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Summary

  1. Nigeria president starts behaviour change campaign
  2. Anti-government protesters get into Ethiopian embassies
  3. Kenyan wins first Paralympic medal
  4. Zimbabwe accused of withholding food aid to opposition areas
  5. Sierra Leone FA corruption arrests
  6. Kenya journalists protest over harassment
  7. Ethiopian protesters enter embassy in UK
  8. US changes policy over South Sudan's Riek Machar
  9. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Thursday 8 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

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 our wise words: 

There is no difference between a thief and his accomplice"

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

And we leave you with this photo of a cart pusher in Lagos, Nigeria, from the everydayafrica Instagram account.

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Analysis: US change of policy towards South Sudan's Riek Machar

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Why has a senior US official said Riek Machar should not go back to South Sudan to take up his post as first vice-president? (see earlier post)

In part, the US seem to be recognising a reality – there appears to be little prospect of Mr Machar returning any time soon.

The US, and other countries, are also involved in a complicated balancing act, as they try to persuade the South Sudanese government to accept a regional military peacekeeping force. 

Perhaps the Americans feel that recognising Taban Deng as first vice-president,  rather than Mr Machar, will please President Salva Kiir and his camp, and smooth the way for the peacekeepers.

There is also probably a feeling that Mr Deng is better able to work with the president – an old ally – than Mr Machar was.

But as with so much in South Sudan, the key question here is a military one: does Mr Deng, or Mr Machar, have the loyalty of most of the rebel generals?

Riek Machar
AFP
Riek Machar is now in Khartoum after leaving South Sudan's capital, Juba, following fighting in July

Your comments about the proverb of the day

Every day we publish a proverb that has been sent in by readers and we like to ask you what you think they mean. Today's wise words were:

"There is no difference between a thief and his accomplice."

Here's the reaction:

People with same habit are always together"

Abbas Haliru

A thief who does the actual stealing is no better than the one looking out for them. They tell each other 'I got your back' making them both thieves."

Ndichu Sammy

It simply says "A thief and the one who is checking for someone who can see that thief while stealing, both are thieves"

Maina Ndung'u Njuguna

Birds of a feather flock together"

Asimbuyu Adaugo Mwangala

Giraffes are 'four species not one'

It is a famous, gentle giant of the African savanna, but the giraffe's genetics have just revealed that there is not one species, but four.

Giraffes have previously been recognised to be a single species divided into several sub-species.

But this latest study of their DNA suggests that four groups of giraffes have not cross-bred and exchanged genetic material for millions of years.

This is a clear indication that they have evolved into distinct species.

The study published in the journal Current Biology has rewritten the biology of Earth's tallest mammal.

The scientists say their findings could inform the conservation efforts for all four species of giraffe.

Read more from BBC News Online.

Giraffe
Reuters

Anger at South African textbook's rape questions

The publisher of a school textbook in South Africa which appears to blame rape victims for the crime has been criticised, the Guardian newspaper reports.

The newspaper says, the textbook, published by Pearson, contains a passage showing a girl's account of how she got drunk, was locked in a room with a boy and was then raped.

Pupils are then asked to list two ways which the girl's actions "led to sexual intercourse".

Activists have asked Pearson to apologise for the text in which rape survivors could be seen as responsible for what happened to them.

South African Yonela Palesa Moopelwa posted an image from the textbook on her Facebook page and called for the book to be withdrawn.

Image from Textbook
Yonela Palesa Moopelwa

AU mission to Gabon postponed

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique

Gabon's Foreign Minister Emmanuel Ngondet has said at a press conference that the African Union mission that should be in the country Friday to mediate between President Ali Bongo and Jean Ping has been postponed. 

According to Mr Ngondet, Chad's President Idriss Deby has demanded more time to consult with other heads of state who should be with travelling him - Macky Sall of Senegal and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo. 

No new date has been given. 

President Ali Bongo
AFP
President Ali Bongo beat his rival Jean Ping by less than 6,000 votes

Algeria's president makes rare public appearance

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has made a rare appearance to inaugurate a conference centre, the Reuters news agency reports. 

Bouteflika, 79, was last seen in public two years ago when he voted from a wheelchair in the ballot that saw him elected for a fourth five-year term. He had suffered a stroke a year earlier. 

There was no live coverage of the event and no images of the ailing leader were immediately released, the report adds.

Reuters reports that analysts say that President Bouteflika's appearance was designed to dampen demands for early presidential elections.

Algeria's state radio has tweeted a picture of the leader from the event. 

View more on twitter

Protests at Ethiopian embassies in London and Stockholm

We've posted about a protest at Ethiopia's embassy in London, where demonstrators got inside and kicked a portrait of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

It seems that this may have been coordinated with another protest in Sweden's capital, Stockholm.

