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  1. Arab officials quit summit with Africans over Western Sahara representation
  2. Zimbabwean court throws out case against war veterans
  3. Tension in Anglophone Cameroon city over use of French
  4. Dengue fever outbreak kills 20 in Burkina Faso
  5. Rebel and government forces committing 'horrific abuses' in South Sudan
  6. DRC activists launch 'Bye-Bye Kabila' campaign
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 23 November 2016

Live Reporting

By Tom Spender, Farouk Chothia and Lamine Konkobo

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday'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 proverb of the day:

If something that was going to chop off your head only knocked off your cap, you should be grateful."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Ashimi Blessing, Ijoko Ota, Nigeria.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of a traditional wrestling match between two Nuba men in Tira Limon, Sudan.

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Ghana star denies saying 'I've got three more' after Lambo crash

Leicester City and Ghana football star Jeffrey Schlupp has denied a report in the London-based Sun newspaper that he told police "Oh well, I’ve got three other cars to choose from” after crashing his £190,000 ($236,000) Lamborghini on a motorway in the UK:

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The footballer was unhurt in the crash, the newspaper reported.

Regardless of what actually happened, the story puts us in mind of this episode of What's Up Africa:

What's Up Africa: Is this Africa's new Premier League star?

South Korean president 'bought Viagra for Africa trip'

Park Geun-hye
The pills were "for altitude sickness", Ms Park's office said

The office of South Korean President Park Geun-hye says it bought dozens of Viagra pills while preparing for her trip to Africa this year, Reuters reports.

Ms Park's spokesman Jung Youn-kuk said the pills were bought to treat altitude sickness for presidential aides and employees on Park's May trip to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda - not for anyone's erectile dysfunction.

The presidential Blue House bought 364 pills in December, including 60 blue Viagra pills and the rest a generic version of the drug, according to Democratic Party MP Kim Sang-hee.

While normally associated with erectile dysfunction, Viagra has been reported as helpful in treating high-altitude pulmonary edema, or altitude sickness. 

"We bought them, but they were left unused," Mr Jung told reporters.

800 die on Niger roads every year

road in Niger
Getty Images
Poor road conditions contribute to accidents in Niger

An average of 800 people are killed every year in road accidents across Niger, the AFP news agency reports. 

Niger's Ministry of transportation says recklessness by users and poor road conditions are to blame for the deaths. 

The figure is relatively high, considering that Niger is a country of 19 million people.

Transportation Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana told state TV: 

Excessive speed, the use of cell phones at the wheels, drink-driving and driving under the influence of narcotics [are the main causes of road accidents]".

According to official statistics, Niger accounts for 37% of all road accidents recorded within ECOWAS, the West-African regional space of 15 countries.  

Healthcare 'unavailable' in Burkina Faso strike

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

People wait at the Yalgado hospital in Ouagadougou
People wait at the Yalgado hospital in Ouagadougou during the strike

A three-day nationwide strike called by Burkina Faso's health workers union has paralysed operations in the country's public hospitals.

The Human and Animal Health Workers Union (French acronym SYNTSHA) began the 72-hour strike action "without minimum service" yesterday. 

The union's main demands include medical care for workers and a review of salaries.

Dr Robert Sangare, director-general of the country's largest hospital, the Yalgado-Ouedraogo University Hospital, told Burkinabe news website

The strike call has largely been heeded and this is worrying us."

But SYNTSHA secretary-general Pissyamba Ouédraogo told Burkina 24 TV:  

Even while we work, there are people who die because we lack the means and the strike aims at ensuring that these cases are reduced. The strike is intended to ensure that the government takes responsibility and these cases are reduced until they are eliminated."

Frustration at the strike has been evident among patients and their relatives.

Maimouna Ouédraogo, who had accompanied her expectant sister-in-law to the Yalgado-Ouedraogo University Hospital told the Le Pays newspaper:

We request the union and the government to make up so that health services can resume so that the sick can get treatment. Otherwise what shall we do without healthcare?"

