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Summary

  1. Buhari pulls out of visit to area hit by oil spills
  2. Nigeria's military warns 'economic saboteurs'
  3. Outrage over Ethiopian star's exclusion from Rio 2016
  4. Burundi students 'suspended after president's photo defaced'
  5. Sacked Guinea-Bissau ministers sleep in offices

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams, Farouk Chothia and Uwa Nnachi

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

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:    

A chicken only pokes what it can swallow."

A Runyankore proverb sent by Sawa Charity, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

And we leave you with this photo of a man carrying recycled plastic bottles in Ghana's capital, Accra:

A Ghanaian man walks down a street carrying recyclable plastic bottles in Accra, Ghana
EPA

Burundi 'suspensions after president's photo defaced'

Burundi's President Nkurunziza
AFP
President Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, has been in power since 2005

More than 300 students at a high school in Burundi have been suspended for defacing a photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza, parents and an official have told AFP news agency.

Other images in around 40 textbooks had also been desecrated, with insults against the president scrawled in others, school officials say.

One parent who asked to remain anonymous told AFP they had apologised for the graffiti during a meeting with the school, but without success.

He said the administration told the students, aged between 14 and 16, that they could not come back to school until those responsible were "turned in".  

School director Yves Marimba told AFP that "a solution has been found" but did not comment on the students' return. 

The country has been plunged into a deep crisis since President Nkurunziza announced in April 2015 that he would run for a third term, a vote he won in July amid opposition boycotts.

Algeria clinch place at AFCON 2017

Lille's Yassine Benzia celebrates after his goal
Getty Images
Lille's Yassine Benzia scored his first goal for Algeria since opting to play for the Desert Foxes rather than France

Africa's top-ranked nation Algeria clinched their place at the 2107 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Thursday with a 2-0 win in Seychelles.

Yassine Benzia and El Arabi Soudani scored in each half to ensure Algeria will win Group J.

Cameroon can join then at the finals in Gabon with a a win in Mauritania on Friday.

Tunisia will lose the chance of winning Group A if Djibouti beat them on Friday and Liberia beat Togo on Sunday.

The other game on Friday is Libya playing Morocco, who have already qualified for Gabon. 

Read the full BBC Sport story 

Guinea-Bissau's ousted ministers sleep at offices

A portrait of José Mario Vaz, presidential candidate of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, is seen during the aspirant's final campaign appearance May 16, 2014 in Bissau
AFP
President Jose Mario Vaz sacked his entire cabinet last year

Sacked government ministers in Guinea-Bissau have been sleeping at their offices for the past seven nights, in an unusual protest against President Jose Mario Vaz's decision to appoint a new prime minister.

"Yes, yes, it's been a week today,"  sacked Communications Minister Agnelo Regala told the BBC's Liliane Nyatcha, when asked to confirm that they were sleeping at their old ministerial offices. 

A new prime minister and new cabinet members were sworn in last week, in a move the ousted ministers regard as unlawful. 

Guinea-Bissau is one of the most unstable countries in Africa, and has had several coups since independence from Portugal in 1974. 

It has also become a base for Latin American drug cartels and has been dubbed a narco-state. 

Read: Hooked

Nigerian at the helm of Opec

The leaders of the Opec cartel of oil producing nations have appointed Nigeria's Mohammed Barkindo as its new secretary general at a meeting in Vienna.

Mr Barkindo, former head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC), will replace Libyan Abdalla El-Badri, who has held the position since 2007.   

There was no deal to limit oil production in order to drive up the price. 

View more on twitter

Read more: Buhari's battle to clean up Nigeria's oil industry

Kenenisa 'will be back stronger'

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Kenenisa Bekele at Great Manchester Run
PA

Is Ethiopian marathon runner Kenenisa Bekele down and out? Not yet, I think. 

The reaction to his exclusion from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is testament to that. 

It came as a surprise even to the legendary Haile Gebrselassie who told the BBC he ought to have been an automatic choice. 

Yes, the three-time Olympic gold medalist is facing intense competition from upcoming stars from the athletics powerhouse, but the team would definitely be stronger with him on board. 

He is already a legend in Ethiopia. That alone shows his prowess. 

He won the Great Manchester Run last month and many Ethiopians wanted him in the Rio team. 

I suspect he will be back - stronger - with the backing of millions of Ethiopians. 

