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Summary

  1. Nigerians charged for "blasphemy" murder
  2. South African ordered to pay fine over monkey comment
  3. MTN says it will pay $1.67bn fine to Nigeria
  4. UN insists on voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees
  5. Kenya opposition to protest on Monday
  6. Nigeria army says soldiers did not act improperly with Biafra supporters
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 10 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page this week. 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:

You suffer from smoke produced by firewood you fetched yourself."

A Luhya proverb sent by Harriet Aseneka, Nairobi, Kenya

On Facebook, reader Robinah Kunihira interpreted this to mean that the person you are nice to today can stab you in the back tomorrow.

Click here to send in your proverb.

And we leave you with this photo at a South African mosque just after breaking fast from our selection of the best pictures from across the continent this week.

A muslim worshiper walks in the Nizamiye Mosque after breaking fast at the end of the first day of Ramadan, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 07 June 2016
EPA

Muhammad Ali's love affair with Africa

As thousands of people line the streets of Louisville in Kentucky for Muhammad Ali's funeral procession.

BBC Africa has been looking back at the boxing great's strong connection to the continent:

This content only works in the UK.

Top African players released by Premier League clubs

Premier League sides have released the list of players they'll be keeping for next season, and the ones who are no longer needed.

And some big African names appear on the list of those whose contracts have come to an end:

  • Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor and Morocco's Marouane Chamakh from Crystal Palace
  • South Africa's Steven Pienaar and Ivory Coast's Kolo Toure from Liverpool
  • Nigeria's Peter Odemwingie from Stoke City 
  • Nigeria's Victor Anichebe and Benin's Stephane Sessegnon from West Bromwich Albion

The players are now available to any other club on a free transfer.

Kolo Toure
AFP
Kolo Toure will be among those looking for a new club

The singing firefighters change their tune

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South African fire fighters in Canada are due to meet their management team which is en route to hear what their grievances are after they downed tools following a wage dispute. 

The 300-strong fire fighting team arrived in Canada to help deal with the forest fires amid much fanfare as they danced and broke into song at the airport:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Linton Rensburg from Working On Fire, the organisation which sent the firefighters to Canada, said "they were disappointed to hear about the strike". 

Canadian officials promised to pay the South Africans a fair wage.  

Canadian authorities had requested the South African firefighters' help to control wildfires that have been going for a month.  

Ali remembered in Kinshasa

Thousands are attending a farewell procession for boxing legend Muhammad Ali in his home city of Louisville, in the US state of Kentucky.

Onlookers lining the roadside have been chanting "Ali, Ali" as a cortege led by the hearse carrying is driving through the downtown area.

Meanwhile, in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, boxers are holding their own memorial.

Sign at Kinshasa stadium
BBC

The Muhammad Ali Head Held High boxing club is holding a series of exhibition fights outside the stadium where the famous Rumble in the Jungle fight happened in 1974.

Ali defeated George Foreman to regain the world title as thousands shouted "Ali, boma ye" - Lingala for "Ali, knock him out".

Two 10-year-old boys David Samba and Alex Bembele started things off.

And they didn't hold back as you can see in this video shot by the BBC's Mbelechi Msoshi:

This content only works in the UK.

Twenty-three-year-old boxer Modestine Munga was one of those up for the next bout:

Female boxer
BBC

Read more about the funeral here.

Seventeen arrested in South Sudan for fattening themselves up

Some 17 men have been arrested in South Sudan, accused of trying to make themselves fat for a banned fattest man competition, reports Radio Tamazuj

The Gogrial state government has provisionally banned so-called fattening contests saying they promote laziness.

Fattening is a practice in the Dinka culture where men leave their homes for weeks with up to 15 milking cows.  

They feed on milk only and do not work in order to become very fat. 

They return to their home towns to compete to see who is the fattest. 

Benin football authorities hold controversial elections

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

The Benin Football Federation held elections today despite a court in Porto Novo ruling on Thursday they should be cancelled indefinitely. 

The elections need to be recognised by the Confederation of African Football and the world governing body, Fifa, in order for a global ban to be lifted. 

If they are ratified in the coming hours it means Benin can continue their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday against Equatorial Guinea.

The Benin team - who are known as the Squirrels - need to win that game and their final 2017 tie in September against Mali if they are to reach the finals in Gabon in January.