See earlier post: Deadly Dengue fever outbreak in Burkina Faso

Nigeria police 'sold arms to militants'

Police authorities in Nigeria have fired 14 police officers for allegedly selling arms and explosives to militants and kidnappers and for aiding them to carry out their criminal enterprises across the country, Punch newspaper reports.

Nine of the officers were paraded in front of the press in Abuja yesterday. They were also alleged to have worked with criminals to steal cattle and commit armed robbery in the northeast of the country.

Arms including assault rifles and ammunition were recovered, the authorities said.

One of the officers was said to have been in discussions with a known militant in Ondo state over the possible sale of explosives.

The officers have not yet commented on the allegation.  

Zuma hits back over corruption allegations

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South African President Jacob Zuma answers questions during a session of questions to the president at the South African Parliament in Cape Town on November 23, 2016

South Africa's scandal-hit President Jacob Zuma has dismissed as "unfair" an anti-corruption watchdog's report which suggested that he may have breached his oath of office.

The report, released last month, focused on allegations that Mr Zuma let a wealthy family of businesspeople, the Guptas, wield undue influence in his government. 

In parliament today, Mr Zuma gave the clearest indication yet that he intended to challenge the report in court, saying:  

This report has been dealt with in a very funny way. Very funny in my view. It affected me and many. No fairness, at all.”

The report suggested that Mr Zuma should set up a commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate corruption allegations against him, businessmen, government ministers and officials. 

However, the chief judge should appoint the judge who will head the inquiry, the report said. 

Mr Zuma rejected the proposal, saying he would not be "told the process through which you must go" to establish a commission of inquiry.

Meanwhile, the Save South Africa campaign group  - led by anti-apartheid stalwart and mining tycoon Sipho Pityana - has launched The People's Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma in an attempt to force him to resign. 

Launching the campaign in the main city Johannesburg, Mr Pityana said:

We are saying no to corruption. We are saying no to a president we see as a champion of corruption and he sees nothing wrong with state capture.

We must save South Africa from you, Mr president. If we do not do it now and we sit... there will be no South Africa to save.”

Mr Zuma and the Guptas have denied being involved in any corrupt practices. 

Read: The Guptas and their links to Zuma

Photojournalist Shawkan in 'depths of prison system'

Photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, has been in jail since his arrest in Egypt's capital, Cairo, in 2013. 

Buzzfeed News World Correspondent Mike Giglio was arrested with him on the same day but was released soon after. 

He explains in a BBC Outside Source interview what happened on that day and where Shawkan is now.  

Photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, has been in jail since 2013

Safa charges suspended coach Mashaba

South Africa coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba
Getty Images
South Africa coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba

South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba is charged by the country's football association (Safa) and will attend a disciplinary hearing on 1 December.

Mashaba will answer charges of disrespecting SAFA president Danny Jordaan, having a verbal altercation with Safa general secretary Denis Mumble and also insulting the media.

All incidents came after South Africa's 2-1 win over Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on 12 November.

Mashaba was suspended on 13 November.

Read the full story: Safa charges suspended coach Mashaba

Internet 'less powerful force for change' in Francophone nations

Senegal women surf internet
Getty Images

The Internet is being used as an effective tool to influence public policies and decision-making in many French-speaking countries, a study on cyber-activism reveals

However it points out that the power of the internet in francophone Africa still seems much lower than in English-speaking countries.

The study was conducted by a French media cooperation agency (CFI) in six French-speaking countries ranging from Senegal to Madagascar, plus Ghana. 

It highlights some achievements by the online community, such as how the Ivorian president retreated from raising electricity prices earlier this year after an online revolt. 

In Senegal, a Turkish plan to build a seafront embassy was stopped as a result of an online campaign. 

Mozambique targets wildlife traffickers

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Mozambique ranger
Getty Images
Previous efforts to battle wildlife trafficking have failed

The Mozambican parliament has unanimously passed the first reading of a government bill that will impose heavy prison sentences on traffickers in endangered wildlife species.

