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Summary

  1. African migrants not our enemies, says SA's ex President Thabo Mbeki
  2. Gambia's president fires army chief
  3. Tanzania fails to publish list of gay names
  4. Huge fire destroys three sections of Somalia's biggest market
  5. South Africa sees decline in rhino poaching
  6. Mozambique to produce oil for first
  7. Kenya bans state advertising in commercial outlets
  8. 'UN attack helicopter' disperses fighters in CAR
  9. Kony is in Darfur, says LRA leader's ex-bodyguard
  10. Mozambique ruby town deports migrants
  11. SA's Vaal Dam full for first time in six years
  12. Kidnapped German archaeologists freed in Nigeria
  13. Burkina Faso revels in Fespaco
  14. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Monday 27 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday'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:

Hunger gets over but treachery does not."

A Kirundi proverb sent by JB Niyongabo in Burundi

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this Instagram image from Guinea-Bissau's carnival from Miguel De Barros. The pre-Lent celebrations and parades are usually a chance for music, dance and culture of the country's different ethnic groups to be shown off. 

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Mozambique to produce oil for first time

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

The South African petrochemical giant Sasol has announced the discovery of oil off the coast of southern Mozambique.

The wells will be the first in Mozambique to produce oil in two or three years’ time, Stephen Cornell, one’s of Sasol’s joint chief executives, said.

Mr Cornell his company has drilled four of 12 planned wells, all of them with positive results, two of them for gas, and the other two for oil.

He said Sasol had discovered oil in Mozambique before but only as part of an appraisal of the field and that helped them know where to drill.

Gambia's president fires army chief

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Ousman Badjie
AFP
Ousman Badjie swore loyalty to Yahya Jammeh, but did not resist his removal from office

The Gambian President Adama Barrow has fired the head of the armed forces, Gen Ousman Badjie. 

Gen Badjie declared his loyalty to the former President Yahya Jammeh after December's disputed elections. 

However, he joined in dancing on the streets after Mr Barrow was sworn in as president while in exile in Senegal in January.

Then, under his command, the army did not offer any resistance when a West African regional force moved into The Gambia. 

The regional troops played a part in persuading Mr Jammeh to accept his electoral defeat and leave the country.

General Badjie has reportedly been replaced by his predecessor General Masanneh Kinteh.  

Kony is in Darfur, says LRA leader's ex-bodyguard

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa

Joseph Kony
AFP
Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges

Today the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, began a visit to Uganada to meet victims of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

The Hague-based court is currently trying a former LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen.

And it still has a warrant out for the arrest of the infamous LRA leader Joseph Kony.

The group tends to operate in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR) after being driven out of northern Uganda several years ago.

But what is it like being under Kony’s command? 

One of his bodyguards, Peter Kidega, who recently surrendered to US and Ugandan forces in the CAR, told me about how he was forcibly recruited into the LRA and about the rebels' current operations:

The only thing the Lord’s Resistance Army does is get commodities from civilians' homes. They look for diamonds, gold, money and mercury from people here, in the Central African Republic. In the Congo they send people to hunt for elephant tusks – but nowadays Joseph Kony lives in Darfur and works with people there.”

The bodyguard spoke of the likelihood of the LRA leader surrendering:  

Joseph Kony will not see reason when it comes to this because he says he’s going to die in the bush until the Ugandan government changes. But who is supposed to take over the government if he himself says he's a rebel of the Ugandan people, he's going to fight for the development of Uganda, and yet he stays out of the country? What can he do where he is?"

He also spoke about Mr Ongwen’s ICC case:

He should be forgiven because he was captured. But I don't think he will be, because of the role he played and because his conduct. Because he was a commander-in-chief there, he was giving orders to his troops. He took orders from his boss Joseph Kony and carried them out."

Mr Kidega lived with the LRA leader between 2014 and 2016:

I went to Joseph in 2014, at the time he said he loved me. In 2014 he loved me and was very nice to me. But in 2015, he changed his character. I handed myself in because Joseph Kony wanted to kill me for talking to his wife.