Benin football squad
AFP
Benin will be hoping to play in a Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday

Five charged over Nigeria blasphemy murder

Five Muslim men have been charged with the murder of an elderly Christian woman over an alleged blasphemy in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, police said, AFP news agency reports.

The suspects are accused of killing a woman last week after she allegedly insulted the Prophet Muhammad. 

The 74-year-old was beaten to death at a Kano market on 2 June.  

All five pleaded not guilty at a magistrates court in the city and were remanded in custody pending another hearing on June 28. 

The BBC's Chris Ewokor in the capital, Abuja, says since the incident there has been widespread outcry against the crime from both Muslims and Christians

'Penny Sparrow' trending in South Africa

South Africans on Twitter are discussing Penny Sparrow after she was ordered to pay 150,000 rand ($10,000; £6,900) to a charity after comments she made on Facebook comparing black people to monkeys (see earlier entry).

As you might imagine, there's not a lot of sympathy out there for her:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

But there are a few people who are wondering how she's going to come up with the money:

View more on twitter

Bemba sentencing date announced by ICC

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has announced that the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Jean Pierre Bemba will be sentenced on 21 June.

He was found guilty of two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes for actions that militia under his command carried out in the Central African Republic in 2003.

The ICC says "a sentence cannot exceed a maximum of 30 years, except when justified by the extreme gravity of the crime".

Bemba
AFP
Jean-{ierre Bemba was found guilty in March

'I can't go back to Somalia'

The head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has been visiting the Kenyan refugee camp, Dadaab, talking to some of the more than 300,000 Somalis living there.

The Kenyan government wants to close the camp by November but Filippo Grandi said the refugees should not be forced to go home.

Some got to address him at a public meeting:

Man asking question at microphone
BBC

The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza reports that Abdi who came to Daadab when he was three years old said that if Kenya does not want the refugees then the UNHCR should consider taking them to a third country.

"How can I go back to a country I don't even know. My whole life and education has been here, I am just about to start university in Kenya. I can't go back to Somalia," he said.

The UNHCR tweeted a picture of Dadaab, the world's biggest refugee camp, from the air:

View more on twitter

Another engineer uses placard to get a job

Last month we reported on a bit of a trend in South Africa - unemployed engineers advertising their services on placards. 

Anthea Malwandle's placard got the attention of large firms: 

placards
BBC

The BBC's  Nomsa Maseko explained that it is not an uncommon sight in the country where an estimated five million people are unemployed, including skilled graduates.

But now it looks like the trend has spread to Kenya:

View more on twitter

'Dramatic' increase in open racism in South Africa

Our previous post reported that a white South African woman has been ordered to pay $10,000 (£6,900) to a charity for calling black people "monkeys".

South Africa's Times Live news site adds that magistrate Irfaan Khalil said he had seen a "dramatic" increase of reported incidents of open racism and hate speech in South Africa.

It quotes the judge as saying there had been 230 cases registered with the commission this year.

South African ordered to pay $10,000 over monkey Facebook comment

South Africa's Equality Court in KwaZulu-Natal has ordered a woman to pay $10,000 (£6,900) to the  Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation, which deals with the impact of apartheid, for comments she made on Facebook.

Penny Sparrow caused a social media storm at the beginning of the year when she used the word "monkeys" to describe New Year's revelers on Durban's beach because of the mess she said they made.  

She has 60 days to pay the money.

Beach goers in Durban
Reuters
It is a tradition in Durban to go to the beach on 1 January to celebrate the new year

MTN apologises for 'series of unfortunate events'

MTN Nigeria has released a statement after it agreed to settle the fine with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over failing to disconnect unregistered sim cards.

It will pay $1.67bn over three years.

Echoing the title of a collection of books by Lemony Snicket MTN Nigeria said:

MTN Nigeria once again offers its most sincere apologies for the series of unfortunate events that led to the imposition of the fine.

It was of critical importance to reach a solution that would be of universal benefit to all stakeholders given the importance of the ICT industry in Nigeria and its tremendous impact on socio-economic growth. Along with the authorities, we believe that has been achieved.”

MTN workers
AFP

MTN 'has learned its lesson'

The South African telecoms company MTN has agreed to pay a $1.67bn fine to the Nigerian Communications Commission over a failure to cut off unregistered sim cards.