Mozambique and other countries in southern Africa have been targeted poachers from across the globe, who kill rhinos and elephants for their horns, tusks or ivory, with lucrative markets, particularly in Asia.

Introducing the new bill, the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, said a previous 2014 law had raised expectations – but left a gaping hole. 

The only people who could be jailed under the law were the poachers, not those who fund them or receive the wildlife products.

He noted that cases have frequently been reported of citizens caught in possession of rhino horns, elephant tusks, lion teeth or claws and other products of illegal hunting. 

But courts could only fine people caught selling, transporting or owning such items, and could not imprison them.

The law's failure favoured criminals and perpetuated the slaughter. This, he said, made it extremely difficult to defend biodiversity against the most dangerous forms of environmental crime.

The new bill will thus impose the same punishment – prison terms of between 12 and 16 years – on poachers and traffickers alike, the minister added.

His royal cuteness

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This image of Morocco's King Mohammed VI and his son Moulay El Hassan, published by Paris Match magazine, is doing very well on social media.

"Our Morocco in good hands," was one fairly typical comment on the Le360 news website's Facebook page.

US flying drones in Tunisia's airspace

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

The President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi and the US Secretary of State, John Kerry
Mr Essebsi says US drones are needed for fighting terrorism

US drones are flying in Tunisia's airspace at its border with Libya, the Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said in a TV interview.  

The topic of US drones is a sensitive issue that Tunisian officials have previously been reluctant to admit to because it often stirs up public anti-US sentiment. 

But in a departure from that traditional reserve, Mr Essebsi told the Al-Hiwar At-Tunis channel that his country needs the American drones for the fight against terrorism. 

He said:

The Americans are helping us in our fight against terrorism. Do we say, 'no please excuse me, we would rather fight with swords?' They are helping us a lot.

Today our borders with Libya are being electronically equipped with the help of America and Germany. We were not fully equipped for that."

Mr Essibsi added that Tunisia has been investing in education and human development rather than the military.  

Read more: Why is Libya so lawless?

Africa air travel 'to soar'

fastjet plane
Low-cost airline Fastjet is backed by Easyjet

The arrival of a new African Union passport, currently scheduled for 2018, could - if implemented - unleash a boom in air travel with spending expected to rise significantly, a travel company says.

The new passport will - theoretically - enable African travellers to visit other countries on the continent without a visa.

Currently only 13 out of 55 countries allow all Africans to enter either without a visa or to get one on arrival.  

People surveyed in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt - who had travelled at least once over the past two years - said their spending on travel would increase to $1,500 (£1,200) a year, up from $1,100.

However there are still many barriers to travel within Africa, the survey from Sabre travel technology company found:

  • 32% said travel is too expensive 
  • 31% said it is difficult obtaining Visas  
  • 30% said it is too difficult to book travel 
  • 28% said there are no flights to their chosen destination

Dino Gelmetti from Sabre said:

The results suggest that while travel is inaccessible to many and is difficult for those that do travel, there is a still a strong desire to travel more."

Big international airlines still account for 88% of air travel in Africa but the new passport represents an opportunity for African airlines to gain ground, Mr Gelmetti added.

Read more: Should Africa have a single passport?

Writing for Liberians

Liberian writer Vamba Sherif has been described as a masterful storyteller who tells stories of Liberia for the Liberian reader.

His book "Land of my Fathers" re-imagines the country's history through the eyes of Edward Richards, a man born into slavery in America, who later sought a new life in Liberia.

Initially published in Dutch, the book was recently translated into English. Mr Vamba spoke to Focus on Africa's Kim Chakanetsa at the book launch in London.  

Liberian author Vamba Sherif speaks about his novel “Land of my Fathers”.

'Emergency talks' to follow mass summit walkout

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

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An unnamed African "high-ranking" diplomat has told Saudi-funded Al-Arabiya TV that African countries will soon hold an emergency meeting to look into disagreements over the status of the Western Sahara region.

