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  1. Kenyan guilty of ivory smuggling
  2. Singer Koffi Olomide denies kicking woman
  3. Burundi police arrest three for murder of ex-minister
  4. Egypt arrests migrants trying to cross Mediterranean
  5. Nigeria soldiers 'missing' after ambush
  6. Email stories and comments to - Friday 22 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe 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 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:

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won't eat you."

A proverb from Madagascar sent by Joseph Macfoy, Kenema, Sierra Leone

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

We leave you with a picture from our selection of some of the best photographs from Africa this week.

Grandmothers take to the streets in Durban, South Africa, to demand more support to look after Aids orphans. 

grandmothers take to the streets in Durban

Olomide: "I didn't fight no-one... I came to stop a fight."

Koffi Olomide, one of Africa's most popular singers, has been caught on camera purportedly kicking a woman at the main airport in Kenya.

Police are seen intervening to stop the attack on the woman, identified by Kenyan media as one of his dancers.

The 60-year-old rumba star has denied that he attacked the dancer and said he respected women.

He told BBC Afrique's Ata Ahli Ahebla:

I didn't fight no-one... I came to stop a fight... I didn't kick anyone

I wanted to stop a girl who wanted to fight the dancers I came with."

Koffi Olomide was filmed at the airport in Nairobi

Ivory Coast electricity price riot ends in one death

In the Ivory Coast city of Bouake a riot over an electricity price rise has led to the death of at least one person and the wounding of 10 others, the AFP news agency reports.

The death and injuries were the results of gun shots it adds.

They were fired as people raided electricity company and government offices.

Zimbabwe war veterans criticise Mugabe again

Zimbabwe's war veterans have doubled down on their criticism of President Robert Mugabe. 

Douglas Mahiya, the veterans' association chairman, told the BBC's Brian Hungwe that his organisation is not happy with the role of the country's first lady Grace Mugabe in local politics and her interest in the presidency. 

“As it stands the war veterans political leadership seems not to be getting any favours from leadership of the party. I think there is a problem, she has a problem,” Mr Mahiya said.

The comments come a day after the veterans's association, which has played a key role in supporting President Mugabe, released a statement withdrawing its backing for him.  

Read Zimbabwe war veterans end backing for Robert Mugabe.

President Robert Mugabe.
President Robert Mugabe.

Kenyan court locks up 'most wanted ivory smuggler'

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Mombasa

A Kenyan court has sentenced Feisal Mohammed, a man authorities have described as a leading Ivory smuggler, to 20 years in jail.  

Mohammed has also been fined $200,000 (£150,000).

He was found guilty of possession of 413 pieces of ivory worth at least  $400,000.

Feisal Mohammed. He was found guilty of possession of 413 pieces of Ivory

Magistrate Diana Mochache ruled that all circumstantial evidence pointed to Mohammed as the owner of the ivory haul, which was found in a warehouse in the coastal city of Mombasa nearly two years ago.  

The magistrate described poaching as a heinous crime and said ivory dealers must be locked up to end what she called the massacre of elephants.  

She warned that if poaching wasn’t stopped, future generations would be told tales of elephants the same way dinosaur stories are told today.  

Mohammed's lawyers have described the ruling as harsh and discriminatory and vowed to file an appeal. 

Space: A giant leap for Africa

Around the world there is growing appetite for space exploration and Africa is no exception.

Images from the MeerKAT telescope - currently being built in Carnarvon, South Africa - have been unveiled, showing that it has picked up 13,000 galaxies since construction of the telescope began in 2009.

The BBC's Lerato Mbele has been to Carnarvon to find out more about the continent's contribution to the international space race.

South Africa's space programme

Africa's top cyclist at the Tour de France

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

South African cyclist Louis Meintjes of Italian team Lampre-Merida has moved up to eighth overall in the Tour de France. 

He is now seven minutes and 2 seconds behind the leader, Britain's Kenyan-born Chris Froome.

Froome finished fourth on today's 19th stage that was 146km long, 23 seconds behind winner Romain Bardet of France.

Meintjes also closed the gap slightly on Britain's Adam Yates in the race for the White Jersey given to the best rider 25 an under - he is now two minutes and 26 seconds behind.