France hands over first warship to Egypt

The Gamal Abdel Nasser in Saint Nazaire shipyard on 15 May 2016
EPA
The Gamal Abdel Nasser was called the Vladivostok before it changed from Russian to Egyptian hands

Egypt has received the first of two advanced warships from France in a deal worth $1bn (£692m).

The ship named after the late president Gamal Abdel Nasser was handed over at a ceremony in western France.

The second named Anwar Sadat, will arrive in Egypt in September.

Both Mistral helicopter carriers were originally made for Russia, but the contract was cancelled in 2014 because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Egyptian Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi, who was attending the ceremony in Saint-Nazaire, welcomed the arrival:

It increases our combat capabilities and our ability to carry out long-term missions at sea."

The Mistral can store up to 16 helicopters, has enough space to land six helicopters and is equipped with the latest missile defence and radar navigation systems, according to Egyptian state television.

Read the full BBC story here

#RespekTheDoek trends in SA row over right to wear headscarves

Nomsa Maseko

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

There's been an outcry on social media in South Africa after a TV journalist working for news channel eNCA alleged that a story was taken off air because she was filmed wearing a headscarf, known as a doek. 

The channel has not said whether this was the reason the report was pulled, but in a statement it referred to reporter Nontobeko Sibisi wearing a doek "without consulting her managers". 

Whatever the reason, it has sparked a massive debate about fashion and race here.

Wearing a headscarf is seen as a sign of respect in many African cultures, but it has also become a fashion statement. 

Staff from the eNCA channel have tweeted their own photo of them wearing headscarves in solidarity with their colleague:

View more on twitter

Many others have also joined in:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

One user has even used a photo of the late Nelson Mandela wearing the doek to make their case for respecting the headscarf: 

View more on twitter

UK increases backing for Somalia

Alastair Leithead

BBC Africa correspondent

The UK is stepping up its support for Somalia as the country reaches a pivotal moment, with elections due to be held later this year.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond held talks with both the president and the prime minister during his visit to the capital, Mogadishu. 

As he arrived, troops were still battling al-Shabab militants who attacked a city centre hotel yesterday with a suicide car bomb and then launched an armed assault. 

02/06/2016 Reuters A Somali woman walks in front of Hotel Ambassador on Maka Al Mukaram Road in Somalia"s capital Mogadishu, June 2, 2016.
Reuters

Dozens of people were injured and at least 15 killed, among them two British Somalis who had returned to Mogadishu and become members of parliament. 

UK troops, numbering 70, will soon be based at the heavily-fortified airport working alongside the UN and African Union forces and supporting the Somali security services.

Despite having been driven out of the capital and most urban areas, the militants remain a threat across large parts of the country. 

There are still question marks over the elections, which are scheduled for August, amid fears that attacks will escalate. 

Read: Why does al-Shabab target hotels? 

Analysis: Buhari Niger Delta no-show

Muhammad Kabir Muhammad

BBC Africa, Abuja

A man walks near the spilled crude oil on the shores and in the waters of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in the famous Nigerian oil-producing Ogoniland, which hosts the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria's Rivers State on June 24, 2010
AFP

The people of Ogoniland, and the wider Niger Delta region, believed that the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the area today would rekindle hope in the communities that have been ravaged by oil pollution. 

His absence, therefore, must have been a source of disappointment to many. 

There is still no official explanation as to why the president decided to pull out of the launch of the country's biggest oil cleanup operation (see earlier entries). 

That notwithstanding, judging by the reception Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo received, who read a speech written on behalf of the president, they are still hopeful.

Oil spill in the Niger Delta from the air
AFP
Oil spills have caused massive pollution in the Niger Delta

He read out a speech on behalf of the president. It recalled his promise to the people of Ogoni, made last year on the election campaign trail, that he would implement the findings of the UN Enivronment Programme report on the clean-up of Ogoniland.

It recommended that $1bn (£700m) would be needed over three decades to help restore the area.

The president's speech also lamented that the environment had been badly damaged.

People in the Niger Delta will now expect to see progress after the speeches and launch.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks to the press in Paris on September 16, 2015
AFP
Mr Buhari was elected president last year

France calls for EU cooperation with Africa over migrants

Large dinghy packed with migrants
Italian Navy

The European Union (EU) needs to work more with African countries to tackle the arrival of migrants into Europe, France's prime minister said in an interview with a Greek newspaper on Thursday, Reuters news agency reports.