It follows walkouts by officials from seven Arab nations plus Somalia at the Africa-Arab summit in Equatorial Guinea.

Morocco is in de facto control of the territory but the Polisario Front has declared an independent state there. This is recognised by the African Union (AU), which Morocco now wants to rejoin after an absence of more than 30 years.

Saudi Ambassador to the Arab League Ahmed Qattan said that his country rejected all that "affects Moroccan sovereignty" before withdrawing from the summit, Moroccan news website Hespress reported. 

Bahrain's foreign minister said that Morocco has a "bright history" of supporting African countries in time of need, adding that a "failed separatist movement will never rise up to [Morocco's] dear position and gallant stance", Jordan-based and privately-owned Al-Haqiqah al-Dawliyyah TV reported. 

On the other side of the issue, the Algerian foreign minister described the partially-recognised Sahrawi Republic as a "founding member" of the AU, Hespress reported.

The website of the privately-owned Algerian newspaper Echourouk El Youmi accused Morocco of "booby-trapping" the Arab-African summit in one of its headlines. 

Echourouk described Rabat's withdrawal as a "warning message" paving the way for the "crises" to come should the country return to the AU. 

Morocco's membership in the AU has been suspended since 1984, when it withdrew after the union recognised the independence of Western Sahara. 

The independence of Western Sahara has long been a contentious issue between Morocco and Algeria, as Algeria backs the Polisario Front.

See earlier posts for more details.

Zimbabwe war veterans 'celebrating'

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe War Veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya
No longer in cuffs - Zimbabwe War Veterans former spokesman Douglas Mahiya

Zimbabwe's war veterans are celebrating after a Harare magistrate suspended their trial and removed their five leaders from the remand roll. 

They had been put on trial for insulting the 92-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, under a controversial law.

However the state, which the defence accused of being disorganised, failed to produce a valid prosecution certificate. 

It will  now have to proceed by summons if it decides to reinstate the charges. 

The five were arrested in July and August after an unsigned communique went public. 

The document, allegedly authored by the politically influential war veterans association, labelled President Mugabe egocentric and dictatorial and threatened to withdraw its support for his 2018 election campaign.

Defence attorney Beatrice Mtetwa says that while the group’s bail conditions have been dropped, she cannot anticipate what the prosecution's next move will be.

See earlier post for more details.

AFOTY: How Mahrez learned his magic

We look at the path BBC AFOTY 2016 nominee Riyad Mahrez took to building his successful career, including winning the Premier League trophy with Leicester City.

Mahrez joins Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure in the five-man shortlist for the BBC award.

The winner will be decided by fans from across the world, who have until 18:00 GMT on 28 November to vote for their choice.

Make your vote here.

AFOTY 2016: Riyad Mahrez's road to success

Rwandan walks to raise awareness of genocide PTSD

Kizito Musabimana
Kizito Musabimana
Kizito Musabimana wants to rauise awareness about PTSD

A Rwandan in Canada will tomorrow set off on a walk from Toronto to Montreal - 547 km (340 miles) - to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Kizito Musabimana says his experiences during the 1994 genocide, which saw 800,000 people killed, led him to suffer PTSD for five years later in life.

Having gone through the horrors of 1994 as a young boy, in 2000 I came to Canada, where I would live through another wave of horrors – this time from within.

For almost five years, I would go through various battles within, unable to function, with the only way to deal with my surroundings being to fill up with alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and TV.

Lost and confused, I would develop anxieties to the point where I could only function through an unnatural ritual of vomiting.

Mr Musabimana says he is also hoping to gain support for the establishment of a centre for Rwandan refugees to help them overcome the impact of their experiences.