With two stages left, the 24-year-old is still on course to be the highest placed African finisher of the Tour de France.

Louis Meintjes
Getty Images

Egypt arrests migrants planning to sail to Italy

Authorities in Egypt say they have arrested 90 migrants about to set sail for Italy. 

Fifty migrants, from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia, were found in two boats in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. 

Forty others were detained further east. 

Each passenger had paid between $1,500 and $3,000 for the crossing.   

Italy has been a preferable destination for Migrants
Italy is one of the main destinations for migrants crossing the Mediterranean

Nigeria's Muslims welcome lifting of hijab ban in Lagos schools

A leading Muslim group in Nigeria has welcomed a court ruling lifting the ban on girls wearing the headscarf in government schools in Lagos state.

The Muslim Rights Concern said the Lagos Court of Appeal's ruling was a victory for the rule of law.

The judges said the ban violated the religious rights of Muslim girls, overturning a lower court's ruling.

Girls had been barred from wearing the headscarf, or hijab, because it was not part of school uniforms.

The state government has not yet comment. 

Read the full story

Muslim leaders say girls and women who wear the headscarf should not be "stigmatised"
Muslim leaders say girls and women who wear the headscarf should not be "stigmatised"

Remembering the victims of Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik

It is five years since 77 Norwegians died at the hands of a right-wing extremist named Anders Behring Breivik, eight in Oslo and 69 at a summer camp on Utoeya.

One of the victims was Mona Abdinur, who was from a Somali-Norwegian family.

BBC Africa's Victoria Uwonkunda has visited the scene of the massacre and talked to Mona's mother.

View more on youtube

Koffi Olomide speaks about the 'kicking video'

We reported earlier about a video appearing to show Congolese musician Koffi Olomide kicking one of his female dancers at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The musician has just shared a video on his Facebook page in which he appears with the dancer he was supposed to have attacked. 

He says that he didn’t kick the dancer and she confirms this in the video. 

He has also said that he was defending his dancers from an aggressor. 

Koffi Olomide with one his female dancers
Koffi Olomide
Koffi Olomide with one his female dancers

Fourteen killed in Libya 'summary executions'

Reports from the Libyan city of Benghazi say the bodies of 14 people have been found and that they may have been victims of execution-style killings. 

A medical source says they were shot in the head. 

The UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, has demanded an investigation:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Benghazi has been the scene of many months of fighting between the forces of General Khalifa Haftar and various armed groups.   

'Why I blow up oil pipelines'

Oil militancy has made a comeback in Nigeria with a recent wave of attacks carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers. 

The targeting of oil facilities has reduced the country's output and threatened its fragile economy. 

Last night, President Muhammadu Buhari said the government was talking to the militants.

But what is behind the renewed violence? The BBC's Martin Patience has spoken to one of the people who says he is carrying out the attacks. 

Nigeria oil militants: Enough is enough

Uganda exorcises ghosts from government payroll

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Uganda's Ministry of Public Service says it has removed over 5,000 public servants from the government payroll following a validation exercise.

The authorities compared payroll data with the national identification register to weed out the ghost workers. 

The government employs more than 300,000 people

Ivory poaching trial: 'Gang leader' sentenced

A court in the Kenyan city of Mombasa has sentenced Feisal Mohammed, who authorities have named as a poaching gang leader, to 20 years in prison. 

Mohammed was found guilty of ivory trafficking after he was found with 413 pieces of ivory.

Five of his co-accused have been found not guilty. 

See earlier reports.

Feisal wih his lawyer after the judgement
Mohammed (in the white hat) was pictured after the sentencing

'Show your qualifications or don't get paid' Tanzanian workers told

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Tanzanian public servants risk not being paid their July salaries if they fail to submit their original academic and employment documents. 

It is part of an effort to find ghost workers - names on the payroll who don't exist in real life.

It's unclear when this order was officially issued. But already several ministries, government agencies and institutions have notified their workers about the exercise. 

Public Service Minister Angellah Kairuki has been quoted in local papers saying that already 3,600 officers in the coastal region will not receive their pay for failing to comply with the order.

One trade union has criticised the government directive saying the order contravenes workers right to their salaries.

Since coming to power last year, President John Magufuli‘s administration has been weeding out ghost workers in the civil service, who the president says cost the government $20m (£15m) a year.