The Reuters news agency is quoting NCC spokesman Tony Ojobo:

I believe MTN has learned its lesson... Going forward, what we expect is service providers in this market will play to the rules."

BreakingArrested alleged people trafficker says he's the 'wrong man'

The man extradited to Italy from Sudan and described as a people-trafficking "kingpin" has said that his arrest was a case of mistaken identity. 

Read more here.

BreakingMTN case in Nigeria 'settled', South Africa diplomat says

The head of South Africa's diplomatic service has tweeted that South African telecoms company MTN has settled the fine imposed by Nigeria over unregistered sim cards:

View more on twitter

In October last year, MTN Nigeria was fined $5.2bn by Nigeria's Communications Commission (NCC) for non-compliance with a deadline set by the NCC to disconnect all non-registered sim cards.

Fifteen arrested at Zimbabwe anti-government protest

Zimbabwe police have arrested 15 people at an anti-government protest in Africa Unity Square in the capital, Harare, the NewsDay newspaper reports.

Among those detained was one of the newspaper's journalists and he tweeted as he was being picked up:

View more on twitter

The AFP news agency quotes lawyer Obey Shava as saying that the 15 are being charged with "robbery and obstructing or defeating the course of justice".

He added: "These are trumped up charges to instill fear and discourage people from occupying Africa Unity Square." 

Fat-shamed Ghanaian nurse wins

A week ago Ghanaian nurse Mzznaki Tetteh posted this picture on Instagram announcing her engagement:

View more on instagram

What happened next was not nice.

She received an onslaught of mean comments about her weight. One of the milder ones was "RIP that man's spine".

But that isn't the end of the story. 

She spoke out against the fat-shaming internet trolls.

BBC Trending reports that this defiance has made her a social media star.

She even has her own media manager.

Here's what she told BBC Trending's Megha Mohan in one of the many many TV and radio interviews she has done in the last week.

Some years ago in Ghana a woman who was plump was considered beautiful. But times have changed with the internet and influence of foreign films. Plus-size women and even men are body shamed.

Kenya president challenges opposition to come to talks

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated that the government would not allow violent protests in reference to recent demonstrations by the opposition Cord alliance that have ended in the clashes with the police.

But he added: "We will allow protests as long as they remain peaceful as provided for in our constitution." 

Cord has been holding regular demonstrations calling for changes within the electoral commission.

Earlier on Friday it said it would defy a protest ban put in place by the security minister.

Mr Kenyatta challenged the opposition to talk to the government about its issues.

"We have formed our team... bring on yours," he said.

Kenyan demonstrators
Reuters
Demonstrations in the western city of Kisumu on Monday ended in violence and at least two deaths

Zuma challenges ruling that could re-open his corruption case

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have begun his efforts to overturn a High Court ruling that the NPA should review a 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against the president, Reuters news agency is reporting.

In April, a judge described that decision as irrational.

Last month NPA head Shaun Abrahams said that prosecutors should be able to exercise discretion over whether an investigation should continue.

He pledged to challenge the court ruling.

Jacob Zuma in parliament
AFP

Controversial South African estate agenct 'too ill' to appear in court

South African Penny Sparrow who compared black people to monkeys on social media is "too ill" to appear on court, reports News 24.

She had been called to appear in an equality court in Umzinto, KwaZulu-Natal, to face a complaint of hate speech brought by the governing ANC. 

The white South African woman called black people "monkeys" in a Facebook post at the beginning of the year.

She used the word to describe New Year's revellers on Durban's beach because of the mess she said they made.

The post caused outrage in the country where many of the nicest beaches were reserved for white people only during apartheid era.

An apartheid notice on a beach near Capetown, denoting the area for whites only
Keystone
During apartheid black people were banned from some of the nicest stretches of coastline in South Africa

Read more on the BBC News website about the outrage

30 Ugandan soldiers 'arrested on suspicion of being in a rebel group'

Ugandan police have detained 30 soldiers over their alleged links to an unnamed rebel group, reports the Daily Monitor.

The newspaper says that among them were two officers in charge of the armoury, an MP and an opposition politician.

It adds that seven civilians have been separately detained.

Somali refugees 'should not be forced' to go home

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

UNHCR head in Dadaab
BBC

Head of the UN's refugee agency Filippo Grandi has said that Somali refugees in Kenya should not be forced to go home.

