 that left more than 3,000 people dead. 

The conflict ended when her husband Laurent Gbagbo was captured by UN and French-backed forces loyal to current President Alassane Ouattara. 

Mr Gbagbo is facing war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court. 

Both have denied any wrongdoing.

Read more about Ivory Coast

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day: 

He who eats last is king. "

A Ndebele/Tswana proverb sent by Timothy Nyathi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

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