Esat, an Ethiopian TV channel based outside the country, has posted images of protesters entering the embassy there.

They can be heard shouting: "You are Nazis."

The film also includes pictures from the London protest which shows police officers talking to the protesters inside the Embassy.

Screen grab from video showing police in the building
Esat

Analysis: Difficult for Mugabe to dismiss 'withholding food aid' allegations

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

The scathing report on the allegations of the politicisation of food aid in rural areas by senior government officials and public servants lays bare accusations that have long been denied by President Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission says its findings were a result of extensive investigations across the country.

It will be difficult for Mr Mugabe to simply dismiss the allegations.

The powers of the rights body are enshrined in the constitution.

The political implications of the report are grave, especially with general elections due in 2018, although similar allegations have been made in the past.

With growing popular calls for electoral reform, there will be many who fear that this investigation betrays the extreme tactics which may be employed to ensure election victory.

Alleged attempts to exert pressure on rural folk by withholding food will be seized on by Mr Mugabe's critics as evidence that his government has reached a new low, especially given the food crisis the country is facing.

Food aid distribution
AFP
Alleged attempts to exert pressure on rural folk by withholding food will be seized on by Mr Mugabe's critics

Ethiopia protesters get into London embassy

In a video posted on the Facebook page of an Oromo activist a small group of protesters can be seen entering a room in what appears to be the Ethiopian embassy in London.

At one point they turn a portrait of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi upside down and somebody kicks it.

Speaking in Amharic, they can be heard advising each other that they should not damage it.

Then someone takes out the old Ethiopia flag and tries to drape it over the current one.

“This is illegal,” an embassy official is heard saying.

A protester responds: "This is not illegal. It is an Ethiopian flag. We won’t damage anything. People are dying for this flag."

“We know the government flag and we know the Ethiopian flag,” another protester says.

"You burn our compatriots like a torch. We came here to demand their blood,” a third one is heard saying.

The embassy official responds by saying: “You can provide your requests but it should not be like this. It should be peaceful."

The Ethiopian government is currently facing protest movements in the Amhara and Oromo regions.

Ethiopian protesters in South Africa
AFP
Some Ethiopians in the diaspora have demonstrated in support of protesters in the country

Police helicopter crashes in Kenya's capital

Kenya's Star newspaper is reporting that three people have been injured after a police helicopter crashed near a residential area in the capital, Nairobi. 

THREE injured after police chopper crashes in Mathare North, Nairobi.

THREE injured after police chopper crashes in Mathare North, Nairobi.

A local journalist is quoting a police source saying the injured have been rushed to hospital.  

View more on twitter

Earlier today another plane crashed in the city of Naivasha. Local media reported that one person had died in the crash.

Three weeks ago, another police helicopter crashed in Nairobi.

Kenyan wins first Paralympic gold

Kenya's Samwel Kimani has won the first gold medal of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in the Men’s T11 5000m (for blind competitors with guides)

Odair Santos of Brazil won silver, with Erick Sang of Kenya winning the bronze medal

Kenya won two gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics in London and 6 medals overall.

Samwel Kitani
Reuters

So are Nigerians up for changing?

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a campaign for his compatriots to change the way they behave (see earlier post).

In a speech this morning he didn't hold back:

The long-cherished and time-honoured, time-tested virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work, punctuality, good neighbourliness, and patriotism have given way in the main to dishonesty, intolerance, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity."

People have been debating the #ChangeBeginsWithMe campaign on the BBC Africa Facebook page.

And some contributors have harsh words themselves:

They just can't take criticism so they are looking for any possible means to lay the blame on why they can't perform on either the past administration or on Nigerians. The fear of criticism is the reason for the campaign because they are losing the goodwill and support they had during the election."

Arerosuo Nelson Ogheneroro

Ukonu Ezeh

Which change is he talking about? He has just renamed his 'War Against Indiscipline'. It's another avenue for him to use the Nigerian military against the citizens. Go ahead we are watching how it unfolds."

But some are looking forward to the change that could happen:

God bless the president. His honesty is second to none. He will succeed."

David Iyowuna
President Buhari
Getty Images

Nigerien female soldier wins peacekeeper award

A female soldier from Niger has been awarded the UN's first ever prize for peacekeepers who focus on the impact that armed conflict can have on women.

Major Aichatou Ousmane Issak was named the UN's Military Gender Advocate of the Year on Wednesday evening.

Maj Issak worked in the UN mission in Mali where she accompanied all-male patrols to make the peacekeepers more approachable, the UN news service reports.

She also trained her fellow peacekeepers to look out for the particular needs of women and children.

"I think as a woman I brought a different perspective in the peace process and some ideas that helped the men make some decisions,” she said.  