John Magufuli
President John Magufuli has a reputation for being a no-nonsense leader

What does the Nigerian minister's proverb mean?

We posted earlier that Nigeria's Information Minister Lai Mohammed dropped in on us here at BBC Africa Live, and gave us a Yoruba proverb to consider: 

A man who goes to bury his brother naked is telling the world how he should be buried when he also dies."

Nigerian minister

Some people on the BBC Africa Facebook page have been sending in their interpretations:

Those amassing wealth at the expense of the poor should be mindful that that money can't be used to bargain for life in the distressing moment on their sick bed."

Richard K. B. Eyiah

The way you treat others when you are suffering is the way you too will be treated when bad things happen."

Aron Ojulong

Ghana's elections fixed for 7 December

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

Ghana’s parliament has refused to endorse a constitutional amendment which would have allowed the electoral commission to bring forward this year's elections by a month. 

This means that the presidential election will be held on 7 December

The electoral commission told the BBC it was satisfied with parliament’s decision, and said in a statement that it would be ready to "deliver a free, fair, transparent and credible elections this year".

Burundians arrested over killing of ex-government minister

Three people have been arrested in Burundi in connection with the murder of Hafsa Mossi, a former government minister and MP in the East African parliament.

She was shot dead in the capital, Bujumbura, 10 days ago in what President Pierre Nkurunziza called an assassination, and a vile and cowardly act.

The police spokesperson has tweeted the statement announcing the arrests:

View more on twitter

The statement also says that the three were arrested as they were planning the assassination of an adviser to the president.

It adds that investigations show that they were getting financial backing and orders from people based in Kigali, the capital of neighbouring Rwanda.

Ivory poaching trial: Kenyan 'gang leader' found guilty

Feisal Mohammed

A court in the Kenyan city of Mombasa has found Feisal Mohammed guilty of possession of ivory after he was found in with 413 pieces of ivory.

Five of his co-accused have been found not guilty. 

South Sudanese 'continue to flee to Uganda'

At least 26,000 South Sudanese have fled over the border to Uganda following recent fighting, the AFP news agency quotes the UN as saying.

Despite a cessation of hostilities between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those supporting Vice-President Riek Machar, Andreas Needham, the spokesman for the UN refugee agency, said the flow of people leaving the country has continued. 

More than 90% of the new refugees were women and children, he said.

Refugees from South Sudan queue to receive food
Refugees from South Sudan queue to receive food

Uproar in Kenya over Koffi Olomide kicking video

Koffi Olomide - archive shot
The rumba star is reportedly in Kenya for a concert

The Star newspaper in Kenya has shared a video showing Congolese music star Koffi Olomide kicking one of his female dancers. 

The video, shot at Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, shows him walking towards a group of women and kicking one of them. 

The Star reports that the woman was targeted by the singer after she had had an altercation with another woman.

The paper also reports that the musician, who is in Kenya for a concert, has apologised to the woman. 

The hashtag #KofiOlomide is trending in Kenya, with the twitterati giving their reactions:

View more on twitter

Koffi Olomide did his homework. He knows Kenya and impunity. Would he do this in Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle or O'Hare?#KoffiOlomide

Did I just see vid Koffi Olomide walk to a woman at the airport n kick her with the full force of an elephant? Oh HELL NO!! @CapitalFMKenya

Official: Cameroonian goalkeeper's sticky hands responsible for howler

Cameroonian goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock was caught on film making one of the worst errors imaginable for his US side Minnesota United: throwing the ball into his own net.

View more on youtube

But his team are trying to see the lighter side of things and have produced a spoof short video suggesting that it was Ndjok's love of jam (or jelly in America) sandwiches:

View more on twitter

Others have responded with their own jelly misfortunes:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Pro-government militia fight Tuareg rebels in Mali

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique

In Mali, fighting has resumed this morning in the northern town of Kidal between Tuareg rebels and the pro-government militia, Gatia.

It is still unclear who got the upper hand. Most inhabitants of the town have stayed at home or have fled to the UN military base there. 

In a statement published today, the UN mission in Mali has condemned the fighting that has "erupted between two signatories of the peace accord" and has called for an "immediate cessation of hostility".