The EU, which struck a deal with Turkey to stem the arrival of undocumented migrants and refugees to Greece, has been scrambling for ways to shut down flows on the other major sea route into Europe from Libya as calmer weather begins.

French PM Manuel Valls was speaking ahead of a two-day visit to Greece:

We need to cooperate further with African countries of transit or of origin... I am referring in particular to Niger"

Read more: Migrant crisis enters new phase

New plan to target drug cheats

Rio logo
Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to target Russia, Mexico and Kenya for drug testing ahead of the Rio Olympics.

The executive board of the IOC backed extra focus on countries whose testing programme is deemed non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The board said: "We are taking further decisive action to protect the clean athletes at the Olympic Games 2016."

Read the full BBC story here

BBC Africa Live welcomes Uwa Nnachi

A big welcome to Uwa Nnachi, who joins us on the BBC Africa Live page for the next few months.

For those who are avid BBC Africa fans, Uwa will be no stranger to you…. and you may remember her as an aficionado of African fashion. Here she is modelling some clothes last year in Petticoat Lane in London:

Uwa Nnachi
BBC

Here's a link to her video about London's home of African fashion.

And you can expect much from her, including her tips this weekend on how to make tomato-less Nigerian stews.

Uber launches in Uganda

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

motorcycle taxis
BBC
Most people use motorbike taxis in Uganda

Taxi-hailing service Uber has launched in Uganda's capital, Kampala. 

Ugandans with a good internet connection, and the cash, can now order a taxi on their smartphone. 

US-headquartered Uber has seen explosive growth in many cities across the world and is now valued at more than $60bn (£42bn).

But it has provoked controversy and even violent riots in some countries, where traditional taxi drivers feel the service is muscling in unfairly on their business. 

It now operates in 12 African cities, but Kampala could be a very tough nut to crack. 

There aren't many people here who can afford private taxi rides, compared with South African or Nigerian cities like Cape Town and Lagos. 

And even those who can might still prefer motorbike taxis, known as boda bodas, which get you around quickly and cheaply.

Listen: The Boda Boda boom (BBC World Service documentary)

Senegalese imam's sentence 'too light'

Senegal's President Macky Sall has said the one year prison sentence given to an imam and school teacher for advocating terrorism is too light. 

On a visit to France, Mr Sall told Radio France International that the government would appeal against the sentence. 

Yesterday, the court, sitting in the southern town of Kolda, rejected the prosecution's request to jail Ibrahima Seye, 38, for five years.

He had preached against "Western and American imperialism" in a sermon in September and during his trial he said: "Between Bin Laden and George Bush, I prefer Bin Laden."

Mosque in Senegal
AFP
Senegal is a majority Muslim country which has not been hit by militant Islamists

Clarkson show to begin in Johannesburg

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond
PA
The Grand Tour will launch on Amazon Prime this autumn.

The new TV series starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will record its first studio segments in South Africa.

The first episode of The Grand Tour, which is being made by Amazon Prime, will be filmed in Johannesburg in July.

It will mark the trio's first TV show since they exited Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson punched a producer.

May joked on Twitter that the location was "chosen by Richard Hammond, who's run out of biltong".

Read the full BBC story here

Top UK official visits Somalia

The UK foreign secretary has made a short visit to Somalia, a day after al-Qaeda-linked militants carried out an assault on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, killing 15 people.

He has tweeted about his trip:

View more on twitter

'Washed up bodies' in Libya

The bodies of at least 25 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean have been washed up near Libya's western city of Zuwara, a Red Crescent official has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

Al-Khamis Al-Bosaifi said aid workers were still recovering the bodies, and it was still unclear how the migrants died. 

Zimbabwe has seized ivory worth '$15m'

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe wants to sell ivory worth $15m (£10m) to finance its conservation efforts, national parks director Edson Chidziya has told reporters. 

There was no evidence that burning ivory, something that Kenya does, would stop illegal poaching, he added. 

Journalists were shown around a national vault in the capital, Harare, today where, Mr Chidziya said, some 93 tonnes of confiscated ivory had stockpiled over the last four decades and the quality of some of it was deteriorating. 

Ivory in vault
BBC

His comments signalled that Zimbabwe is ratcheting up its argument ahead of a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference to be held September in South Africa. 

