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Summary

  1. 'Bug' leads to Senegalese network broadcasting porn film
  2. 'All passengers survive' South Sudan plane crash
  3. Namibia to 'expropriate' white-owned land
  4. Chad opposition decries visit from 'fascist' Le Pen
  5. 'Extreme' climate trends continue in 2017
  6. Former BBC Somali editor appointed foreign minister
  7. At least 26 'die of hunger' in Somalia
  8. Zimbabwe's president calls for Union of African States
  9. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Tuesday 21 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Hugo Williams

All times stated are UK

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That's all from the   BBC Africa Live  page today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the   Africa Today podcast   or checking the   BBC News website  . 

A reminder of today's wise words:

The food meant for a toad does not climb trees."

Sent by Igoh Vitalis Azer, Makurdi, Nigeria, and Ukor Mterorga, Adikpo, Benue, Nigeria

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

And we leave you with this photo of an installation by South African artist Sue Williamson. Titled Messages from the moat , the bottles in the net represent slave transactions made by the Dutch East India company in the 17th Century.

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China to give food aid to Mozambique

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

The Chinese Communist Party is to donate rice worth $8m (£6.4m) to support victims of natural disasters in Mozambique. The donation was announced by the paty's politiburo member Guo Jinlong during a visit to the southern African nation.

According to the UN's World Food Programme, more than 1.4 million people in southern and central Mozambique are in need of food aid because of a severe drought last year. 

The humanitarian crisis worsened worsened in February when cyclone Dineo hit the southern province of Inhambane, killing four people and leaving many homeless. 

Risky operation removes parasitic twin from baby

Dominique with medical staff
Reuters
Dominique travelled from Ivory Coast for the operation in the US

A baby girl whose twin failed to develop properly and fused to her growing body in the womb is recovering after a successful operation in the US.

A team of five surgeons at Advocate Children's Hospital in Chicago removed baby Dominique's parasitic twin.

In this extremely rare case, her parasitic twin was attached to her back and shoulder. This made her look like she had two extra legs and feet.

Dominique travelled from Ivory Coast for the operation and will return soon.

Read the full BBC story here

Senegal religious TV channel broadcasts porn film

Leone Ouedraogo

BBC Africa

Touba TV
YouTube
The channel normally broadcasts religious content

A religious TV channel in Senegal has broadcast a hardcore porn movie, causing shock among many viewers. 

Touba TV inadvertently aired the explicit content in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, between 13:10 and 13:30 local time.

The embarrassing slip-up has not escaped the attention of the authorities either.

The National Audiovisual Regulatory Council has demanded an explanation from the channel.

Touba TV has said that a troublesome "network bug" had caused the material to air.

EFF pushes for land expropriation


          South African opposition radical party Economic Freedom Fighters supporter holds a EFF sign during the official local election manifesto launch at Soweto's Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on April 30, 2016
AFP
The EFF styles itself as a revolutionary party fighting for the poor

South Africa's opposition Economic Freedom Fighters have reiterated their call for white-owned land to be expropriated, without compensation

In a statement released to mark Human Rights Day in a country where white minority rule ended in 1994, the EFF said there could be "no human right without land". 

It added: 

Increasingly, our people will ask what good is the right to vote without land?

What good is freedom of movement, assembly and expression without the land?

Without the land we are condemned to live on our knees, without the dignity of identity and economic freedom."

It follows an announcement from Namibia's president earlier that the country planned to expropriate land to increase black ownership ( see earlier post ).

UK bans laptops on some African flights

The UK has announced a cabin baggage ban on laptops on passenger flights from six Middle East and North African countries.

The UK restrictions, which also apply to tablets, DVD players and phones over certain size, come after a similar  US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ban .

Flights on nine airlines from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries are subject to the US move. 

The DHS cited at attacks on planes and airports in two African states as a reason for the ban.

In a statement, the DHS said bombs, had been hidden in such items as a soft drink can, in the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt in 2015, and the laptop used in the unsuccessful attack in Somalia last year.

It added:

Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items."

Plane with hole in fuselage
Harun Maruf
The plane targeted in Somalia was forced to make an emergency landing

Read more: What happened in the Somali plane bomb? 

From child soldier to US Ivy League university

That's the long journey taken by a Sierra Leonean, who was forced to take up arms in his country's civil war in the 1990s - aged just 11. 

Now John Idriss Lahai is an academic, working as a research fellow at the School of International Studies at Flinders University in Australia. 

He will soon move to the US to take up a position at an Ivy League university. 

He's been telling his story to BBC Focus on Africa's Veronique Edwards:

My life was conditioned by a civil war that I knew nothing about...I was just engulfed in it.

It was seen as a sign of weakness for young men to shy away from becoming members of militia forces within their communities.

I went because I did not want to bring shame on my family."

Listen to the full interview below:

John Idriss Lahai says getting an education saved him after the war

Deadly car bomb attack near Somali president's compound

Several people have been killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu after a car bomb went off a few hundred metres from the presidential compound.

"A suicide car bomb rammed into a checkpoint near the national theatre," local police officers Ahmed Hussein told Reuters news agency.

The editor of Somalia's National News Agency has shared a video of the aftermath of the explosion, reporting that at least seven people were killed: 

View more on twitter

The attack comes just a few hours after the government announced its new cabinet ( see earlier posts ).

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, but Islamist militant group al-Shabab carries out frequent attacks in Mogadishu.

Le Pen arrives in Chad, due to meet Deby


          French far-right Front National (FN) party candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen (R) sits next to Chadian president cabinet director Mahamat Hissein at the N"Djamena airport on March 21, 2017
AFP
Marine Le Pen was met at the airport in Ndjamena by cabinet director Mahamat Hissein

France's far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen is due to meet Chad's President Idriss Deby, following her arrival in the capital Ndjamena earlier today.

In a statement, reported by Reuters news agency, her party said:

She will be meeting President Deby with whom she will discuss the sensitive situation in this part of Africa.

She will make a speech outlining her vision for future Franco-African relations."

Ms Le Pen, among the leading candidates in this month's French presidential election, will also visit troops serving as part of Operation Barkhane, France's 3,500-strong anti-Islamist force, which has its headquarters in Chad. 

Chadian opposition parties say she should have been banned from visiting describing her as a champion of "fascist" policies (see earlier entry).

Read the full BBC News story

Call on AU to sanction Morocco

Saharawi people
AFP
The AU regards Western Sahara as an independent state

Polisario Front has called on African countries to sanction Morocco after it failed to attend a meeting of the African Union to discuss the territorial dispute over Western Sahara, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

Its Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ouldsalek said Monday's meeting of the AU's Peace and Security Council was the first test of Morocco's admission to the body in January:

Morocco has boycotted the meeting that was scheduled to discuss issues related between the two countries. The African Union now must take steps by imposing sanctions against Morocco."

A letter from Morocco to the AU ahead of Monday's meeting said the question of Western Sahara was in the hands of the UN Security Council and "the organs of the African Union are invited to support this process... in line with the United Nations' mandate.'' 

Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity, the precussor to the AU, in 1984, after it recognised the independence of Western Sahara, regarded by Morocco as part of its territory.  

Map
BBC

Watch: Forty years in a refugee camp

'Extreme' climate trends continue in 2017


          This map shows the global temperature departures from the long-term average in January this year
NOAA

In the atmosphere, the seas and around the poles, climate change is reaching disturbing new levels across the Earth.

That's according to a  detailed global analysis  from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

It says that 2016 was not only the warmest year on record, but it saw atmospheric CO2 rise to a new high, while Arctic sea ice recorded a new winter low.

The "extreme and unusual" conditions have continued in 2017, it says.

The report states that extreme weather events in 2016 included severe droughts in southern and East Africa, and in Central America.   

Read the full story from BBC Environment Correspondent Matt McGrath


          A Somali woman walks through a camp of people displaced from their homes elsewhere in the country by the drought, shortly after dawn in Qardho, Somalia Thursday, March 9, 2017.
AP
East and Southern Africa experienced extreme droughts in 2016

Africa is expected to be one of the continents hardest hit by climate change, despite accounting for less than 4% of the world's annual greenhouse gas emissions. 

Read more: Five ways climate change could affect Africa

Baby born on migrant rescue boat

A European NGO has shared photos of a baby girl who was born on board a boat that rescued migrants in the Mediterranean:

View more on twitter

Almost 1,000 people were rescued and have now landed at the Sicilian port of Catania, it adds:

View more on twitter

Read BBC coverage of the migrant crisis

Egypt and Morocco among countries hit by US electronics ban


          A picture taken on September 30, 2015 shows Egypt Air planes on the tarmac of Cairo international Airport.
AFP

The US has announced a ban on large electronic devices from cabin baggage on passenger flights from Egypt, Morocco and six other Muslim majority countries. 

The Department of Homeland Security said extremists were seeking "innovative methods" to bring down jets.

Bombs could be hidden in laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games, it said. 

US officials said nine airlines - including Egypt Air and Royal Air Maroc - had been given 96 hours, beginning at 07:00 GMT on Tuesday, to ban devices bigger than a mobile phone or smartphone from cabins. They said the ban had no end date.

Read the full BBC story here  

Racially-charged row at SA restaurant

A video of a white man threatening a black woman inside a popular restaurant has caused outrage in South Africa.

The film of the incident at a Johannesburg branch of the Spur chain of restaurants has been widely shared.

In it, the two can be heard arguing and hurling insults at each other, while a group of children are sitting at the table watching the row unfold.

The video appears to have touched a nerve in a country where racism is still a sore point.

It is not clear what started the altercation but both adults say that their child was bullied by the other's child.

The confrontation escalated when the man threatened to hit the woman, who accused him of bullying her because she was black.

"You can't come here and bully me… this is a democratic South Africa in case you had not noticed," the incensed woman says.

Although the man does not say anything specifically racist, many have interpreted his treatment of the woman as being based on her skin colour.

Some Twitter users have shown  their support for the woman: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The restaurant chain has apologised for the drama and banned the man involved.

"The man in the video is not welcome at any Spur restaurant nationally.

"We do not condone any forms of violence against women or children, irrespective of the circumstances," the company said in statement shared on social media.

View more on facebook

Cameroon 'forcibly repatriates' Nigerians

BBC World Service


          A woman works near piles of firewood on November 13, 2014 in a camp for Nigerian refugees in Minawao, in the extreme north-west of Cameroon
AFP
Tens of thousands of Nigerians have fled to Cameroon

The United Nations says Cameroon is forcing thousands of Nigerian refugees displaced by the jihadist group Boko Haram to go home. 

The UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, said Cameroonian soldiers have so far this year sent home more than 2,600 people to villages in north-east Nigeria, where insecurity persists and basic services are scarce. 

Earlier this month, the two countries signed an agreement stating that refugees would not be forcibly repatriated. 

More than 85,000 Nigerian refugees reside in neighbouring Cameroon's Far North region, where the Islamist militants also launch attacks, often using female suicide bombers and children.

Read: Who are Boko Haram?

A fresh start for Somalia?

Mohammud Ali Mohamed

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The appointment of the new cabinet in Somalia (see earlier entries) is seen as a step forward for a government that was ushered in with lots of hope and optimism. 

However, some analysts are worried that the large cabinet, with 26 ministers, could take away a chunk of much needed resources at a time when the government faces a severe drought and warnings of a possible famine. 

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre has promised that this will be a new beginning.

The cabinet has many new faces, including former BBC Somali Service editor Yusuf Garaad, who has been appointed as foreign minister.

The new president and prime minister promised to help alleviate the suffering of Somalis faced with drought, to fight corruption and create institutions that can deliver services. 

Somalis now hope that they will deliver on these promises. 

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Namibia to expropriate white-owned land

Namibia's President Hage Geingob has lamented the slow pace of land reform in the country, saying the government will tackle the problem by expropriating land, while giving white owners "fair compensation". 

In a speech to mark 27 years of independence, Mr Geingob said the government had exhausted efforts to transfer ownership to black people through the "willing buyer, willing seller" concept. 

The government now needed to "refer back to our constitution which allows for the expropriation of land with fair compensation and also look at foreign ownership of land, especially absentee land owners".  

The government is aiming to transfer 43% of its agricultural land to disadvantaged black Namibians by 2020. So far less than 30% has been reallocated.

Land ownership is an emotive issue in the region - Zimbabwe's government has been strongly criticised by the opposition and Western governments for seizing white-owned farms. 

In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has called for land expropriation without compensation , but a discussion paper released by the governing party has proposed "just and equitable" compensation. 

Mr Geingob's speech has been tweeted on the presidency's official account.  

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter

BBC Hausa celebrates 60th birthday

BBC Hausa 60th anniversary special webpage
BBC
BBC Hausa reaches millions of people on radio, TV and online

BBC Hausa is launching a special series of programmes today to mark 60 years since the language service hit the airwaves.

The first Hausa broadcast was made on 13 March, 1957 at a time when Nigeria and other African countries were fighting for independence from British colonial rule. 

The service reaches an audience of 23 million people a week on radio, TV and digital. 

Their biggest audiences are in Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Cameroon, parts of Sudan and Chad, as well as reaching Hausa speakers in the diaspora. 

We had a dig through the picture archives to show you how the service has changed over the years:


          Baguda Bida, programme Assistant in the BBC Hausa Service , reads the News.
BBC
Lawal and Saulawa Shehu
BBC
BBC Hausa team pictured in black and white
BBC

          Hausa service Presenter Aichatou Moussa, presenting for BBC Hausa, which is the World Service programming in the West African Hausa language
BBC
The Hausa TV news bulletin was launched in 2014

BBC coverage in West Africa is to be boosted further by the launch of three new services in Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin.

New FA boss 'to get Algeria back on track' after Afcon failure

Kheireddine Zetchi
BBC
Kheireddine Zetchi replaces Mohamed Raouraoua as head of the Algeria Football Federation after 12 years in charge

The new president of Algeria's football federation, Kheireddine Zetchi, wants to get the national team back on track and develop the local game.

Zetchi was elected unopposed on Monday after incumbent, Mohamed Raouraoua, refused to stand for a third consecutive term.

Algeria failed to get out of their group at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

"There are priorities, namely the appointment of a coach," Zetchi said.

He has set a deadline of two weeks to find a new coach to replace Belgian George Leekens, who resigned in January after the Nations Cup failure.

Read the full BBC Sport story

Ghana waterfall spot closed after deadly freak accident

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One of Ghana's top tourist sites has been closed indefinitely after a freak accident on Sunday killed at least 18 people, mainly high school students, local media report

The victims died after a large tree fell on them at the Kintampo waterfall in central Ghana. 

Chad opposition decries visit from 'fascist' Le Pen

Lamine Konkobo

BBC Africa


          Marine Le Pen, leader of the French Front National political party, speaks at a conference of European right-wing parties on January 21, 2017 in Koblenz, Germany.
AFP
Mrs Le Pen hopes to cause an upset in France's election

Opposition parties in Chad have condemned a planned visit by France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen to the former French colony later today, calling her a fascist and a xenophobe.  

Ms Le Pen, who is running for the presidency in France's 23 April election, said she would be visiting French soldiers based in Chad to show that security will be a priority for her if she takes office. 

However, opposition parties in Chad say she is coming to "beg" for campaign funds from President Idriss Deby.

Ms Le Pen has not commented on the reports. 

The National Front leader is vocal about her anti-immigration stance, which makes her unpopular in most of French-speaking Africa, including Chad.

Polls suggest Ms Le Pen will get the most votes in the first round, but centrist Emanuel Macron will defeat her in a run-off vote.  

Read more: What makes Marine Le Pen far right?

'All passengers survive' South Sudan plane crash

View more on twitter

All passengers and crew survived an accident in South Sudan on Monday in which a passenger jet hit a fire truck on the runway before bursting into flames, AFP news agency reports.

Initial reports said scores of people had been killed in the accident. 

"There is no one who died,"  Information Minister Bona Gaudensio told AFP from the north-western city of Wau, where the accident happened.

He said 37 people had been treated for injuries in hospital but, miraculously, no one was killed, despite a fireball consuming the plane soon after it crash landed. 

Wau is a regional capital with a busy airport used by the UN and aid agencies as well as private and commercial planes. 

The fuselages of previous air crashes are still visible in the long grass next to the airport's runway.

Explaining what led to the crash, the minister said:

The plane hit a fire brigade truck, that is how it caught fire."

He suggested both "a technical problem" and "some negligence" might be to blame and added that an investigation would be carried out.

Pascal Ladu of the South Sudan Red Cross said that after the plane, operated by local carrier South Supreme Airlines, hit the truck it burst into flames and "passengers quickly started running out".   


          A picture taken on March 20, 2017 in South Sudan"s northwestern city of Wau shows people gathering near a plane wreckage after a jet crash-landed, leaving at least 37 people injured
AFP
The plane was completely destroyed in the blaze

Record number of women in Somali cabinet

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre has named a cabinet of 26 ministers at a ceremony in the capital Mogadishu ( see earlier entry ).

There are a record six ministerial posts for women.

The new cabinet is a mix of new arrivals and ministers who served in previous administrations.

Mr Kheyre named one deputy premier, 26 ministers and 26 assistant ministers after consultation with the president and the speaker of parliament.

The cabinet appointees will have to be approved by parliament. 

However, the proposed cabinet, which meets the various clan interests, is not expected to face major opposition from members of parliament. 

A journalist with Voice of America in Mogadishu has been tweeting details about some of the new appointments:

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Gado takes on Boris Johnson's 'colonial baggage'

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East Africa's best known cartoonist has taken aim at UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who has just finished a tour of the region, where he visited Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. 

The "colonial baggage" referred to in the cartoon is presumably a reference to his previous controversial comments about the UK's history on the continent. 

Writing on the effects of colonialism in Uganda  (in 2002) , Mr Johnson said: 

If left to their own devices, the natives would rely on nothing but the instant carbohydrate gratification of the plantain."

Read more: Boris Johnson and his "colonial views" on Africa

Ex-BBC journalist named Somali foreign minister

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre has been announcing his new cabinet in the capital Mogadishu. 

Former BBC Somali Editor and diplomat Yusuf Garaad has been named as the new foreign minister. 

More details to follow. 

Mugabe appeals for Union of African States


          President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe (R) arrives for the Ghana Independence Day celebrations in Accra, Ghana, 06 March 2017.
EPA
Mr Mugabe is the world's oldest ruler

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has called for greater economic integration among African countries with the aim of creating a union of African States, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports .

Speaking at the African Economic Platform summit in Mauritius, Mr Mugabe added that regional groupings should work towards forming "a much more united African Union, call it if you want, Union of African States, with perhaps an authority called Government of African Union States and those other authorities being subordinate to that authority". 

Mr Mugabe, 93, added: 

When will that day come? We hope it will come in the lives of our children."

Somalis 'starve to death'

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

At least 26 people have died of starvation in Somalia's southern region of Jubaland, the government-owned Radio Mogadishu website has reported. 

It quoted regional Interior minister and Drought Committee chairman Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein as saying that the deaths occurred in the last 36 hours. 

He appealed for emergency aid to curb hunger, Radio Mogadishu reported. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who visited Somalia earlier this month, said that nearly six million people are in need of food aid in the country.  


          A malnourished child is fed a special formula by her mother at a regional hospital in Baidoa town, the capital of Bay region of south-western Somalia on March 15, 2017
AFP
Aid agencies have warned of a full-blown famine in Somalia

Read: What can I do to help?  

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day: 

The food meant for a toad does not climb trees."

Sent by Igoh Vitalis Azer, Makurdi, Nigeria, and Ukor Mterorga, Adikpo, Benue, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs

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