Major Aichatou Ousmane Issak
Minusma

Ugandans react to delay in paying football coach

We reported earlier that Uganda's football association (Fufa) had put out a statement admitting to owing the national team coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic some salary arrears. 

The admission seems to have irritated many Ugandans, who are using the hashtag #PayMicho to express their displeasure. Especially because the coach led the team to qualify for the African Cup of Nations finals next year after being absent for 38 years. 

Here's a sample of the views expressed:

The devil is in the detail! weekend we were all happy now look #paymicho in Uganda every success is followed by a scandal!

View more on twitter

If you're shocked by what's happening to Micho then you don't really know Magogo and how FUFA works. #PayMicho

AFP photographer talks about covering Gabon elections

Powerful images of the violent protests that engulfed Gabon after the announcement of the contested presidential results, in which the incumbent President Ali Bongo beat opposition leader Jean Ping, have been part of understanding the continuing story. 

Marco Longari, the chief photographer for Africa with AFP news agency, took some of the striking photos which have been used by mainstream news organisations including the BBC to report the story. 

He recently wrote a personal blog about covering the Gabon election. 

Mr Longari spoke to BBC's Newsday programme about his first hand experience covering the unrest while capturing powerful images: 

Marco Longari has been photographing recent events in Libreville

Nigerians debate #ChangeBeginsWithMe

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has just launched a new campaign aimed at changing the way people behave (see earlier post).

In a speech he said:

It is safe to say today that honesty, hard work and godliness have given way to all kinds of manifestations of lawlessness and degeneration in our national life."

The government is using #ChangeBeginsWithMe on Twitter to get its message out - but not all Nigerians are on board it seems:  

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

But there are some who are more sympathetic:

View more on twitter

Watch what the president said here:

View more on youtube

Successful Uganda football coach missing salary payments

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) has admitted that it owes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic some salary arrears but that it is making plans to resolve the issue. 

Micho, who oversaw Uganda’s first qualification to the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations since 1978, is unhappy that he has not been paid and had threatened to take the matter to football’s world governing body Fifa. 

Fufa says that it used most of the money at its disposal in order to prepare the squad for the crucial final qualifier against Comoros that they had to win in order to qualify for the Nations Cup finals in Gabon next year. 

In a statement Fufa says that meetings are being held with Micho in order for the matter to be resolved as quickly as possible and that paying him what he is owed is its main priority.

Daily Monitor front page
BBC
Ugandans have been celebrating qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations finals

The African football teams beating the odds - BBC News

Plane crashes in Kenya

A small aircraft has crashed and burst into flames near Kenya's city of Naivasha, the Kenya Red Cross has tweeted: 

View more on twitter

A local paper is reporting that six passengers were on the plane and shared a picture of the crash. 

It is not clear what has happened to the people on board.

View more on twitter

Nigeria's president calls for behaviour change

Politicians are fond of promising change in their election campaign, but that usually involves changes to the country.

Today, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is asking for people to change the way they behave.

View more on twitter

The president launched the campaign in the capital, Abuja, and the government has been tweeting his comments:

View more on twitter

Some of the things Mr Buhari said sound like advice from a self-help manual:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Exactly what the reckless behaviour is and what kind of things the president would like to see are not clear.

When Mr Buhari was president in the 1980s he launched a "war against indiscipline" ordering people to form neat queues at bus stops, under the sharp eyes of whip-wielding soldiers.

Nigeria's cabinet agrees loans with World Bank and other international bodies

Nigeria's government has tweeted that the cabinet has approved loans with international institutions including the World Bank, the African Development Bank and a Chinese bank.

The government has been looking for external support to help finance its $11bn (£8bn) budget deficit:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The government says it will use the money to invest in key sectors of the economy as part of its plan to reduce the significance of oil to the economy:

View more on twitter

Kenyan reporter killed as journalists protest against harassment

In Kenya, a photo-journalist has been shot dead in his home in the early hours of Thursday morning in the western county of Kitale, the Star newspaper reports

Dennis Otieno, 26, was attacked by a gang of three who fired at him three times, with the third bullet fatally wounding him, the paper quotes the area police chief Wilfred Mogere as saying. 

The killing comes days after a political reporter with the privately-owned Standard newspaper died in mysterious circumstances. 

Kenyan journalists are currently holding a protest against increasing attacks and intimidation by politicians and members of the public.

The hashtag #DennisOtieno is trending in Kenya, here are some of the tweets: 

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

Update: It later emerged that Dennis Otieno worked as a commercial photographer rather than a photo-journalist. 

Bias allegations in distribution of Zimbabwe food aid

Allegations that ruling party officials in Zimbabwe are withholding food aid to opposition supporters are significant because food aid has been a big part of electioneering in the country, says the BBC Zimbabwe analyst Stanley Kwenda.

The country is currently experiencing the after effects of a drought and more than four million people are predicted to require food aid soon.

Zimbabwe's Human Rights Commission - a constitutionally established body - said that members of the ruling party in some parts of the country were selective about who they gave food aid to:

In all the five districts covered by the investigations, community leaders... who are all members of the ruling party were alleged to be biased in favour of members of their own party and against members of the opposition whom they told openly that those affiliated to the opposition would never get food aid."

Our analyst says that elections can easily be won and lost based on how food aid is distributed. 

Elections are due to take place in 2018.

People collecting food aid
AFP

Kenya journalists march in Nairobi

We reported earlier about an ongoing protest by Kenyan journalists against what they say is an increasingly "hostile working environment". 

The BBC's David Wafula, in the capital, Nairobi, has snapped a few photos of the march: 

Kenyan journalists march in Nairobi
BBC
Kenyan journalists march in Nairobi
BBC

Paralympics games open in Rio

The Paralympic Games opened several hours ago with a stunning ceremony at the Maracana stadium in Rio, Brazil. 

Thousands of the athletes took part in the procession.

Here are some of pictures of the delegations representing African countries:

Nigeria Paralympics team
AFP
Members of Nigeria's delegation during the opening ceremony
Flag bearer Johanna Benson of Namibia leads the team
Getty Images
Flag bearer Johanna Benson of Namibia leads the team
Members of Egypt's delegation enter during the opening ceremony
AFP
Members of Egypt's delegation took part in the festivities

UN helping fighters loyal to South Sudan's Riek Machar

More than 100 fighters loyal to South Sudan's sacked vice-president have been found "in extremely bad shape" by the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They were discovered near the border and have been evacuated by helicopter to receive medical treatment.

Fighting between rival forces in July left hundreds of people dead less than a year after a peace deal was signed.

Mr Machar, who had joined a unity government, fled - and was also aided by the UN in DR Congo a few weeks ago.

South Sudan has suffered more than two years of civil war since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.

Read more from BBC News Online.

The backs of some South Sudan fighters
AFP

Kenya journalists march to protest 'hostile working environment'

Kenyan journalists are today protesting against what they say is an increasingly "hostile working environment". 

The march in Nairobi organised by the Kenya Union of Journalists comes days after a political reporter died in mysterious circumstances. 

In a petition sent to parliament they complain about being physically attacked and receiving death threats from politicians and members of the public. 

Journalists are using #JournalistsUnderSiege to share pictures of the march and describe their experiences. Here's a sample: 

View more on twitter

Neither the message nor the messenger should be killed! #JournalistsUnderSiege

US against Machar return as South Sudan VP

Riek Machar
AFP
Mr Machar was replaced by a former ally Taban Deng Gai

The US does not believe that South Sudan's ousted Vice-President Riek Machar should return to his former position, its special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth told a U.S. House of Representatives committee.

Mr Machar, who was replaced by a former ally, Taban Deng Gai, has sought refuge in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, after fleeing the capital, Juba.

He left in July following fighting between his troops and those loyal to his rival, President Salva Kiir. 

The two men were in a government of national unity following a peace deal signed in August 2015 that was meant to end the country's civil war.

Mr Booth however warned that the US does not support how Mr Kiir has dealt with those who disagree with him:

"This cannot become a justification for President Kiir to monopolize power and stifle dissenting political voices,"  he said.

The government of South Sudan recently agreed to accept a 4,000-strong protection force to boost UN peacekeepers who have been criticised for failing to protect civilians. 

Zimbabwe governing party 'withholding food aid to opposition areas'

The Human Rights Commission in Zimbabwe says the governing Zanu-PF party has deliberately withheld food aid from opposition supporters in some drought-stricken districts. 

The chairman of the constitutionally established body, Elasto Mugwadi, said recent investigations had found that opposition supporters were told openly that they would never get any food aid. 

He said huge numbers of people were affected. 

The government says half the rural population faces starvation, a situation that's helped fuel protests against President Robert Mugabe.

Drought-stricken land in Zimbabwe
AFP
A recent drought in Zimbabwe has left many Zimbabweans needing food aid

Sierra Leone FA officials arrested over corruption allegations

The three top Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) officials have been arrested in connection with corruption, reports the BBC's Umaru Fofana from Freetown.

He says that police detained the president, Isha Johansen, her vice-president and the secretary general on Wednesday night.

The arrested officials have not commented but have in the past denied any wrongdoing.  

They had earlier been taken to the headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

ACC head Ady Macauley told our reporter that the officials had been invited on several occassions “in writing and through other means to report to our headquarters but they disregarded our invitations”.

The case relates to "discrepancies in the financial statement of the SLFA relating to donor funds”.

Isha Johnasen
BBC

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