Zimbabwe wants the global ban in ivory trade to be lifted, while Kenya holds the opposite view. 

Read: The war on elephants

Ogoniland: What you need to know about it

Spilled crude oil floats on the shores of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in the famous Nigerian oil-producing Ogoniland, which hosts the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria's Rivers State on June 24, 2010.
AFP
Spilled crude oil floats on the shores of the swamps of Bodo village

Here are some key facts on Ogoniland, the area President Muhammadu Buhari was due to visit for the first time since his election last year: 

  • 1958: Oil struck in Ogoniland
  • 1990: Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) formed, led by Ken Saro-Wiwa
  • 1993: 300,000 Ogonis protest at neglect by government and Shell
  • 1993: Shell pulls out of Ogoniland after employee is beaten
  • 1994: Four community leaders killed by mob of youths. Mosop leaders, including Ken Saro-Wiwa, arrested
  • 1995: Mr Saro-Wiwa and eight others tried and executed; widespread condemnation of government
  • 2003-2008: International attention switches to armed conflict started by other communities in Niger Delta
  • 2011: Shell accepts liability for two Ogoniland spills
  • 2011: UN report says region may need world's biggest clean-up operation
  • 2015: Shell reaches $84m (£55m) settlement with Bodo fishing community affected by two spills 
  • June 2016: Nigeria's vice-president launches clean-up programme after president pulls out.

Map
Google

Gebreselassie wades into Rio row over Bekele

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia beats Paul Tergat of Kenya to win gold in the Mens 10000m Final at the Olympic Stadium on Day Ten of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney
Allsport
Haile Gebreselassie (l) set 27 world records during his career

Ethiopian long-distance legend Haile Gebreselassie has hit out at the country’s athletics federation for excluding three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele from the team that will represent Ethiopia in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics in  August. 

Haile told the BBC that his compatriot should have been an automatic choice in the marathon team because of  his prolific record and the morale he would have given to the team. 

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation said it left out Kenenisa from the Rio team because he had not met the requirements. 

Kenenisa has also criticised the decision, saying it was unjust and personal.

Bekele came third in the London Marathon in April, despite not having been in full training and he won the Great Manchester Run last month. 

Bekele pips Wilson Kipsang in Great Manchester Run

Burundi leader gives ultimatum to rebels

President Pierre Nkurunziza
AFP

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has given rebels in a district south of the capital two weeks to give themselves up. 

If they did not, Mr Nkurunziza said he would deal with them by force. 

The president made the comments during a visit to Mugamba town, 80km (50 miles) south of Bujumbura, which is considered a bastion of groups.

He warned that security forces would apply the "same methods" they used to put down a previous uprising in 2010, which human rights groups said was characterised by large-scale abuses. 

Burundi has suffered a violent political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term last year.  

More than 400 people have died since the start of the crisis in April 2015 and at least 260,000 have fled the country.

Read more about Burundi

Binyavanga Wainaina 'fine' after assault

Renowned Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina has tweeted from Tanzania - a day after he said he had felt "black, dirty" after being assaulted by a taxi driver in Germany's Berlin city: 

View more on twitter

Gambia urged to release political prisoners

The Gambia should be suspended from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) unless it frees dozens of political prisoners and ends its brutal crackdown on freedom of expression, Amnesty international has said.

In its new report launched two days before Ecowas and the Gambian government are due to meet in the Senegalese captial Dakar, the rights group documents how Gambia's opposition politicians, journalists, and human rights activists have been arbitrarily arrested and harassed.

President Yahya Jammeh
AFP
President Yahya Jammeh has ruled since 1994

Zambia's leader to run for re-election

Meluse Kapatamoyo

BBC Africa, Lusaka, Zambia

Lungu files paper
Edgar Ngoma
Mr Lungu, wearing glasses, is hoping to gain a second term

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu has filed in nomination papers for the 11 August elections, along with his deputy Inonge Wina . 

It will be the second time Mr Lungu has run for the presidency, which he won less than two years ago following the death of President Michael Sata.  

His main challenger, Hakainde Hichilema, is due to file his nomination papers tomorrow for what is likely to be a fiercely contested election.

VP Osinbajo in Niger Delta after Buhari pullout

Man tries to separate out crude oil from water in his boat
AFP
Oil spills have devastated parts of Ogoniland in recent years

Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has arrived for the launch of a cleanup operation in the oil-producing Ogoniland region, following President Muhammadu Buhari's last-minute withdrawal from the event (see earlier entries). 

No reason has been given for the cancellation of Mr Buhari's visit to the Niger Delta, which would have been his first as president. 

The region has been hit by a wave of militant attacks, which have impacted the country's ability to produce oil. 

View more on twitter

Somali hotel attackers 'killed'

Ambassador Hotel
Reuters
The destruction of the Ambassador Hotel was extensive following a powerful car bomb

Three gunmen who stormed a hotel in the centre of the Somali capital Mogadishu have been killed after an overnight gunfight, officials say.

The car bomb and gun attack at the Ambassador Hotel on Maka al-Mukarama street killed 15 people, according to health officials and eyewitnesses.

Two British Somali MPs were among those killed in the 12-hour attack, which was declared over on Thursday morning.

Read the full BBC story here

'Millions of child labourers' in Nigeria

Young girl carries firewood through the woods
Getty Images
Child labour is prevalent in many parts of West Africa

About eight million Nigerian children are engaged in exploitative labour, according to Nigeria's anti-trafficking agency, the local Punch newspaper reports.

The figure is equivalent to the entire population of neigbouring Togo. 

Exploited girls are used as domestic workers and prostitutes, while the boys are forced to beg, scavenge, wash cars, conduct buses, deal in drugs and work as farm labourers, said Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri, acting head of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Naptip).

Read: Tough love or child labour? 

Buhari's aborted trip: Views on Twitter

There's strong reaction on Twitter to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's decision to abandon his visit to Ogoniland to launch a programme to clean up the area of some of the biggest oil spills in the world. 

Here's a sample of views:  

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

Tutankhamun's knife was 'made from meteorite iron'

Picture of the dagger with gold detail on the handle and its sheath
ONLINELIBRARY.WILEY.COM
The dagger is exceptional because of its composition and its high manufacturing quality, researchers say

A dagger entombed alongside the mummy of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun was made with iron that came from a meteorite, researchers say.

The weapon was one of a pair of daggers discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1925 within the burial wrappings of the teenaged king.

The origin of its unrusted iron blade has baffled scientists because such metalwork was rare in ancient Egypt.

Tutankhamun was mummified more than 3,300 years ago.

The researchers say the presence of iron - along with levels of nickel and cobalt - "strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin". 

the mummy of Tutankhamun
AFP

Read the full BBC News story

Ghana skin-whitening cream ban set for August

Ghana will carry through on a plan to ban all skin-whitening products from August, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says.

Products containing up to 2% of the skin-bleaching ingredient hydroquinone, which are currently allowed, will be banned under the new regulations.

Skin-whitening creams are widely used in West Africa and have been linked to cancer, FDA spokesman James Lartey told the BBC.

He said enforcement would be strict. 

Bans in other countries have not curbed the use of skin whiteners.

Future regulations could target other ingredients, Mr Lartey said.

“We are currently concentrating on hydroquinone because that’s where we have established a danger at the moment."

Ivory Coast banned all whitening creams last year.

The BBC's Newsday programme has been speaking to Nigerian journalist Ameto Akpe about the culture of skin-whitening.

"The issue of colourism" and "discrimination against darker shades in Africa"

Nigeria's VP 'will go to oil-rich south'

Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo will visit the oil-rich south after President Muhammadu Buhari pulled out, a presidency official has told AFP news agency. 

"The presidency has not cancelled the trip to Ogoni but President Buhari will be represented by the vice-president," the unnamed official is quoted as saying. 

The reason for the decision is unclear. 

: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
AFP
Mr Buhari has not visited the Niger Delta since becoming president more than a year ago

Mr Buhari was supposed to visit Ogoniland in Rivers state to launch a clean-up programme for a region devastated by oil spills which have affected farming and fishing.  

Death toll rises in Mogadishu hotel attack

Ibrahim Aden

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

The number of people killed in yesterday's al-Shabab attack on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu has now risen to 15, local health officials have told me.

Gunmen stormed the Ambassador Hotel on Maka al-Mukarama street after setting off a car bomb at the gates outside. 

Two Somali MPs were also killed in the attack, according to officials. 

Soldiers with AK47s stand on the damaged exterior of the Ambassador hotel
AFP
Soldiers took positions at the top of the hotel to flush out militants

Gabon's Aubameyang wins Bundesliga award

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Getty Images

Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been voted as the German Bundesliga's Player of the Year.

The Gabon captain finished just 0.2% ahead of Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, who was the top scorer in the league last season.

The award is voted for by the German players' union, the VDV.

"It's a great honour to be recognised and appreciated by your fellow colleagues," Aubameyang said. 

Read the full BBC Sport story

Buhari aborts trip to oil-rich region

BBC World Service

Scene in Niger Delta (archive shot)
Getty Images
The Niger Delta is badly affected by pollution

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled his visit to the oil-producing Niger Delta, which has been hit by a wave of militant attacks. 

No official reason was given. The trip was due to happen amid growing tensions in Nigeria's main oil-producing region, with residents complaining they are not receiving a fair share of the wealth pumped from beneath their feet. 

Mr Buhari has promised to address the communities' grievances. 

Last month, he cancelled a visit to Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, after what his spokesman described as "scheduling" difficulties.

France to hand over warship to Egypt

BBC World Service

Egypt is due to take possession of the first of two advanced warships from France, in a deal worth nearly $1bn (£700m). 

The Mistral helicopter carriers were originally built for Russia, but the contract was cancelled after Moscow's annexation of Crimea. 

The French and Egyptian defence ministers are expected to attend the handover ceremony in the port of Saint-Nazaire. 

The ship has been named Gamal Abdel Nasser, after the former Egyptian president. 

Nasser (archive shot)
AFP
Nasser is revered by many Arabs

'Military houseboat' raided in Nigeria

Suspected militants have attacked a military houseboat in Nigeria's oil-rich south, the private Vanguard newspaper reports, quoting an unnamed security source. 

Two soldiers guarding the houseboat are feared dead, the newspaper reports. 

There is no still no independent confirmation.   

Ethiopia's Kenenisa 'unhappy' over Olympic exclusion

Ethiopia's long distance and marathon runner Kenenisa Bekele takes a break at his training grounds in Sululta near Addis Ababa on January 16, 2014
AFP

Ethiopian athletics star Kenenisa Bekele has said he is "very disappointed" that he has been left out of the marathon team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

“The selection process was biased and the result unjust,” he told the Associated Press news agency. 

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) told local media on Tuesday that Kenenisa, the world record-holder and three-time Olympic champion, had been left out, AP reports. 

“In Kenenisa’s case, he hasn’t met the requirements, so he couldn’t make it to Rio,” EAF secretary-general Bililign Mekoyahe is quoted as saying. 

Sudan's airspace 'violated'

Sudan's military has accused foreign aid agencies of violating its airspace, and has said it will "firmly deal" with them, the AFP news agency reports. 

A cargo plane flying for "internatonal and regional NGOs" breached Sudan's airspace on 17 and 20 May, a military statement quoted by AFP says. 

"Sudan's army warns that any aircraft that violates Sudan's airspace and enters it without permission or proper procedures will be dealt with firmly," a spokesman, Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami, added. 

The military did not name the NGOs. 

The UN force in Darfur region and the World Food Programme operate daily flights across Sudan. 

Last week, the government expelled the head of the UN's humanitarian aid agency (UNOCHA), a move criticised by the US' chief envoy to the UN (see tweet below). 

There are more than four million people in need of aid in the Sudanese region of Darfur. 

View more on twitter

Nigeria warns 'economic saboteurs'

Gunmen in Niger Delta
AFP
The Avengers' Twitter account uses a gunman from 2008 (R) as its profile picture

Nigeria's military has warned militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta that it will hunt them down after a surge of attacks which have led to a sharp fall in oil production, threatening the country's economy. 

The warning came ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari's planned visit to the Niger Delta today - his first trip to the region since he took office more than a year ago. 

Yesterday, the newly formed Niger Delta Avengers group said it had blown up oil wells operated by US energy firm Chevron, as it fights for the Niger Delta to get a bigger share of oil wealth.

In a statement, the military said:  

The defence headquarters wishes to emphasize that the Nigerian armed forces will not relent in their efforts to flush out economic saboteurs masquerading under whatever guise to perpetuate evils in the Niger Delta."

Read more: Who are the Niger Delta Avengers?