He didn't want anyone to love his wife. Even if you just wanted to be friends with her, they would say you are a bad person.”

The bodyguard said he had been in the group for 14 years before surrendering: 

Joseph kept on saying that we were going to fight to bring down the Ugandan government. That we would fight and then lead Uganda. And I kept on waiting for this to happen, I waited until this year. But all Joseph wants is to stay alive.”

'Why I shared my HIV status on Twitter'

View more on twitter

Since Saidy Brown tweeted those words on Friday, thousands of people have re-shared her hopeful message, with many praising her courage for speaking publicly about her own experience with the virus. 

She has told the BBC about the extraordinary reaction to her post, why it took so long for her to be diagnosed and the challenges of dating for someone who is HIV-positive.  

Read: 'Why I shared my HIV status on Twitter'

Mozambique denies police abuse in ruby deportations


          A vehicle with the good of Tanzanians deported from Mozambique
BBC
More than 5,000 Tanzanians have been deported over the last two weeks

A Mozambican government official has dismissed allegations by Tanzanian citizens that they had been assaulted by security forces as they left the country amid a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Abdul Chuguro, who heads the forestry department in the north-western Cabo Delgado province, told the BBC that the allegations are "unfounded". 

However, he said that Tanzanians and people of other nationalities, including Mozambicans, were being forced to abandon the illegal mining of rubies in the province's Montepuez district. 

He said the only goods seized from Tanzanians during the operation were 22 vehicles, which had forged documents, including number plates and vehicle registration books. 

He also said the allegation that a woman had been raped by two policemen was found to be untrue by health authorities who had examined the alleged victim.

Mr Chuguro said most of Tanzanians relied on illegal mining and did not have resources for survival or to pay transportation to return home.  

He said most of the of them were put on buses to the border.

See earlier report: Ruby deportations: Mozambique police crackdown 

What’s Up Africa leaps back into action

Satirist Ikenna Azuike is back… this time in Kenya. Catch him every Wednesday and Friday on BBC World News:

What’s Up Africa leaps back into action

South Africa sees decline in rhino poaching

Wardens watch over a rhino
AFP
In Asia it is believed that rhino horn is an aphrodisiac. It is made of keratin, the same substance as human finger nails

Poaching of rhinos in South Africa fell by 10%, according to a statement by the environment ministry.

The decline marks the second year in a row that killings of the endangered species have declined, but conservationists still warn that levels remain high. 

Poaching registered a record high in 2014 when 1,215 were killed to feed the demand of Asian countries such as Vietnam, where the animal's horn is prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicines, compared to 1,054 killed in 2016. 

The success was attributed to vigilance of park wardens: 

This decrease can be attributed to the efforts of our men and women on the ground, especially our rangers."

South Africa has more than 80% of the world's rhino population with about 18,000 white rhinos and close to 2,000 black rhinos, which is why it has been at the front line of the  poaching crisis. 

In the Kruger National Park, the epicentre of the slaughter, 662 rhino carcasses were found dead in 2016, an almost 20% fall from 826 in 2015, the statement adds.   

Cameroon vigilantes 'preventing suicide attacks'

In northern Cameroon, where attacks by Boko Haram killed more than 1,500 people since 2011, vigilantes have been at the forefront of the fight against the Nigerian-based Islamist militant group, the AFP news agency reports. 

The vigilante groups are made of civilians who have voluntarily taken up arms to back up the government in its efforts to drive Boko Haram from the country. 

They are mainly active in the northern city of Kolofata, where they have erected five checkpoints to monitor movements into town - day and night.

Kolofata made headlines in July 2014 when more than 100 Boko Haram fighters from the neighbouring Nigerian town of Kerawa launched an attack and abducted the wife of a Cameroon's deputy prime minister. 

Kassala Mahamat, a vigilante group leader, told AFP: 

We search all those arriving here from Kerawa. If we identify a suicide bomber who intends to proceed, we shoot at him."

Mr Mahamat says vigilante groups prevented several suicide attacks and ensured a low number of casualties when Boko Haram succeeded occasionally in striking. 

Cameroonian soldiers
AFP
Cameroonian soldiers have been battling Boko Haram for several years

Togolese striker Francis Kone saves opponent's life

Togolese striker Francis Kone helping Martin Berkovec
Bohemians
Kone (left) has been labelled a hero after his actions

Togolese striker Francis Kone saved the life of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec, who nearly swallowed his tongue during a Czech league match.

Bohemians 1905's Kone acted fast after Berkovec had collided with his Slovacko team-mate Daniel Krch.

He used his fingers to move Berkovec's tongue and stop him suffocating.

Berkovec later thanked Kone on Facebook for his quick action:

View more on facebook

Photos: Mogadishu market on fire

We reported earlier that a fire had broke out at Bakara market in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, which has since been contained. 

We now have access to pictures from the scene showing how far it spread and how traders desperately tried to salvage their wares: 


          A Somali trader talks to residents gathered near the burning stalls at the main Bakara market
Reuters
A trader talks to residents gathered near the burning stalls

          Somali traders salvage some of their wares from the burning stalls at the main Bakara market in Somalia"s capital Mogadishu
Reuters
Other traders tried to save their wares from the fire which burned several stalls
The traders worked together to fight the flame
Reuters
There is not sufficient firefighting equipment in the city so the fire spread fast and did a lot of damage

          A Somali policeman controls residents gathered near the burning stalls at the main Bakara market in Somalia"s capital Mogadishu
Reuters
A Somali policeman holds back residents gathered near the burning stalls

          Somali traders attempt to salvage some of their wares from the burning stalls at the main Bakara market in Somalia"s capital Mogadishu
Reuters
The fire burnt for more than five hours before it was contained

Kenya select team to play Hull City

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

A team comprising of players from Kenya's football league will tonight play an exhibition match against English Premier League side Hull City.

The match is being facilitated by SportPesa, a Kenyan betting company, which won the rights to sponsor the English team for the next three years. 

A team of 18 Kenyan players have been in the northern English city since last week learning different aspects of professional football.

On Sunday they were the club's guests at their home game against Burnley which ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Ahead of the match I caught up with the Kenyan national team coach Stanley Okumbi who said so far the trip had been great for the players:

"Players have benefited a lot from the training and have been equipped with a lot of information that they will use in future and in the game against Hull City."  

Stanley Okumbi
BBC
Kenyan coach Stanley Okumbi

Mr Okumbi said watching the premier league game on Saturday was a "massive experience" for him and his players "because if we adopt what we saw it will take our Kenyan premier league forward."

Among the 18 players is a 16 year-old footballer, Joshua Otieno who plays for Sony Sugar FC in the Kenyan premier league.

He said tonight's game is an opportunity of a lifetime:

It's a good exposure and there are scouts here. You don't know what will happen after the match. My dream is to play for a premier league club... my dream club is Chelsea, I like their style of play."

The match kicks off at 18:30 GMT UK time at the KCOM Stadium in Hull. 

KC Stadium
BBC
The KCOM stadium on a cloudy winter's day

'At least seven' World Cup slots for Africa

Fifa president Giani Infantino (c)
BBC
Fifa president Giani Infantino (c) is on a one-day visit to Ghana

Fifa president Giani Infantino says Africa will get more than seven slots in the expanded edition of the World Cup in 2026.

Mr Infantino, who is on a one-day official visit to Ghana, made the announcement in a briefing with journalists in the capital Accra:

African representation will definitely be more than seven. Now the precise number we are still working it out."

He said Fifa had increased its investment in African football from $27m ( £21m) to $94m a year to help develop the sport.

He also said the world football federation had increased Africa's membership of the federation's council from four to seven representatives.

Mr Infantino also met President Nano Akufo-Addo and executives of the Ghana Football Association to discuss how to develop football in the country.

Analysis: Is Morocco willing to compromise?

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Morocco's decision to withdraw its troops from a UN buffer zone in the disputed Western Sahara territory (see earlier post) does not signify a major change in the kingdom's policy.

It will still work towards ensuring international recognition of its claim over Western Sahara. 

The announcement does, however, indicate a willingness to work with the United Nations, and in particular the new Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Mr Guterres' predecessor, Ban Ki-moon, infuriated Rabat by describing Morocco's annexation of Western Sahara as an "occupation" - a remark he later apologised for.

Morocco is rolling out a renewed campaign on Western Sahara - including joining the African Union, and King Mohammed VI making several trips to African countries.

The military withdrawal is also presumably intended to signal a willingness to compromise.

But the Polisario Front and its supporters will want to know whether that extends to giving the Sahrawi people the referendum on their future which has been delayed for so many years.

Map of Morocco and Western Sahara
BBC

African migrants not our enemies - Thabo Mbeki

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has been inaugurated as chancellor of the University of South Africa (Unisa)

The university, Africa’s biggest and one of the largest distance education institutions in the world, said the decision was influenced by his outstanding leadership credentials.

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During the ceremony, attended by current and former ministers, Mr Mbeki used his inaugural speech to condemn the violence seen during the university protests, dubbed “FeesMustFall” after the Twitter hashtag, and other protests for better services.  

We must denounce the notion of burning a clinic because we demand better health care."

At a press conference afterwards he also condemned the recent xenophobic attacks on migrants.    

As South Africans, we should never forget the enormous sacrifices that were made by the people of Africa to help us achieve our liberation.

We cannot now behave in a manner that treats other Africans, who are now residents in our country, as enemies or unwelcomed guests."

Mr Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s second democratically elected president in 1999 and stepped down in 2008, after nearly two terms.

The 74-year-old was the founding chairman of the African Union and established the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), aimed at making the continent less reliant on foreign aid and developing trade.

Somalia market fire raged for five hours

Mohammud Ali Mohamed

BBC Somali service

Bakara market fire, Mogadishu, Somalia
Reuters

Traders in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, are counting their losses following a huge fire that destroyed parts of the country’s biggest open-air market this morning.

The fire at Bakara market burnt for more than five hours before it was contained.

It broke out at around 04:00 local time, but it was not until daybreak that a combined force of local authorities, residents and some private firms with their own standby fire engines began battling it.

According to residents, the inferno started at a section famous for household goods and quickly spread to other parts.

Although no official estimate was immediately given, it is expected the losses will run into the millions of dollars.

One of the traders told the BBC he lost his clothing shop:

I only managed to salvage very few things, and I am not alone in this loss. It’s coming at a time when the country is dealing with a devastating drought."

There is not sufficient firefighting equipment in the city, which has been affected by more than half a century of war.

Ali Hussein Ibrahim, chairman of Mogadishu’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told the BBC that it was difficult to know the cause of the fire.

We have so many challenges in the market. For example people sometimes leave behind charcoal stoves unattended, also the cause could be electric fault which are not regulated, so it’s difficult for now to say what caused the fire, but we are investigating."

It is not the first time the market has caught fire, and some observers say it may not be the last, given the poor infrastructure.

'More foreign shops looted' in South Africa


          A Pakistani national inspects his shop after it was looted by South African residents during a xenophobic march
EPA
South Africa has been facing renewed attacks and protests against foreigners

Police in South Africa's largest city of Johannesburg say that about 100 people took part in looting incidents overnight, Reuters news agency reports.

Shops in Jeppestown area belonging to foreigners were attacked forcing owners to barricade themselves in for safety, one witness said.

Doors and windows were smashed, food and other items were strewn on the floor in stores believed to belong to immigrants, Reuters adds. 

Abdul Ebrahim, a Somali shopkeeper who was hiding in his shop with others, said he did not know why the mob had targeted him: 

We've been stuck inside here until the police came... no-one told us what they were looking for."

Police spokesman Mathapelo Peters said that at least one person has been arrested and that the investigations were ongoing.

South Africa has been facing renewed attacks and protests against foreigners with a group holding an anti-foreigner march last week in the capital, Pretoria.

The attacks have been condemned widely on the continent with a Nigerian government official calling for the African Union to intervene. 

President Jacob Zuma has assured foreigners that their rights would be protected if they lived and worked according to the laws of the country and denied charges that South Africans were xenophobic.

Tanzania fails to publish gay list

The Tanzanian government shall not be publishing a list of suspected homosexuals today.

Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, the deputy health minister, has been behind the move, saying those who advertised homosexual activities online would be targeted and arrested. 

He tweeted this morning:

View more on twitter

It is not clear what the technical reasons were.

Three hours later he confirmed to his Twitter followers that the list existed and the authorities intended to make it public.

But he then tweeted that in order to prevent people from “getting rid of evidence”, their strategy had changed and the public would be informed how the health ministry would proceed in due course.

Homosexual acts are illegal in the East African nation and punishable by up to 30 years in jail.

Morocco to pull out of UN buffer zone

UN peacekeepers in disputed territory of Western Sahara
AFP
Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco in 1975

Morocco is to pull out of a UN buffer zone in the disputed Western Sahara territory, an official statement says.

The country says the former Spanish colony is part of its territory, while the Polisario independence movement wants a vote on its self-determination.

Tension in the area flared up a year ago when Morocco moved into the buffer zone, breaching a UN-backed ceasefire.

Morocco recently rejoined the African Union, which it had left over the body's recognition of Western Sahara.

The decision to withdraw from the Guerguerat zone is said to have been taken in person by the Moroccan King Mohammed VI.

The move came after the sovereign spoke on the phone with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who asked him to pull out his troops.

Read the BBC News story for more

Ruby town deportations: Mozambique police crackdown

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Kilamba, Tanzania

People pack their belongings in minibuses
Jerry Michael, Pride FM MTWARA
A five-day ultimatum was issued for foreigners to leave two weeks ago

More than 5,000 Tanzanians and dozens of other foreigners have fled Mozambique amidst a government crackdown on what it calls "illegal" immigrants residing in the northern mining town of Montepuez, famous for its rubies.

Migrant workers have been drawn to the town, which is 800km (500 miles) from the Tanzanian border, to work in the mines thought to hold 40% of the world's known supply of rubies.

Two weeks ago, local authorities issued a five-day ultimatum for all foreigners regarded as illegals to vacate the area.

Those arriving at the border post at Kilamba village in Tanzania say the ongoing crackdown has been dominated by police brutality alleging their property was stolen, passports destroyed and even women being raped. 

Other nationalities affected are Somali and Senegalese. 

The returnees recounted tales of brutality that was meted on them by the security forces. One man said:

“I was sleeping in my shop when all of a sudden the door was broken then police officers entered and they started beating me. Luckily I got a chance to escape and fled to the forest. When I came back I found they’ve taken all of my stuff."

Dotto Michael told me he and some other immigrants were to be officially deported in buses:

“We were about to board a bus which was offered for free but the police decided to charge us. So when the bus was about to leave, this young man wanted to climb in without paying - and he didn’t have money at all, in fact he hadn’t even eaten for almost three days – so the police pushed him over and when he fell on the ground, the bus ran over him and he died instantly.”

Emilia Jose, a Mozambican woman, married to a Tanzanian, told me she witnessed her friend being raped by the police in front of her children after they took the little money she had. 

They told her, 'Give us money or else we’ll kill you!’ One of the policemen said, ‘Let's not kill her, let's rape her.’. Then they started raping her - not one policeman, but two of them."

We tried to get a response from the Mozambican authorities about these allegations, but they were not available for comment. 

Watch: Mozambique's lucrative ruby mines

SA's Vaal Dam full for first time in six years

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

One of South Africa’s largest dams is full for the first time in six years.

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The announcement comes after two sluice gates at Vaal Dam, which is about 77km (47 miles) south of Johannesburg, were opened by Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane on Sunday.

She warned of possible flooding downstream:

View more on twitter

The minister said after recent heavy rainfall dam levels countrywide were looking promising: 

The country’s drought outlook is looking up. Most dams and systems are showing recovery at different levels."

With Val Dam at 100% capacity, residents of Gauteng Province, which includes the country’s economic hub Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, are likely to see an easing on water restrictions imposed during the devastating drought.

But Sputnik Ratau, spokesman for the water affairs department, said: “What we want to caution is that we’d rather that the practice of water saving becomes second nature.”

The sluice gates are expected to remain open for at least the next couple of days    

Kidnapped German archaeologists freed in Nigeria


          Security officers stand guard at the scene where a German archaeologists and his associate were kidnapped in Janjala Village, Nigeria
AP
This is the excavation site from where the Germans were kidnapped

Two German citizens who were rescued from kidnappers by Nigerian security forces over the weekend are in the care of the German embassy in the capital, Abuja, the German news site  Deutsche Welle reports

The two were kidnapped on Wednesday during a dig at Jenjela village in the northern state of Kaduna while working at an archaeological centre. 

Two villagers who attempted to help the Germans were shot and killed by the kidnappers, the report says.   

The BBC's Abuja bureau editor Naziru Mikailu says the kidnappers had demanded $200,000 (£160,000) for their release, but a police official said that no ransom was paid. 

The police deployed a special unit and used aerial surveillance to secure their release, the officer said.

Deutsche Welle says the two archaeologists, from Goethe University in Frankfurt, are doing well, quoting an unnamed source at the German foreign office.

Officers on guard at a residence in Janjala Village, Nigeria
AP
The archaeologists had been staying at this property in Janjala Village

Bakara market's specialist streets

Suitcase Street in Bakara market in Somalia
Mary Harper
This is Suitcase Street pictured by Mary Harper in 2012

Firefighters have managed to extinguish the fire that engulfed three sections of Bakara market in Somalia's captial, Mogadishu, this morning (see earlier reporters).

It is estimated that millions of dollars in damage has been caused.

BBC Somalia expert Mary Harper says Bakara market is a vast commercial district, covering a large area and comprising many streets, alleys, open areas and buildings.

It is informally divided up into areas, like Suitcase Street or Pharmacy Street, where the whole area is dedicated to that specialism.

Mary visited the market in 2012 - and posted the photos on her blog , some of which show the meat and vegetable sections burnt down in today’s fire:

Meat stalls at Bakara market
Mary Harper
Giant slabs of meat are hung in the butchery section
Vegetable section of Bakara Market, Mogadishu 2012
Mary Harper
Most of the fresh produce is grown in Afgoye near Mogadishu

Kenyans road protesters 'plant banana tree'

Operators of Kenyan minibuses known as "matatus" are holding a protest over the poor state of the roads the capital, Nairobi, 

A radio station has tweeted a picture of a protesters placing a banana tree on one road in the Kayole surburb - implying it is more fit for farming than driving:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Analysis: Second airstrikes in a week in CAR

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

The attack helicopter strike on rebels approaching Bambari on Sunday (see earlier post) is the second incident of its kind in as many weeks.

The UN has declared the town of Bambari off-limits to armed groups and warned them that it will not hesitate to use force to stop any violence.

But local militia groups have attempted to violate the order as they seek to control the town.

Last week, one of the warlords, Ali Darassa, hesitantly withdrew with his fighters from Bambari following a UN ultimatum.

But some MPs say this only relocates the armed groups but does not reduce the likelihood of them clashing in another town.

The CAR is attempting to rebuild its police and army, so UN peacekeepers have been responsible for security in some parts of the country.

Ali Darassa
bb
Ali Darassa, leader of UPC militia, has withdrawn his fighters from Bambari

'Three killed' in Somalia market fire

At least three people have been killed in an early morning fire that broke out at Bakara market in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, a journalist with VOA reports.  

He says the market has been completely destroyed: 


          BREAKING: Bakara market fire completely destroyed shops and stores comprising 500 meters square: rescue worker

BREAKING: Bakara market fire completely destroyed shops and stores comprising 500 meters square: rescue worker

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Burkina Faso revels in Fespaco, Africa's biggest film festival

Africa's biggest and most popular film festival in the world is under way in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou. 

It is the 25th edition of Fespaco , a biennial event.

A journalist form the UK Guardian newspaper journalist has been tweeting from the the pan-African film extravaganza:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ruth Maclean's article in The Guardian today quotes the mayor of  Ouagadougou saying the city is "capital of African film" and President Roch Marc Kabore that Fespaco had become “the best vehicle for culture in our continent”.

'UN attack helicopter' disperses fighters in CAR

UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have prevented heavily armed militia launching an attack on the town of Bambari.

A spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission, Vladimir Monteiro, said about 40 fighters from the FPRC militia were spotted gathering in the town, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades.

Mr Monteiro told the Reuters news agency that an attack helicopter had been called in to disperse them.

He said the operation had been conducted under the UN's mandate to protect civilians from being caught up in clashes between rival militias.

The region has seen rising violence as the result of a conflict between the FPRC and a rival group, the UPC.

According to the AFP news agency, the two factions have been fighting for control of taxes levied on Fulani herders during the current seasonal migration.

The are both former members of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance, which ousted Francois Bozize as president in 2013, when the country descended into civil and religious conflict. 

Read more: Peacekeeping, warlords and Donald Trump

Peacekeepers in Bambari, CAR
AFP
Some 12,000 UN peacekeepers are deployed in the CAR

Kenya orders private media advertising boycott

Kenya's government has announced a ban on state advertising in commercial media in the country, a move intended to cut costs. 

It says it spends about $20m (£16m) on advertising on things such as state tenders, job positions and public service announcements. 

A government memo has told all state agencies to advertise through a new government magazine, My.Gov. 

Privately owned The Daily Nation reports, quoting the document, that the move followed a resolution to bypass private media organisations: 

During the special cabinet meeting held on February 8, 2017, the cabinet discussed and approved establishment of a wide circulation newspaper to be known as MY.GOV that will articulate the government agenda in a deeper and more accurate way for a better appreciation of government’s effort to improve the livelihood of the citizens."

The move if implemented will lead to huge revenue losses and probably lead to more job cuts in the media industry.  

The Nation reports that two main newspapers, The Star and The People Daily, have entered into an agreement with the government to distribute its advertising magazine for a fee. 

The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi in the capital, Nairobi, says some commentators are concerned about the move given that general elections are due in August when there is a need for strong and independent media coverage.

Kenyan newspapers
AFP
The move if implemented will lead to millions in revenue losses

Firefighters battle Somali market fire


          Smoke from Bakara market fire, Mogadishu, Somalia - Monday 27 February 2017
BBC

Firefighters and police are battling a large fire at Bakara market in the Somali capital, Mogadishu- the biggest open-air market in the country.

Witnesses say the flames have gutted three sections of the market: those selling meat, vegetable and cutlery and crockery.

The fire started early in the morning and it is not known if there are any casualties.

Plumes of smoke can be seen billowing all over the city this morning.


          Smoke from Bakara market fire, Mogadishu, Somalia - Monday 27 February 2017
BBC

The city authorities have appealed to people not to loot.

It is believed millions of the dollars will have been lost in the fire – the cause of which is yet to be determined.

Wise words

Today's African proverb:

Hunger gets over but treachery does not."

A Kirundi proverb sent by JB Niyongabo in Burundi

Good morning

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