Read more - Rwanda genocide: 100 days of slaughter

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Eight nations in walkout at Africa-Arab summit

Sahrawi women hold Polisario Front's flags during a ceremony to mark 40 years after the Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the disputed territory of Western Sahara on February 27, 2016 at the Sahrawi refugee camp of Dakhla which lies 170 km to the southeast of the Algerian city of Tindouf.
The Polisario Front has decalred an independent state in Western Sahara

Seven Arab nations - and Somalia - walked out with Morocco to protest against the presence of a Polisario Front (PF) delegation at the Africa-Arab summit in Equatorial Guinea's Malabo city. 

Morocco took the decision because of the "presence of the emblem of a puppet entity", the Moroccan foreign ministry is quoted by the state news agency as saying. 

The seven Arab states which walked out are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Yemen. 

This is the fourth Africa-Arab World summit, aimed at boosting economic co-operation between Africa and the Middle East. 

The African Union recognises the Polisario-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as an independent state. 

Morocoo insists that Western Sahara is part of its territory.

See earlier post for more details 

Two ex-hostages in extraordinary meeting

Amanda Lindhout was an aspiring Canadian journalist when she arrived in Somalia for a work trip. Soon after she arrived she was kidnapped by a group of armed men and held for 460 days. On this week’s episode of BBC’s The Conversation she talks to another former hostage, Ingrid Betancourt who was held in the Colombian jungle for six years about escape attempts, survival and what it means to lose your freedom.

In 2002, the French Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt became perhaps one of the best-known hostages in the world when she was kidnapped and held for over six years, deep in the Colombian jungle, by the Farc or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Watching Ingrid's emotional release on TV in 2008, was a young Canadian journalist called Amanda Lindhout. A month later she herself was taken hostage at gunpoint, on a work trip to Somalia. For the 460 days of Amanda's captivity, she thought about Ingrid nearly every day, inspired by the thought that she too could one day end her ordeal.

The two spoke to each other on the BBC's The Conversation programme, presented by Kim Chakanetsa. 

What life as a hostage in the depths of the jungle or in a darkened room can teach you

Photo: Amanda Lindhout (L), by Steve Carty and Ingrid Betancourt by Barker Evans  

'Insulting Mugabe' trial collapses

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe War Veterans Secretary General Victor Matemadanda reacts as he is escorted by Zimbabwean Policemen to a court hearing on August 1, 2016 in Harare after being arrested.
Victor Matemadanda was among those charged

The case against five Zimbabwean war veterans, charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe, has collapsed.

A magistrate's court in the capital, Harare, set aside the charges after the prosecution was not ready to proceed with the trial for two consecutive days. 

The five were charged after issuing a statement earlier this year, accusing Mr Mugabe, 92, of "dictatorial" behaviour and saying they would not support him for re-election in the 2018 poll. 

Among those put on trial were Victor Matemadanda, former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association's secretary-general, and Douglas Mahiya, its former spokesman.

All five have been expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party.

For the trial to resume, the prosecution will have to file the case afresh and summon back to court the war veterans, their lawyer Harrison Nkomo is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.         

Mr Mugabe, who looks increasingly frail, has been in power since independence in 1980.  

Read more: Queuing for money in Zimbabwe  

Boda boda lifesavers

ross velton

Tanzania's motorcycle taxi drivers, often associated with deadly road accidents, are being trained to become life-savers.

Known as boda bodas, the bikes are time-savers for people who need to get somewhere in Tanzania's north-western city of Mwanza.

They seem to be the only way to beat traffic jams. But when you get on the bike and wrap your arms around the driver, you are actually putting your life in his hands.

In the first half of this year, there were more than 5,000 road accidents in Tanzania. More than a quarter of them were motorcycle accidents.

But that is also where trainee doctor Marko Hingi saw an opportunity to turn boda boda drivers into true life-savers. 

Read the full piece: The life-saving mission of Tanzania's killer taxi bikes 

Arab officials quit summit with African counterparts

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Morocco and several Arab countries have walked out of a summit of African and Arab leaders, in protest at the presence of a delegation from the Polisario Front, which wants independence for Western Sahara. 