The number of casualties has not been given by either party as the situation in Kidal is still confusing 

The city has always been considered to be the stronghold of the Tuareg separatist group, MNLA. 

Under the Algiers peace accord, each signatory's armed group is supposed to keep its positions and checkpoints until their men are redeployed. 

But the government and the UN haven't been able to move on with the disarmament programme.

In the meantime, Mali is battling a surge in militant attacks. The country is still mourning the death of 17 soldiers killed in the central city of Nampala earlier this week.

Malian soldiers control motorists at a checkpoint

Standoff in Kenya's ivory poaching trial

We reported earlier about the impending judgment on a case against Feisal Mohammed, who is accused of being the leader of a poaching gang in Kenya. 

He denies the charges.

The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi is at the trial in the coastal city of Mombasa and says there's been a snag partly over the idea that the court session is being held outdoors in the grounds of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The defence are seeking to stop the judgement arguing that verdict is being given in the premises of the complainant.

The prosecution has disputed this.

Our reporter says that as it stands it's unclear if the judgement will be made today. 

Kenyan court to give verdict on alleged ivory poacher
Ferdinand photographed Feisal Mohammed at the outdoor court session (seated, left, wearing the white cap)

Nigerian soldiers 'missing in action' after ambush

Isa Sanusi

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria's army says that an unknown number of its soldiers have gone missing following an ambush by Boko Haram fighters on Thursday in Nguro Gongon, a village in north-eastern Borno state. 

A statement issued an army spokesperson also said 19 other soldiers were injured following the encounter with the Islamist militants 

Army spokesperson Col Sani Usman Kukasheka added that a rescue team has been deployed to the area while the injured soldiers have been taken to the state capital, Maiduguri.

The statement said that the ambush followed a successful operation to clear some Boko Haram camps.

Nigerian soldiers
Nigerian soldiers are fighting Boko Haram militants in north-east Nigeria

Hit Nigerian musical opens in London

A Nigerian hit musical is being performed in London. 

Wakaa The Musical, was big in Lagos and it's the first Nigerian-produced musical to be performed at a London theatre.

The show follows the fate of a group of young graduates as they find their way in the world.

It aims to give audiences a taste of modern day Nigeria:

Wakaa The Musical opened in London after success in Lagos

Kenyatta urges people to 'cheer on Kenya'

Kenyan sports people have been at state house in the capital, Nairobi, to see President Uhuru Kenyatta before they fly off to Brazil for the Rio Olympics.

The BBC's Abdinoor Aden snapped members of the rugby sevens team arriving:

Rugby 7s team

Doping allegations have dogged Kenya's preparation for the Olympics, but the president said the athletes should now focus on the competition:

View more on twitter

"Shangilia Kenya" means "cheer on Kenya".

'It would no longer be sport' if South Africa's Semenya runs in Rio

British marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe had said that South African athlete Caster Semenya's participation in next month's Olympics would be unfair. 

"Semenya will dominate the women's 800m field in the Rio Olympics to the extent it will no longer be sport," she told  BBC 5 Live radio. 

The 25-year-old South African has higher than normal testosterone levels and was asked to take a gender verification test to prove she was a woman after having won the World Championship gold medal back in 2009.

Now she is the favourite for the 800m Olympic gold.

You can listen to Radcliffe's comments here.

Radcliffe fears Caster Semenya will dominate to the extent "it will no longer be sport".

Burundian AU soldiers attacked in Somalia, reports say

BBC Monitoring

Somalia's Shabelle Media Network website is reporting that suspected al-Shabab militants "have attacked a Burundi army base in the outskirts of the capital, Mogadishu".

Burundian soldiers are part of the African Union mission in Somalia, Amisom.

It adds that the fighting caused heavy casualties but the exact number still remains unknown.

Al-Shabab has carried out several attacks on Amsiom army bases in the past.

Nigeria minister contributes his own proverb

Nigeria's Information Minister Lai Mohammed has just paid us a quick visit here at the Africa Live page.

Nigeria minister in office

We pointed out that our main headline is about President Muhammadu Buhari's comments about government talks with the Niger Delta militants. We also highlighted our proverb of the day and invited Mr Mohammed to contribute his own.

He came up with a Yoruba proverb:

A man who goes to bury his brother naked is telling the world how he should be buried when he also dies."

Nigeria Minister
Minister Lai Mohammed (right) seemed pleased to be able to contribute the proverb

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.  

'Don't panic' about Nigeria's economy

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

Nigeria's Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun has said there is no need to panic as Africa's largest economy is expected to slide into recession. 

Ms Adeosun was responding to an International Monetary Fund prediction that the Nigerian economy will contract by almost 2% this year. 

The minister said that Nigeria's economy is in a tough place. 

While the country's GDP figures for the second quarter of this year have yet to be released they're expected to show that Nigeria's in recession for the first time in more than 15 years. 

Africa's largest economy has been battered by the slump in global oil prices as much of its earnings depend on oil.

Nigerian oil rig
Nigeria's oil output has been hit by a recent wave of militant attacks

Could Trump's anti-terror immigration policy lead to a ban on some Africans?

Donald Trump
Getty Images

Donald Trump, the Republican Party's candidate for US president, gave his closing speech at the party's convention in Cleveland, Ohio. 

His 75-minute speech covered various topics with some themes touching on Africa. 

While criticising Hillary Clinton, his challenger for the presidency, he said: 

"In 2009, pre-Hillary, Isis was not even on the map. Libya was stable. Egypt was peaceful."

Mr Trump also talked about limiting immigration from countries that face challenges from terrorism: 

Lastly, and very importantly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place. We don't want them in our country. "

It wasn't the time to spell out the detail, but several African countries could be categorised as being "compromised by terrorism" including Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, Somalia, Libya, Tunisia and Mali, to name a few.

Zimbabwe teachers to be paid in August

Zimbabwe's government has announced the dates when civil servants will get their delayed salaries, the Herald newspaper reports.

A cash shortage has meant that wages have been held up.

Headline from the Herald newspaper

Earlier this month a stay away called by the #ThisFlag movement was widely observed as many had not got their pay for June. A second stay away - called after that money was released - was not so successful.  

The Herald reports that soldiers will now be paid on Monday and health workers will get their money next Wednesday..

Teachers, though, have to wait until the 2 August and other civil servants will get their pay on 6 August.

How birds and humans work together to find honey and wax in Mozambique

Much has been written about how people looking for honey work with birds in sub-Saharan Africa.

Birds call honey guides fly ahead of hunters and point out beehives which the hunters raid, leaving wax for the birds to eat. 

But now new findings suggest that this cooperation is a two-way conversation. 

Claire Spottiswoode from the University of Cambridge and the University of Cape Town, led the study and she spoke to BBC Newsday's Julian Keane.  

Wild birds work with human collaborators to find hidden beehives

Nigeria's president 'understands militants' feelings'

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has addressed the upsurge of militant activity in the country's oil producing Niger Delta.

Attacks on oil facilities have severely reduced Nigeria's output and threatened the fragile economy.

The militants say they want a more equal distribution of the oil wealth.

Mr Buhari confirmed earlier reports of talks and added:

We understand their feelings. We are studying the instruments. We have to secure the environment, otherwise investment will not come. We will do our best for the country."

This contrasts with a statement he was reported to have made in April when he was quoted as saying: "We will deal with the [oil militants] the way we dealt with Boko Haram."

But one of the militant groups, the Niger Delta Avengers, has denied that there are talks.

On its website it says: "We are not aware of any peace talk."

Screen grab from website

  Read more: Why Nigeria's 'Avengers' are crippling the oil sector

Kenyan court to give verdict on alleged ivory poacher

A Kenyan court is set to make a ruling on ivory trafficking charges against Feisal Mommed, a suspected ringleader of an ivory smuggling gang. 

Mr Feisal is charged with trafficking in and possession of 413 pieces of ivory.

He denies the charges.

The ivory that he is alleged to have tried to smuggle is on display near where the judgement will be made in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.

Feisal is charged with trafficking in, and possession of, 413 pieces of Ivory
Feisal is charged with trafficking in, and possession of, 413 pieces of Ivory

Police allege the ivory was found in a car dealership in the city in June 2014. 

The judgement is expected to given at the Kenya Wildlife Services Marine Park headquarters rather than inside a formal courtroom.

Good morning

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