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Summary

  1. Three Ugandans arrested over opposition leader T-shirt
  2. Oromo protesters leak Ethiopia exam papers
  3. Hissene Habre guilty of crimes against humanity
  4. Ex-Chadian leader gets life sentence
  5. Niger prepares for Boko Haram offensive
  6. Life sentences for Somali plane bomb plotters
  7. Zimbabwe accused of kidnapping activist
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Monday 30 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday's stories

We'll be back on Tuesday

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:

When you take a knife away from a child, give him a piece of wood to play with.

A Swahili proverb sent by Musa Muhammad El Nafaty, Yobe State, Nigeria

Nakabeka Nats Nyemba from Zambia's capital Lusaka interprets it as meaning some leaders should not be left to handle situations that are too big for them as they might end up hurting themselves.  

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this pictures from Cairo in Egypt:

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Niger's judge by day, band leader by night

BBC Newsday's Julian Keane is in Niger at the moment and he says wherever you go in the country, you can hear the Sahel groove of Tal National, one of the country's most famous bands. 

Band leader Issoufou Hamadal Moumine Almeida is also known as the "singing judge". 

When he's not busy with the band he can be found passing judgement in the local court.  

Julian met up with him:

Judge by day, band leader by night.

US says Habre verdict is chance to reflect on the country's connection with him

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a statement welcoming the conviction for crimes against humanity of Chad's former leader Hissene Habre.

He calls it a landmark ruling.

This is what you might expect from the US, but the interesting thing is that the country was a major backer of Habre.

In the 1980s it saw him as a way to block a threat from Muammar Gaddafi in neighbouring Libya.

Noting this, Mr Kerry  goes on to say:

As a country committed to the respect for human rights and the pursuit of justice, this is also an opportunity for the United States to reflect on, and learn from, our own connection with past events in Chad."

Habre in 1987
AFP
Habre was backed by the US when he was president

Drones fighting Boko Haram and al-Qaeda in West Africa

The BBC's Julian Keane is given rare access to Base 101 in Niger, where drones are flying almost every day to combat groups like the so-called Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.  

The country plays a key role in the fight against extremist various groups operating in the area.

Niger needs French and US help in tackling extremism.

Niger's drone war against extremists

Did it snow in Zimbabwe?

Social media has been awash with reports that it snowed near the city of Gweru in central Zimbabwe, over the past few days:

View more on twitter

But people were sceptical.

South Africa's News 24 said  "almost nobody believes that the current round of extreme weather photos on Facebook and Twitter are real".  

This tweet suggested it could be true:

View more on twitter

So we got our weather team to look into it.

The BBC's Aisling Creevey says that while what we see could be real, it's probably more likely to be hail.

Hail, it turns out, is very different to snow.

We do get hail in hot climates from large thunder clouds. 

She adds that satellite pictures show that there were large shower clouds in the area.

Massive electricity dam 'could soon be built in DR Congo'

Construction of the largest dam in the world could soon start in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Guardian reports.

The Inga 3 is set to span one part of the Congo river and could be producing electricity within five years.

The report does not give a date for the beginning of construction but says that plans are being "fast-tracked" by the government.

One problem is that the building of the dam will mean the relocation of 35,000 people and could have a big environmental impact, which has led some groups to oppose it.

The dam is set to be built in several phases, but once its complete its projected to provide 40% of the continent's electricity.

Inga falls
AFP
The Inga 3 dam is to be built on Congo's Inga falls

60-year-old takes Somalia's secondary school exam

Somalia's Radio Dalsan reports that a 60-year-old has "become a social media icon" after he was pictured taking the secondary school exams which started yesterday.

Radio Dalsan front page
Radio Dalsan

The site says that photos of Ahmadey Saney other students in the exam room in Balcad exam centre went viral as people sent congratulatory messages. 

It's the second year of nationalised secondary school exams, it adds.

SA government welcomes broadcaster's decision not to show violent protests

South Africa's Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has welcomed the decision by the national broadcaster, the SABC, to not show pictures of people destroying public property during protests, News24 reports.