Morocco considers Western Sahara to be its southern provinces and is in de facto control of the territory. The Polisario Front says the Moroccans are colonisers. 

The issue is a vitally important one for Morocco. It recently announced its intention to rejoin the African Union, having withdrawn from the continental body's predecessor over 30 years ago over a decision to recognise Western Sahara's independence. 

The summit of African and Arab leaders is taking place in Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.

Profile: Western Sahara

A Sahrawi refugee poses near a Sahrawi Democratic Arab Republic flag in Samra's refugees camp 30 November near Tindouf, Algeria
The Polisario Front regards Morocco as an occupying force

'Four dead' in Bamenda protests

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

violence in bamenda
The violence rocked Bamenda on Tuesday

Lawyers and teachers are opposing the influence exerted by Francophone speakers in their lives in a country that is officially bilingual.

The opposition Social Democratic Front, whose leader John Fru Ndi hails from the north-west, says four people have been killed in the teachers protests.

The clashes erupted after the Cameroon Teacher's Trade Union called a strike to protest "against the dominance of their Francophone colleagues" in the education sector.

The union's secretary-general, Tassang Wilfred, told Radio France Internationale why they were protesting:  

For years, until now, we have unsuccessfully tried to bring the government to respond to our grievances.

At the heart of the problem is the deployment of Francophone teachers in Anglophone schools. The government, due to tribalism and nepotism, even recruited Francophones to teach English to Francophone children. This is scandalous."

The tension between the Anglophone and Francophone parts of the country has also seen lawyers calling for the translation of legal texts into English.

On 22 November, the police dispersed lawyers who were demonstrating in front of the court of appeal in Bamenda, the main English-speaking city.

During the protests they announced the formation of a new bar for Anglophones, reported on 23 November.

The lawyers, who comprise about one third of Cameroon's bar, have been on an indefinite strike since 11 October to protest against what they say is the government's preference for the use of French in the courts. 

Cameroon has two legal systems founded on French civil law and English common law.

Cameroonian opponent John Fru Ndi looks on during an electoral meeting in Yaounde on October 8, 2011
John Fru Ndi is a long-standing campaigner for the rights of the English-speaking population

Anglophone speakers make up a minority in Cameroon - about 20% of the country’s 22 million people, and most live in the country’s two English-speaking regions, the Southwest and Northwest provinces.

The strike action has been supported by the outlawed Southern Cameroons National Council, which advocates for the secession of the two provinces.

In a statement published in the English language Cameroon Daily Journal on 22 November, it said:

We wholeheartedly salute the common law lawyers and the teachers who as custodians respectively of the common law heritage and the Anglo-Saxon educational system have dutifully risen to combat assimilation and the annihilation of our core values and identity by the neo-coloniser la Republique du Cameroun. But the problem is far larger than meets the bird’s eye view."

US rapper leaves South Africa

US rapper Mos Def has left South Africa after making a deal with authorities who accused him of violating the country's immigration laws, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

South Africa's home affairs department confirmed that the singer, who is also known as Yasiin Bey, left after apologising to the government, the report adds. 

He was arrested for breaking immigration laws, with authorities saying that he had overstayed his tourist visa, obtained in 2013.

Mos Def
Mos Def had reportedly been living in Cape Town since 2013

UK vintage race pilot missing

Alastair Leithead

BBC Africa correspondent


A 72-year-old British pilot attempting to fly a 1943 plane the length of Africa has gone missing somewhere between Sudan and Ethiopia. 

Maurice Kirk was part of the Vintage Air Rally flying from Cyprus to Cape Town, but had been asked by organisers to withdraw from the event after two engine failures and a lack of navigational equipment on his Piper Cub plane. 

He decided to carry on anyway. He previously reported suffering two engine failures. 

In a statement, the Vintage Air Rally said that without tracking data Maurice Kirk's location is unknown, but as an experienced pilot it is believed he made a precautionary landing before sunset. 

A search and rescue operation was due to begin, the statement added. 