He insists repatriation should be voluntary.

He's been speaking to refugees at the Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya, which is home to 320,000 Somalis.

The comments come as Kenya is seeking to close the camp - one of the largest in the world - by November.

Mr Grandi said there's "no need repatriating them to Somalia only for them to come back here or be refugees again".

Briton charged with shooting dead Kenyan girlfriend

A Kenyan newspaper reports:

View more on twitter

The BBC previously reported that Mr Alden's lawyer claimed Ms Kinyanjui was taking a selfie posing with a gun and it went off.

Did Machar write the New York Times piece calling for truth commission?

There's been a lot of controversy this week over a piece in the New York Times written, or perhaps we should say purportedly written, by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar.

The reason for the "purportedly" is that people in Rike Machar's office have since denied that he wrote the piece.  

The op-ed argued that South Sudan's alleged war criminals should not be subjected to a judicial process but rather appear at a truth commission and be offered amnesty for full disclosure.

The two men had previously signed up to a judicial process in an internationally-brokered peace deal.

The US ambassador to the UN has joined many others in criticising this about face.

View more on twitter

Foreign Policy magazine has an excellent summary of the row around the article.

Nigeria oil pipeline attacked in another blow to output

An oil pipeline run by a subsidiary of Nigeria's state oil company has been attacked, the Reuters news agency reports.

It adds that the pipeline in Warri, south-east Nigeria, was targeted on Thursday evening.

The country's oil producing region has been hit buy a series of attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers group, which have caused a decline in Nigeria's oil output.

UN refugee boss in Kenya for talks over Dadaab camp

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Dadaab, Kenya

UNHCR chief in Dadaab
BBC

Head of the UN's refugee agency Filippo Grandi is in Kenya for talks on controversial government plans to close down the world's largest refugee camp, Dadaab. 

The Kenyan government announced last month that it wants to close down the camp in the east of the country which is home to more than 340,000 Somali refugees by the end of November. 

It claims some of the attacks carried out in the country were planned there. 

Despite intense pressure from the international community to reverse that decision, President Uhuru Kenyatta maintains that all refugees in Kenya will be returned home as the country is facing a huge economic and security burden. 

This year alone, 8,000 refugees in Dadaab have voluntarily returned to Somalia but tens of thousands others say they are too afraid to go back due to security concerns. 

Refugee in Dadaab
BBC
Mohamed Ali came to Dadaab nine years ago and told our reporter that he cannot go back to Somalia

Kenyan opposition to defy protest ban

Ruth Nesoba

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Riot policemen patrol in Kibera slum, Nairobi on May 23, 2016 during a demonstration of opposition supporters protesting for a change of leadership at the electoral commission ahead of a vote due next year. Local media reported at least one killed in Kisumu in the west of the country,
Getty Images
Security forces have been sent to previous demonstrations

Kenya's opposition has promised that regular protests demanding changes to the electoral commission will continue despite a ban. 

A leader of Kenya's opposition alliance Norman Magaya told me that the protest ban by the internal security minister is unconstitutional.

He said the ban is an attempt to suspend the constitution, which says rights and freedoms are not granted by the state, they are inherent.  

He added that the protest ban flies in the face of a court order which compelled police to provide security to demonstrators. 

According to his alliance  - the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) - there is no law that the internal security minister can rely on to ban their demonstrations.

Nigeria army denies claims of brutality against Biafra supporters

Nigeria's army has dismissed a report from the rights group Amnesty International that it brutally suppressed a celebration held by supporters of a separate state for Biafra.

The group said it received reports alleging that at least 40 people were killed and more than 50 other injured when the separatists held commemoration events in Onitsha, southeast Nigeria last month. 

Amnesty said it has gathered evidence that the Nigerian military opened fire on the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) supporters and bystanders at three different places.

In its statement, the army says that Ipob members "engaged in violent protests which were featured with outright disregard for law and order". 

It adds that the security forces acted to restore order.

Biafra supporters
AFP

Wise words

Today’s African proverb:

You suffer from smoke produced by firewood you fetched yourself."

A Luhya proverb sent by Harriet Aseneka, Nairobi, Kenya
Woman covering face
Getty Images

Click here to send in your proverb.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news developments on the continent.