It said it wanted to discourage copycat violence.

Some criticised the decision saying it amounted to an act of self-censorship but Ms Muthambi said that the SABC was right to put nation building first.

A number of schools and libraries have been attacked in recent protests about local services.

The minister said that the ban "will go a long way to discourage attention-seeking anarchists".

Burnt out school
ENCA
Schools were attacked in May in Limpopo province

Relatives of man killed in India meet government officials

The relatives of a Congolese man who was murdered in India have travelled to the capital, Delhi, where they've met government officials.

Masonda Ketada Olivier was beaten to death earlier this month by three Indian men after an argument over a rickshaw ride. 

Some African student groups and diplomats have staged protests, saying Mr Olivier's death, and a string of subsequent attacks on African nationals, have been motivated by racism. 

Police are also investigating a case where an Indian taxi driver says he was beaten by a group of African men and women on Monday, after refusing to take all six of them.

Men walking out of a security gate
EPA
Masonda Ketada Olivier's relatives first visited the Congolese embassy in Delhi

Gun shots heard near French embassy in Mauritius

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

Shots were fired in the early hours of Monday morning in the vicinity of the French Embassy in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, and a business hotel, where many Europeans stay.

There were no casualties and the embassy was empty at the time.

Two security guards are being questioned by the police.

Graffiti relating to the so-called Islamic State group was found on the wall of the embassy saying: "You will no longer live in peace here.”

Police commissioner Mario Nobin said "no country is immune but we appeal to the solidarity of all".

“I appeal to the public to inform the police if they find anything suspicious,” he added.

Security has been beefed-up especially near the city's embassies and high commissions.

Analysis: What Habre's verdict means for the ICC

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique

Hissene Habre
CAE

Today's verdict will be seen as a major step forward by those who have campaigned for African leaders to be tried on the continent.

They are calling for an African court of justice to be set up, which would supercede the International Criminal Court, based in the Netherlands.

But It is a far away goal. 

It took 25 years to bring Habre to justice, and some people are still critical of this court, seeing the funding it received from the European Union and the US as evidence of Western influence.

However the victims, relieved to see justice served after so many years, do not seem to care about who had funded it.

Tanzanian students ordered to leave campus after lecturers' strike

John Solombi

BBC Africa

Tanzania's education minister has told parliament that the reason thousands of students were ordered to leave Dodoma University yesterday was because of a lecturers' strike which has been going on at the college for the last month.

Education Minister Joyce Ndalichako told parliament that 7,802 students were ordered to go back home.

Opposition MP Joshua Nassari told the BBC that the problem was caused by the government failing to pay lecturers.

Habre verdict 'a lesson for other African leaders'

The BBC's Maud Jullien is in Chad's capital, N'Djamena, and she's been speaking to victims of the country's former president Hissene Habre who were following his trial.

Habre was president from 1982 to 1990, and fled to Senegal when he was overthrown.

His trial for crimes against humanity took place in Senegal's capital, Dakar, and he was found guilty this morning.

One victim told our reporter:

I am very satisfied with the verdict. Hissene Habre being sentenced for life is just fine with me. I didn’t expect to feel such joy, but today I am very very happy."

Another said that the verdict had resonance beyond Chad:

This is a historic day for Chad and for Africa. It is the first time that an African head of state has been found guilty in another African country. This will be a lesson to other dictators in Africa who are still there and impose dictatorship."

Hissene Habre archive photograph
AFP
Hissene Habre was Chad's president from 1982 to 1990

Malawi president calls for church's help in dealing with albino attacks

Sophie Ikenye

BBC Africa, Lilongwe, Malawi

Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has asked the church to step in and help stop the killing of people with albinism. 

Malawi police say that 18 albinos have been murdered and dozens of others have been attacked or abducted since early 2015.  

In his first interview as president on the subject, Mr Mutharika told the BBC that he feels ashamed about the way that they were being targeted. 

He said he's sending officials to other countries in the region that have faced similar problems to learn how they have dealt with the issue.  

Albinos are thought to be targeted because of beliefs that their body parts can increase wealth, make businesses prosper or facilitate employment.  

UN expert Ikponwosa Ero
AFP
Last month in Malawi, UN expert Ikponwosa Ero warned that that people with albinism face "extinction"

Habre trial 'not fair', wife says

The victims of Chad's former President Hissene Habre have been welcoming his guilty verdict and life sentence, but his wife has dismissed it.

Fatim Raymonde Habre told the BBC:

[This was an] unfair trial. A trial that is not worthy of the rule of law. There were no defence witnesses and no investigation. And today it was so miserable when I heard the judge speaking. I did not see a solid legal argument worthy of justice."

Hissene Habre in court
AP

Habre refused to recognise the legitimacy of the court.

Oromo protesters 'force suspension of Ethiopia university exams'

Ethiopia's university entrance exams, due to start today, have been cancelled because one of the papers has been leaked online, reports the government-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

Pictures of the English exam have been widely shared on social media.

Minister of Education Shiferaw Shigute is quoted as saying: “After a cross check, we decided to terminate the whole exam since we had no evidence that the other exams were safe."

People supporting the protests for greater rights for Ethiopia's Oromo people are saying that they are responsible for the leak.

Photographs of some of the exam papers have been posted on one activist's Facebook page:

Facebook photo of exam paper
Jawar Mohammed

The activists said they wanted Oromo students to have more time to study for the entrance exams after their high schools had been closed for several months during a wave of protests at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

Ethiopia's education ministry has said that a plan for new exams will be announced soon.

Habre victims 'never gave up'

Reed Brody, from Human Rights Watch, who has worked on the Hissene Habre case since 1999 has honoured the tenacity of the victims.

"In a case which looked dead so many times, the victims made it clear that they would never go away."        

"It’s been a long journey for me too, which began in 1999, while still working on the Pinochet case which set a precedent that Chadian survivors were inspired to emulate" he added.

Over 15 years ago he stumbled on the files of Hissene Habre's secret police in an abandoned building in the capital of Chad, Ndjamena, he told the BBC.

"In these documents alone, there are the names of 1,208 people who died in detention, of almost 13,000 people who were victims of torture, extra-judicial execution, and arbitrary arrest" he said.

Hissene Habre in 1975
Getty Images
Hissene Habre was a rebel leader before he became president in 1982

'Ugandans should learn from the South Koreans'

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has been drawing inspiration from South Korea after the visit of its President Park Geun-hye.

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Why Uganda switched from North to South Korea

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

We reported in our 09:00 post that Uganda has promised to halt military cooperation with old ally North Korea.

The main reason given is the increased sanctions against the North. 

In the past the two countries have traded arms, including anti-riot equipment, and North Korea trains Ugandan security personnel. 

Uganda’s closer relationship with the South seems to be more commercial. 

A South Korean company is bidding against a Russian one to build Uganda’s first petroleum refinery.

And the two governments signed several bilateral agreements on areas like defence, health and diplomacy during the South Korean President Park Geun-Hye's visit this weekend.

South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye (C) walks, accompanied by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (R), as they arrive for the inspection of a guard of honour of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF), at State House in Entebbe, on May 29, 2016.
Getty Images

'Trust fund' for Habre's victims

person's back to Senegal court
BBC

A trust fund for victims of convicted war criminal Hissene Habre should be set up "without delay", says Amnesty International.

In a statement the human rights organisation says the Extraordinary African Chambers is due to hold reparations hearings and is mandated to establish a trust fund for all victims, whether or not they participated in the proceedings.  

Habre was accused of ordering the killing of 40,000 people, which gives some indication of the possible scale of these reparations.

300 South African firefighters sing at Canadian airport

South African firefighters who have travelled to Canada to help control wildfire made an entrance this morning by singing at the airport:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

News 24 reports that Canadian authorities have requested their help to control wildfires that have been going for almost a month.

Ugandan 'arrested for wearing Besigye T-shirt'

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

Some Ugandans on Twitter are protesting against the arrest of a young man, allegedly for wearing a T-shirt with opposition leader Kizza Besigye's face on it - under the hashtag #freesamwyri.

Samson Tumusiime was arrested at the weekend. 

He recently posted pictures of himself on Facebook wearing the T-shirt. 

Ismail Muyinda and Asia Nanyanzi who are said to have printed the T-shirt are also under arrest. 

One of those tweeting said he designed the original drawing:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

According to police spokesman Fred Enanga, the three suspects were arrested because they planned to hold illegal demonstrations. 

Mr Enanga says the police have recovered 20 T-shirts with Besigye's face on them which, he added, were meant to be distributed to promote illegal protests. 

Bringing Habre to justice: The end of a long journey

Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre's conviction today for crimes against humanity is a long time coming.

It's been 11 years since a court in Belgium issued a warrant for him.

And 26 years since he fled Chad.

Here's the chronology of this trial:

1974: Hissene Habre came to the world's attention when a group of his rebels captured three European hostages

1982: Seizes power in Chad

1990: Ousted by current President Idriss Deby and flees to Senegal

2005: Belgian judge issues warrant for his arrest for human rights offences; Senegal puts him under house arrest

2006: African Union says Senegal should try Habre "on behalf of Africa"

2008: Senegal's constitution amended to allow the prosecution of war crimes

2011: Senegal says it will repatriate Habre to Chad, where he had been sentenced to death, but blocked by the UN

2012: International Court of Justice at The Hague orders Senegal to either put him on trial "without delay" or extradite him to Belgium

2013: AU and Senegal establish special court to try him.

The moment victims hear Habre's sentence

Here's the moment in court when the judge announced former Chadian leader Hissene Habre will be sentenced to life in prison:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Victims cheer Habre sentencing

The victims in the court in Senegal's capital, Dakar, where Hissene Habre was just sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity have cheered and ululated after the judge finished reading out the verdict.

View more on twitter

  The court gave Habre 15 days to appeal.  

Hissene Habre in court
EAC

BreakingHabre sentenced to life

Chad's former leader Hissene Habre has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of crimes against humanity, rape and sexual slavery.

BreakingHabre guilty of crimes against humanity

The former Chadian President Hissene Habre has been found guilty of crimes against humanity, rape and sexual slavery.

Habre 'directly involved in executions'

Hissene Habre was directly responsible for the executions that took place while he was Chadian president.

A journalist is tweeting from the court:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Senegal court finds Habre guilty of personally raping a woman

The judge in the Hissene Habre trial says that Habre himself raped one woman who testified in the trial.

He is also found guilty of torture:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The charges against Habre

Justice Gbertao Kam is still reading the verdict in the trial of the former Chadian ruler Hissene Habre.

He is being tried by a special court - the Extraordinary African Chambers - set up by Senegal.

Habre fled to Senegal when he was overthrown in 1990.

The court was set up with African Union backing after a long debate about where he should be tried following an attempt to put him on trial in Belgium.

He is being charged with crimes against humanity and torture as a member of a “joint criminal enterprise” and of war crimes on the basis of his “command responsibility”. 

Campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has an excellent Q&A with all the background on the case.

HRW's Reed Brody is tweeting from the court:

View more on twitter

Victims' testimonies played key role in Habre trial

Habre listening to verdict
BBC

The ex-Chadian leader is in court in Dakar listening to the judge summarising the case.

A journalist for the UK's Guardian newspaper is tweeting from the court:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Brother of missing Zimbabwean rights activist says state agents kidnapped him

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwean human rights activist Itayi Dzamara has been missing since March last year and today a member of his family has said that state security officers were behind his disappearance.

His brother, Patson Dzamara , said he has irrefutable evidence that the state abducted him for his human rights work and political activism.

Patson Dzamara at a press conference
BBC

At a press conference in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, he showed a picture which he alleges showed his brother being tortured.

Habre in court for sentencing

Journalists and human rights activists are tweeting from the court where the verdict in the Hissene Habre trial is being delivered.

The former Chadian leader has arrived in court:

View more on twitter

It's taken years for the process to reach this point.

Human Rights Watch's Reed Brody has been one of the main campaigners in this case.

View more on twitter

Artist who drew torture pictures for Habre investigation was tortured himself

Maud Jullien

BBC Africa, Kinshasa

The verdict in the trial of former-Chadian leader Hissene Habre is due today in a court in Senegal.

Habre was also the subject of an investigation in Chad itself.

Last week, I met Josue Doumassem Ngardiguiro who was asked to illustrate torture techniques by the head of the Chadian national investigation commission, who knew him to be a talented artist, for the commission's report. 

Josue Doumassem Ngardiguiro
BBC
torture drawings
BBC
torture drawing
BBC

He hadn't told anyone he'd been detained and tortured himself. He only revealed this at the trial, many years later.

He spent three months in detention, he was suspected of distributing political leaflets. 

Mr Doumassem Ngardiguiro says he loves drawing but that the strain of torture on his muscles and bones has affected his skill. His hands are slightly shaky.

When I look at these drawings it’s like I'm experiencing it again, I feel it in my bones. When I draw the torture position in particular I remember how the man climbed on my back and shouted 'savage, you can just die!'

When I draw I am reminded of what a shock this was and how mean these people were, they enjoyed hearing us scream, it's unbelievable."

Josue Doumassem Ngardiguiro
BBC

Victims eager to hear the Habre verdict

A journalist for the UK's Guardian newspaper has snapped one of Habre's alleged victims outside the court in Dakar:

View more on twitter

Crowds waiting for Habre verdict

Our BBC reporter in Senegal's capital, Dakar, is tweeting pictures from the court where the verdict in the trial of the former leader of Chad Hissene Habre is due to be delivered.

People waiting outside the court
BBC
View more on twitter

Tanzanian students ordered to leave university

The students at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania have been sent home after a spat between the government and lecturers. 

This notice, which was put up in one of the university departments, ordered students to leave the campus by 6pm yesterday. 

notice
BBC

It goes on to say that there were "errors in the teaching" of bachelor degrees in education, including science, mathematics and technology, and the government has ordered all students to leave the university premises until further notice.

The details of the argument between the government and lecturers are not yet clear. 

Ivory Coast footabller Aurier arrested in Paris

Ivorian footballer Serge Aurier has been arrested in Paris after he assaulted a police officer outside a nightclub, the AFP news agency is reporting.

A source told AFP that he elbowed the officer in the throat.

Aurier, who is a defender for French champions Paris St Germain, was briefly suspended from the team in February after he insulted the team's manager and some of the players.

Serge Aurier in action
AFP

Life sentences for Somalia plane attack planners

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa

A military court in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has handed down life sentences to two men who were charged with planning the attack on a Daallo Airlines flight in February.

A bomb exploded on the plane shortly after it took off from Mogadishu's airport on its way to Djibouti.

A hole was blown in the plane's fuselage but the plane did not break up.

Plane with hole blown in fuselage
Harun Maruf

One passenger, who was sucked out of the plane, died and two other passengers were injured.   

Along with the two life sentences, eight others were given sentences ranging from six months to four years. 

They include former airport employees and security personnel. 

Somalia plane attack: What happened?

Niger 'planning major offensive' against Boko Haram

Julian Keane

BBC Newsday, Niger

The authorities in Niger say they are preparing to carry out a major offensive targeting the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, which will also involve military forces from neighbouring countries. 

Since February last year, Boko Haram fighters have carried out more than 100 cross-border raids into southern Niger. 

Niger has been working alongside other countries in the region, including Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria, to put together a joint strategy to end the threat posed by Boko Haram. 

Speaking to the BBC, Niger's Defence Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou dismissed suggestions that getting several different armies to work together was proving difficult. 

He claimed that the regional forces were now fully integrated and able to take on Boko Haram from several sides. 

Mr Massaoudou said that Niger and its allies were preparing to intervene in Nigeria, adding that the offensive would be massive and that this would be the final battle.

Niger army
AFP
Nigerien troops are fighting alongside other soldiers from the region