Mr Kirk is an eccentric figure - a friend of the late actor Oliver Reed who has had various run-ins with the law in the UK and numerous colourful experiences in vintage aircraft. 

'What we want is for France to back off' - protester

bamenda protester

This is what one of the Bamenda protesters told AP news agency on Tuesday about why he and thousands of others were protesting:

What we want is for France to back off. They should leave our system. We have proper means to organise our educational system, we have proper means of our health systems, it is our time of freedom.

They colonised us and now is the time, we were mental slave, but now is the time we are spiritually positive, and the fight is bigger that they can think, the fight is bigger that they can think, now is the time."

Lawyers in north-western Cameroon have been striking over orders to use French in legal proceedings and teachers have joined them over requirements to use French in schools.

See earlier post for more details.

Dengue fever kills 20 in Burkina Faso

Mosquitoes are spreading agents for the dengue virus
Mosquitoes are spreading agents for the deadly dengue virus

Dengue fever has killed at least 20 people in Burkina Faso where about 2,000 cases of the disease have been recorded, BBC Afrique reports.

Dengue is a mosquito borne disease which is prevalent in sub-tropical and tropical regions, including Africa.

It is a major cause of illness worldwide, causing about 100 million episodes of feverish illness a year.

The outbreak of the disease in Burkina Faso has caused alarm among the population, and officials are trying to avoid any widespread panic.

One man who lost his brother to the disease told BBC Afrique:

Dengue fever is a killer. When it gets you to the stage of those headaches, it no longer forgives. My younger brother did not even have to a chance say what was wrong. We just found him dead."

Cases of dengue in Burkina Faso have been reported from all 12 districts of Ouagadougou, the capital, the World Health Organisation says.

Two other regions - the Sahel Region in the north and the Hauts-Bassins region in the west - have also reported cases. 

New group to challenge DR Congo leader

President Kabila of the DR Congo
President Kabila has been in power since 2001

Civil society activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched a new pro-democracy campaign to press President Joseph Kabila to step down, BBC Afrique reports. 

Mr Kabila's second and last term comes to an end on 19 December, and voters were due to the polls on 27 November to elect his successor, but a political deal brokered last month by the government with one faction of the opposition postponed the election to April 2018. 

In defiance to the controversial deal, a coalition of pro-democracy movements launched a "Bye-Bye Kabila" campaign to pile up pressure on the president in the run-up to the December deadline. 

The three movements behind the campaign - Filimbi, Lucha and Jeunesse du Rassemblement - say they will organise massive anti-government protests. 

That could lead to fresh deadly clashes with security forces. Last September, a crack-down on an anti-government protest left at least 50 dead. Marie-Joel Essengo, a leader of Lucha, told BBC Afrique:

We will stage actions to create awareness far and wide among the youth, among the entire population, until we have secured the change we need.

We can't bear the thought that he (Mr Kabila) would be even given one extra minute as president after 19 December."

The government has not commented on the new campaign.  

 At least 50 people were killed in September in clashes between government and protesters pushing for Mr Kabila to step down. 

Read: Could Kabila face a mass uprising? 

Cameroon city hit by language-related protest 'tense'

Randy Joe Sa'ah

BBC Africa, Bamenda

Bamenda protest
Thousand of youths took to the streets on Tuesday

It is a tense morning in Bamenda, the main city in English-speaking north-western Cameroon. 

Most shops are still closed, but women are buying food this morning and hurrying back home should violence erupt again.

One person was reported to have been killed yesterday as anger over the imposition of French in schools in Anglophone parts of the country came to a head.

Security forces fired tear gas and live bullets at anti-government protesters, who accuse the authorities of marginalising English-speaking areas. Most of Cameroon is Francophone.

Eyewitnesses described people being beaten, kicked and dragged away by the military. 


On Monday, demonstrators carried white coffins and green branches through the streets, demanding more rights for English-speakers. 

Yesterday's incidents also included an opposition party leader demonstrating at a police station after his home was teargassed and protesters attacking the city council leader and vandalising council premises, blaming him for what they saw as bad policies.

Strike leaders yesterday boycotted a meeting by the minister of justice, saying he must meet them in Bamenda for any meaningful negotiation to take place. 

Striking teachers have set out exactly the same demands. The regional governor is holding meetings with the teachers' representatives to seek a solution.

Lawyers have been on strike for two months after being ordered to use French in legal proceedings.

Cameroon was a German colony, partitioned by France and Britain after the first world war. It united as a federal republic after independence, but deep divisions remain. 

Saving orphaned elephants

Kenyan elephant calf
Simon Mania

Each year thousands of African elephants are being slaughtered by poachers for the illegal ivory trade. Many young elephants have become orphans,

Baby African elephants are incredibly vulnerable in the first few years of life. Without their mothers, they struggle to survive.

But in the late 1980s, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, then head of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, managed to raise infant baby African elephants for the first time.

Her organisation has now raised over 200 orphaned elephants, Once old enough, they are released into the wild.

Despite their success, it is still a fraction of the number killed each year by poachers across the continent.

Every year in Africa between 30,000 and 40,000 elephants are poached for their ivory, and it's thought there are only 400,000 left.

The rate of killing threatens the very existence of the African elephant.

You can watch the BBC Witness video here

Gunmen 'kill guards' at Nigeria oil facility

Fighters of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta
Continuing attacks have slashed Nigeria's oil output

Gunmen in military camouflage have killed four guards at a facility operated by the Nigerian subsidiary of Italian group Eni, local and security officials have told AFP news agency. 

Four members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), a paramilitary agency of the government, were killed on Monday at the installation at Omoku near Port Harcourt, they said.

"The [security] operatives had engaged the gunmen in a fierce gun battle on realising that the intruders were not military men," state NSCDC spokesman Michael Oguntuase told AFP. 

A community leader in Omoku who did not want to be named confirmed the incident.

"Dressed in camouflage, they came in a speed boat at about 18:40 on Monday, exchanged gunfire with the operatives, leading to the death of four," he said. 

An unspecified number of NSCDC personnel were wounded, he said. 

Officials at Agip, the local subsidiary of Eni, were not immediately available for comment. 

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. 

Since the start of the year several militant groups, Including the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), have bombed pipelines and facilities operated by oil companies. 

The attacks have slashed Nigeria's oil output, hammering government revenue at a time of global low prices.

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

'Horrific atrocities' in South Sudan

man collecting bodies to bury in a mass grave approaches a burned hut containing charred corpses
A burned hut in Yei, a town that has become a centre of South Sudan's conflict

Rebel and government forces in South Sudan have committed horrific abuses - including burning a lorry-load of people to death and raping and hacking women and children, a leading rights group says.

Atrocities recorded by Human Rights Watch (HRW) include suspected rebels ambushing a convoy of cars carrying civilians fleeing Yei town in October. 

“They started to shoot and I lay down,” an 11-year-old boy told HRW. “Others fell on top of me. One had been shot to the head.” 

The rebels then burned the lorry and their occupants, killing dozens inside, HRW added.

Other killings reported by HRW since July include: 

  • Unidentified attackers entered a house and killed a mother and her 4-year-old daughter with machetes, then dumped their bodies in a river
  • Soldiers shot dead a displaced man who was returning home to pick up cassava roots for food in the Sopiri neighborhood of Yei   
  • Armed men believed to be soldiers forced two girls aged 14 and 15 years to walk with them to a nearby forest, and then raped them

Government and rebel forces have not yet commented on the allegations. 

A new round of fighting between forces allied with President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar broke out in July after a peace deal collapsed. 

Read more:South Sudan crisis: The wounds of war

South Sudan Malakal (archive shot)
More than 2m people have been left homeless by years of fighting

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

If something that was going to chop off your head only knocked off your cap, you should be grateful."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Ashimi Blessing, Ijoko Ota, Nigeria.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent.