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Summary

  1. Naval forces from Puntland have surrounded the hijacked tanker
  2. Somali pirates say they thought it was a fishing vessel
  3. Rights group disputes death toll from raid on Ugandan traditional king
  4. Hashtag criticises government on day of Kenyatta speech
  5. Bandits in Kenya's Rift Valley kill nine people despite an ongoing security operation
  6. Nine people suspended at Tanzanian broadcaster for airing fake 'Trump praises Magufuli' story
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 15 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Tom Spender and Patricia Whitehorne

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:  

A palm nut that wants to become palm oil will have a taste of fire.

A Yoruba proverb sent by Jamiu, Kano, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we'll leave you with picture of sunset on the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

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Kenya's censor-in-chief

What's Up Africa: Kenya's censor-in-chief Ezekiel Mutua
Our satirical series What's Up Africa turns its attention to Kenya's censor-in-chief.
Ezekiel Mutua is the country's final arbiter on what people are allowed to see and hear.
Ikenna Azuike investigates the man behind the job.

Can a nude selfie be a feminist statement?

Ghanian blogger and feminist Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah put a semi nude selfie on Instagram
Actress Emma Watson has been responding to criticism following what was regarded as a quite revealing photo shoot for Vanity Fair Magazine. Could she do that and still be a feminist was the issue. Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, blogger, writer and feminist from Ghana, explains why she posted a revealing selfie on her Instagram page.

Kenyans dump rubbish on official cars

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Officials in Kenya's Migori County had a nasty surprise when residents stopped and forced them to take rubbish from the area away in the back of their pick-up trucks.

The locals were protesting over poor collection services and seized their opportunity while the officials were on an inspection tour.

County environment official Elijah Odhiambo was forced to flee the irate residents in another vehicle, the Star newspaper reported.

Battle at the top of African football

Piers Edwards

BBC Africa Sport

Issa Hayatou
Getty Images
Hayatou's longevity is driving those who believe that Ahmad should be the next president

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has only ever had five presidents in its 60-year history and the last time a new leader was appointed was way back in 1988.

Thursday's election in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, could herald a change, but long-time incumbent, Cameroon's Issa Hayatou, is not giving up without a fight.

Hayatou, in charge for nearly three decades, has often been re-elected unopposed. On the two occasions when he did face a challenge, he won with landslides amongst the electorate of presidents of Africa's football associations.

In 2000, he beat Angola's Armando Machado by 47-4 votes and four years later he defeated Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana by 46-6 votes.

As he seeks an eighth term on Thursday, taking on Madagascar FA head Ahmad Ahmad, Hayatou knows that victory this time around will not come nearly as easily.

Read the full story here

Edem - making music via the web

Edem is a celebrated rapper in Ghana - and he is using the internet to allow collaborations with other artists in Africa. 

He's been talking about his music, and how the web is a vital tool, to Newsday's Julian Keane  

Ghanaian rapper uses the internet for collaborations

Burundi-born transgender candidate in Dutch elections

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A transgender candidate born in Burundi is standing as a candidate in the Dutch general elections. 

Olave Basabose fled Burundi as a young child but her family and friends are still there. 

She says she still has deep and strong ties with Burundi and has kept in touch with LGBT activists there, she told a Burundian online publication in an interview.

She said:

The situation in Burundi fills me with anger, sometimes, pain, often, and hope, always. The emergence of a young, politically conscious and ethnically united movement for progress, democracy and development gives me hope.

I think that Burundi has real hopes, as long as we think in a unified way, as long as we are in solidarity, as long as we fight for democracy, as long as we aim for progress, as long as we hope together.

Olave trained as a corporate lawyer in the Netherlands and has been working there to protect the rights of sexual minorities. 

She says her experience as a black transgender person in the Netherlands has been problematic and is part of the reason why political activism has become important to her. 

She is standing for the newly formed Artikel 1 party, which was set up to defend equality, emancipation and social justice for all residents of the Netherlands.

Ethiopia landslide: Death toll rises to 113


          Rescue teams are using excavators to dig through piles of rubbish
Reuters
Rescue teams are using excavators to dig through piles of rubbish

The death toll from Saturday's landslide at a vast dump in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, has now risen to 113 people, local officials say.

A search operation at the Koshe landfill will continue overnight. As many as 150 people are believed to have been at the site during the landslide.

Meanwhile, the funerals of some of the victims have taken place.

The dump, which has served the city of four million for more than five decades, provided shelter for some.

The country is currently observing three days of mourning for those who died.

Hundreds of people attempt to make a living by scavenging at the landfill site, sifting through the rubbish for items they can sell. Some resided at the rubbish dump permanently.

More than 350 residents have now been moved from the site, the officials say.

Read the full story here

African design chosen for London park pavilion

pavilion
AFP

Diebedo Francis Kere, an award-winning architect from Burkino Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion that will stand in London's Kensington Gardens park over the summer.

He is the first African architect to design the pavilion, which is built by a different architect every year.

The Serpentine Galleries said Mr Kere had responded to the brief with a "bold, innovative structure that brings his characteristic sense of light and life to the lawns".

The design is inspired by a tree that serves as a "central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando" and "seeks to connect its visitors to nature and each other". 

Mr Kere said :

My experience of growing up in a remote desert village has instilled a strong awareness of the social, sustainable, and cultural implications of design.

In Burkina Faso, the tree is a place where people gather together, where everyday activities play out under the shade of its branches.

Mr Kere is the 17th architect to accept the Serpentine Galleries' commission. Previous invitees have included some of the biggest names in world architecture such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Oscar Niemayer.

Kere
AFP
Mr Kere is one of few African architects to have a global profile

Kenyatta speech: Nation's wage bill is a threat

Kenyatta
Reuters

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the nation's wage bill is one of the country's biggest challenges.

In his last State of the Nation Address before a general election in August, the president said: 

Our wage bill threatens to destroy our development agenda as a nation. Fifty percent of all the money collected as revenue from the Kenyan taxpayer goes into the pockets of less than two percent of the country's population."

The president also conceded that the nation is facing significant problems including insecurity, corruption and unemployment.

The occasion was also an opportunity for President Kenyatta to list what he says are the successes of his administration and set out what he will do if he is re-elected. 

His speech speech cited infrastructure developments, wider access to electricity and improved healthcare facilities as achievements over the last four years.

The president ended his speech with a direct appeal to voters to deliver another term for his government.  

The speech has received a mixed reaction on social media.

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Cameroon 'frees 5,000 from Boko Haram'

mandara
AFP
Cameroon has been raiding Boko Haram bases in the Mandara mountains

More than 5,000 people, including women and children, have been freed from extremist captivity and at least 60 Boko Haram fighters have been killed by Cameroon and Nigerian soldiers in operations since the end of January, a government spokesman says.

They have been transported to a camp for internally displaced people in the Nigerian town of Banki, AP news agency quoted Issa Tchiroma Bakary as saying.

Thousands of Cameroonian soldiers, supported by Nigerian troops, have been launching raids on Boko Haram strongholds in the Mandara mountains that straddle the two countries since 26 January he said:

At least 60 terrorists were killed, 21 suspects were arrested and are helping Cameroon and Nigerian military in their investigations. A refuge center for the insurgents is entirely destroyed on the Mandara highlands, a petroleum depot destroyed and an explosive factory destroyed."

Soldiers have also destroyed the residence of a Boko Haram leader which also served as a hideout for the extremists, along with a huge consignment of weapons, vehicles and motorcycles, he said. 

No soldiers had been killed, he said.

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Halima Aden: 'My hijab is my crown'

Halima Aden was born in a refugee camp in Kenya but moved to the US aged six and is now being described as fashion's face of 2017. 

She talks to the BBC about identity and President Donald Trump's travel ban, which affects citizens from countries including her native Somalia.

US-Somali model Halima Aden: 'My hijab is my crown'

Somali pirates: 'We thought tanker was fishing vessel'

aris 13
Mohamed Deeq - SBC
The ARIS-13 is being held near the port of Alula

Naval forces from Puntland in Somalia have surrounded an oil tanker that has been hijacked by pirates. 

One of the pirates has told the BBC they were fishermen whose stocks had been depleted by illegal fishing. 

He said they thought the ship was a fishing vessel until they boarded it and found it was carrying oil. He also denied reports that they were demanding a ransom. 

They are reported to be holding the eight Sri Lankan crew members hostage.  

BBC Somali’s Mowlid Haji has been talking to the ringleader, who gave his name as Said.

Said : Of late, we have been fishing in the coastal areas here, we earn our daily bread from fishing. We have seen instances where huge fishing vessels cut our fishing nets, and some of them fire at us. We have been patient for a long period. Lately, they have even started to destroy our small boats and equipment, and the day we have seized this ship, is the day we decided to counter this kind of acts. We were after a particular ship that destroyed some of our equipment, when we came across this one, about eight miles from the coast. It came across to as initially as a fishing vessel, and later on, when we want inside, we discovered that it is a cargo ship, transporting oil. We had to hold it, because we have nothing to lose any way, our resources are being depleted.

Q: Said, you may be having your own problems, as you say, but this is a cargo ship.

Said: Brother, as of now, there is no difference between a cargo ship, a nuclear disposal one or fishing one that cuts my nets and competes with me on my fishing rights. This particular ship was  passing eight miles to the coastal area, and we consider the area of over 10 miles from the coast as an exclusive fishing area for us.

Q: You are explaining your own problem, but don’t you think the people you are holding are unarmed civilians, is this not against humanity and morals, given the fact that there are international laws in regards to that?

Said: Why is international law not respected when it comes to my issues; the plight of a poor civilian, who is going out there to fish, in search of daily bread, and  these fishing or business ships destroy my equipment. Why is the issue gaining significance when we retaliate? So why give this incident a human face, while is my issues are completely ignored?

Q: So do you create a problem to solve another, it seems that the people you are holding are just like you, did you consider that they were pursuing their daily bread?

Said: For me, I cannot differentiate between the ones who killed my brothers when they collided and run over our small boats at Somali coasts. So only God know if they are not the same people who did that, as I am not police and I have no capability to investigate. This is not using a problem to solve another. This is a response to a major problem. The saying goes that if you are patient for quite too long, you may explode at one time. That is what is happening now.

Q: There is Puntland administration in your area, and we have a federal government, so who has given you the authority to take this action?

Said: No one, circumstances dictated it to us, and the Puntland administration is one that issued permits to all these fishing vessels that are collecting our maritime resources,

Q; Said, we do not have any independent confirmation of those allegations, but I would like to ask you what you achieve out of this? Is it ransom?

Said: Whatever we want is something we have been discussing with the owners of the ship, and talks are progressing well, we are now doing the final touches, and God willing, it will end peacefully. Sorry, I cannot give any more details.

Q: If you are not pirates, why are you negotiating with the owners?

You cannot be sure of what we are up to, we may be looking for evidence of whether these guys are the same ones who run over our boats. You cannot be sure whether we are asking for ransom, we are negotiating in a humanely way, and we will conclude it soon, God willing

Q: We have information from NATO that you have asked for ransom…

Said: We have not asked for money, or any kind of ransom…

Tobacco sales to ease Zimbabwe cash woes

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

tobacco
BBC

Zimbabwe tobacco selling season officially began today and authorities are expecting 205m kg of tobacco to go under the hammer this year.

The country’s reserve bank governor says the sales are expected to ease the money shortage that has plagued the country for over a year.

Tobacco is one of the country’s biggest exports and foreign currency earners and production is expected to grow this season, following good rains and a surge in new farmers registering to grow the crop.

Anxious growers gathered with their produce outside the three main auction floors on Wednesday for the official opening.  

Zimbabwe exports its tobacco to China, the Middle East and Europe. 

Merchants from these regions have set aside $700m (£575m) to purchase this years crop. 

The central bank says the money will increase the availability of cash within the economy.

Last year tobacco brought $900m into country. 

Burundi female referee makes history

The female football referee from Burundi making history
In this week's African Women You Need to Know, meet Suavis Iratunga, the female football referee from Burundi who made history in 2016.

Tripoli militia clashes continue

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

fighting
resident

Fighting between rival militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli has continued, bringing most of the city to a standstill.  

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that most of the main roads that lead into residential districts, and the highway were blocked using shipping containers, sand-piles, and burning tires.  

Shops are closed and some schools in affected areas have suspended classes. Overnight, the Alnabaa TV station, often accused of being sympathetic to one of the rival alliances, was set ablaze.  

One floor of the Alkhadra hospital was hit by a stray rocket.  

One resident uploaded this video of the fighting.

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The violence first erupted on Monday night in West Tripoli's residential district of Gergaresh, but it has since spread to other areas and has been characterised as turf warfare between the various groups involved. 

They used heavy weaponry including anti-aircraft guns, and tanks.  

The opposing sides are also nominally allied to Tripoli’s UN-backed administration and a rival defunct government that has been trying to resurrect itself.

tank
resident

The township women learning tech

In a township in Cape Town, a new scheme is helping women develop web literacy.

Far more men than women access the internet in the developing world, and the UN and the Mozilla Foundaton are trying to redress the balance.

The South Africa township women learning tech

Ethiopia lifts some state of emergency restrictions

Angry crowd protesting
Reuters
People in the Ethiopia's Oromo and Amhara regions say they have been marginalised

The Ethiopian government has lifted some restrictions imposed during a state of emergency declared last year. 

Powers granted to security services to stop and search suspects and to search homes without court authorisation have been revoked. 

Siraj Fegessa, the minister who chairs the government's body overseeing the state of emergency, has also ended a dusk-to-dawn curfew on access to economic installations, and other buildings and factories for unauthorised people.

The lifting of the restrictions has happened earlier than anticipated. 

The state of state of emergency was declared in October last year following months of anti-government protests that killed around 500 people. 

Ethiopia faced its biggest anti-government unrest in a decade, from the majority Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, who feel marginalised by a minority-led government.  

They complain power is held by a tiny Tigrean elite.  

Some restrictions are still in place. Engaging opposition groups branded as "terrorist movements" is still forbidden. Ethiopia has designated five groups, including two armed secessionist groups, as terrorist organisations. 

Another directive, barring the "preparation, distribution and exhibition of material that could incite chaos", also remains. 

Read more:What is behind Ethiopia's wave of protests?

Cosafa chief Phillip Chiyangwa to face Caf disciplinary case

chiyingwa
.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) is to go ahead with a disciplinary case against Phillip Chiyangwa, the head of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa.)

Chiyangwa is an outspoken critic of Issa Hayatou and describes himself as the campaign manager for Madagascar FA president Ahmad, who is running against Hayatou in Thursday's Caf presidential election.

Caf said Chiyangwa's recent actions and statements appear to  ``attack the honour of the Caf, its president and the members of the executive committee.'' 

Caf decided to proceed with the case against Chiyangwa - the Zimbabwe FA president - at its executive committee meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday - two days before the election.

Earlier this month, Chiyangwa escalated his war of words with CAF when threatening legal action against both Hayatou and the organisation's Secretary General Hicham El Amrani.

Read the full story here

'The internet is a blessing' - pastor

There is no doubt that for those lucky enough to have it or access it, the internet can open up all sorts of possibilities. 

As Newsday's Julian Keane found out in Accra, Ghana, that goes for many organisations including the church.  

Rev Stephen Wengam believes the internet and social media has grown his congregation

Living with volcanoes in Cape Verde

Cape Verde
Martin Plaut

The rugged volcanic islands of Cape Verde, off the West African coast, are much more than the glorious beaches enjoyed by tourists. Each island has its own unique character, as Martin Plaut recently discovered.

See more of his pictures here

Ethiopians killed in South Sudan attacks

Soldiers stand in line
Getty
Neighbouring countries fear that violence in South Sudan could spread across borders

Gunmen from South Sudan have killed 28 people and kidnapped 43 others in neighbouring Ethiopia, an Ethiopian government official has said. 

More than 1,000 from the Murle community carried out the attack on Sunday and Monday, in the Gog and Jor areas in the Gambella region, near the border with South Sudan.

Ethiopian troops were pursuing the attackers, Gambella region spokesman Chol Chany, said on Wednesday.

Map of Ethiopian and South Sudan
BBC
Ethiopia shares a long border with South Sudan

A similar incident in April 2016 saw 208 people killed and 125 children kidnapped.

Over the years Ethiopian and South Sudanese tribes have raided each other's land, often to steal cattle and abduct children to be used as herders. 

Gambella is currently hosting close to 300,000 refugees from South Sudan's civil war. 

UK's Boris Johnson visits Mogadishu

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is in the Somali capital Mogadishu for talks with new President Farmajo.

They are discussing issues including the drought affecting the region.

Johnson
BBC
Mr Johnson visited UN troops based in the country
Johnson
BBC
He was shown some of the tools in their fight against insurgents

The Somali government has been tweeting some pictures of Mr Johnson with President Farmajo and says they had a "fruitful" meeting.

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Read more:Somalia's 'Mr Cheese' president has a lot on his plate

'The place where computers go to die'

Scrap dealers show Newsday's Julian Keane around one of Ghana's biggest dumping grounds for electronic and electrical rubbish. 

But where there's rubbish there's opportunity.  

Scrap dealers show Newsday around one of Ghana's biggest dumping grounds.
Food distribution at camp in Somalia

The UN has declared a famine in parts of South Sudan, the first to be announced anywhere in the world in six years. So why has famine returned?

Read more

HRW calls for investigation into Uganda palace raid deaths

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

A Ugandan soldier looks at rubble
Reuters
The palace was burnt down during the raid

Human Rights Watch is calling for an independent investigation into a government raid on a traditional king’s palace in Uganda last November. 

According to the organisation at least 155 people were killed in the operation, including children. 

Human Rights Watch says it has spoken to families who are trying to find children and other relatives last seen in the palace before the raid. 

Medical personnel also told the organisation evidence was hidden about the actual number of fatalities.

People standing in a queue
AP
Many families are still trying to find relatives, HRW says

The police maintain that the death toll is lower and that they only killed fighters from the Rwenzururu palace, which they say was trying to stage a rebellion. 

The traditional King Charles Mumbere and more than 180 people are accused of launching a secessionist movement to create a new state, to be called Yiira.

They have been charged with treason and murder amongst other crimes. 

mumbere
Getty Images
King Mumbere is facing treason and murder charges

Read more: Uganda cracks down on 'dissenting' Rwenzururu kingdom

Getting girls into coding

A third of Ghanaians are connected to the web but that masks a digital divide which is compounded for women by a gender gap. 

Many men - even boys - feel threatened by the independence offered to women by the internet. 

Soronko Solutions is trying to change things and is using the internet to empower girls and young women, as Julian Keane found out.  

A school teaching coding in Ghana is trying to bridge the tech gender gap.

Uganda MP killed in crash

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A Ugandan MP has been killed when his taxi crashed, the Ugandan government says.

Cyrus Amodoi, an MP for the Toroma region, was among 10 people killed in the crash on the Kampala-Jinja highway, reports say.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening.  

Zambia to bid for Afcon 2025

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC World Service, Lusaka

Zambia fans
AFP/Getty
Zambia won Afcon in 2012

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu says his country will bid to host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

The announcement comes after Zambia successfully staged the Under-20 Nations Cup  which they also won on Sunday.

President Lungu met with Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Issa Hayatou on Monday and made the declaration that Zambia would bid for the Africa Cup of Nations in eight years time.

"I don't know the bidding process, but as a politician, I am bidding right now. I am bidding on behalf of all Zambians," President Lungu said.

"We can improve on the hotels, roads, and transport."

Zambia,  the 2012 African champions,  have never hosted the tournament before.

Read the full story here

Mo Farah: 'Heartbreaking' stories of hunger

farah
Getty Images

UK athlete Sir Mo Farah - who was born in Somalia - says it "breaks his heart" to hear how families are facing starvation in East Africa as he backed a UK charity fundraising appeal.

UK aid agencies have launched a fundraising appeal to help millions of people facing hunger in East Africa.

Sir Mo spent his early childhood in some of the worst affected areas in Somalia.

He said:

As a father of four, it hurts to see children without food and water, but this is a reality being faced by parents in East Africa right now.

The drought is really bad and there are millions of children at risk of starvation. I was born in Somalia and it breaks my heart to hear stories of how families are suffering."

Read the full story here

#StateOfTheLies trending ahead of Kenyatta speech

hashtags
Trendsmap

The hashtag #Stateofthelies has been trending on Twitter ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta's last state of the nation address, due to be delivered shortly. 

This year’s event comes just a few months before Kenya holds its general election, expected to take place in August.

The speech is being made against a backdrop of heightened political activity as rivals gear up for the campaign.

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But many supporters of the government has also been posting under the hashtag #SOTN2017, expressing what they feel should be the president's priorities. 

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Deadline looms for SA welfare payments

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South Africa's Constitutional Court is hearing a case on whether to extend a contract to the controversial company distributing social security grants to 17m beneficiaries.

The court had found two years ago that the process through which Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) acquired its contract - worth billions of dollars - with the department of Social Development was “unlawful.”

A decision by the court must be made by Thursday to ensure welfare grants are paid on time in April.

Lawyers for civil society groups are arguing that the minister in charge, Bathabile Dlamini, must take full responsibility for failing to find a replacement for CPS since the ruling the was made in 2014.


          South Africa's Social Development minister talking to Winnie Mandela
AFP
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini (L) is in the firing line

CPS has itself said that if there is no new contract by tomorrow's deadline, it will not be in a position to meet the deadline of paying pensioners, child support households, the disabled, veterans and all those who are eligible to receive monthly payments for their survival.

Civil rights group Black Sash is asking the Constitutional Court to oversee the new contract.

The whole country is waiting with bated breath to see how this fiasco is going to be resolved and whether the minister and her team would be sanctioned by the highest court in the land for their role.

Read more: Where will the money come from?

UK aid agencies launch hunger campaign

Last month, a famine was declared in parts of South Sudan
AP
Famine was declared in parts of South Sudan last month

UK aid agencies have launched a fundraising appeal to help millions of people facing hunger in East Africa.

The Disasters Emergency Committee says  at least 16m people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan need food, water and medical treatment.

Drought and conflict are to blame for the crisis, says the DEC, which will broadcast an emergency appeal on the major television networks on Wednesday.

The government said it will match the first £5m donated by the public.

Last month, a famine was declared in parts of South Sudan, the first to be announced in any part of the world in six years.

The government and the United Nations reported that some 100,000 people are facing starvation, with a million more on the brink of famine.

A combination of civil war and an economic collapse have been blamed.

In Kenya, the country's president Uhuru Kenyatta declared its drought a national disaster and Kenya's Red Cross says 2.7 million people face starvation.

There is also a severe drought in Somalia and Ethiopia.

Read the full story here

Teenage girls carry out Maiduguri suicide attack

aftermath
AFP/Getty
The girls blew themselves up near a bus station

Four female suicide bombers have blown themselves up in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri. 

The national emergency agency said all four bombers died instantly, along with two civilians, during the attack in the early hours of the morning. Sixteen others were wounded. 

The agency said the girls knocked on the door of a house in a residential area and then detonated their devices. 

Suicide bombings by teenage girls trained by Boko Haram insurgents have become a strategy of the extremist group in the past couple of years. 

Targeting individual homes is said to be a new tactic.  

SA 'kidnap baby' mother bailed

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Baby
South African Police Service
The report of Siwaphiwe's 'abduction' sparked a nationwide manhunt

The mother of the one-month-old baby at the centre of a “staged” kidnapping has been granted bail by the Durban magistrate’s court.

Sibongile Mbambo, who had told police that her daughter Siwaphiwe was in the back seat of her car when it was hijacked by two gunmen, has been charged with “defeating the ends of justice” for staging a hijack last week.

She was asked to pay R100,000 ($76/£63) bail.

The mother is also accused of wasting police resources, and along with her co-accused Phumlani Mbokazi, will face fraud charges.

No kidnapping charges were added. 

Sacks of cash found at Nigeria's Kaduna airport

An official looks at bundles of cash
EFCC

An investigation is underway to find the owner of sacks of cash containing more than 49m naira ($155,000; £125,00) that was discovered at Nigeria's Kaduna Airport on Tuesday.

Five large sacks containing the money were intercepted by officials during a routine baggage screening.

Large sacks containing bundles of money
EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the money was made up of new naira N200 and N50 notes, bundled into packs with seals purportedly coming from the Nigeria Security and Minting Plc (NSPM).

Ibrahim Bappah with the anti-graft commission's local office said the "crispy naira notes" were discovered when a distinctive aroma was detected during routine screening. 

The bags were left unattended and without tags. 

The EFCC is investigating whether it was an illegal attempt to move money.

Nine suspended for airing 'Trump praises Magufuli' hoax

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

grab
Fox-channel

Tanzanian public broadcaster TBC has suspended nine staff after the broadcaster aired a hoax story that US President Donald Trump has praised President Magufuli's performance.

The story, which was aired last week, said Trump has called on other African leaders to follow Magufuli's example on good governance and crackdown on corruption in particular

In an apology notice, TBC Director General Ayub Chacha said:

The mistakes shouldn't have happened had all the editorial procedures to verify the authenticity of story been followed"

The fake article appears to have been published on a website called "Fox Channel", which copies and pastes stories from other sources.

The hoax story says Mr Trump called Mr Magafuli an "African hero" while "signing a law banning Africans from countries where presidents are doing nothing and those have declined to leave power".

Tanzanians would not be restricted in entering the US, the hoax added.

grab
Fox-channel
grab
Fox-channel

Two kidnapped and school burned in Burkina Faso attack

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

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Two people have been kidnapped and a school torched in an attack in northern Burkina Faso, where jihadists recently threatened learning institutions. 

The Baraboule School near Djibo in Soum province in the north of Burkina Faso was burned by unidentified people on Tuesday, Burkina24 website reported. 

The private media outlet quoted a local official confirming the abduction and the attack on the school. 

Jihadists, thought to belong to the nascent Ansar-al-Islam group, killed three people in an attack in Kourfayel, in the same region, on 3 March. 

A headmaster was among the victims. Teachers subsequently protested the attack and urged improved security in the area. 

Islamist militants have reportedly ordered schools in the area to teach in Arabic instead of French, which is the official language. 

Nine dead in Rift Valley bandit attack

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At least nine people have been killed in a banditry attack in Kenya’s Rift Valley region despite an ongoing high profile security operation to disarm armed civilians. 

Local leaders have told the BBC that the heavily armed attackers raided several villages in Baringo county, torched houses and indiscriminately shot the victims. 

Hundreds of residents are fleeing the area, but many are missing and are feared dead. 

On Monday, two women were shot dead in the same area. 

Earlier this month, Deputy President William Ruto rolled out an ambitious major security crackdown to mob up illegally-owned guns in the area. 

He also issued shoot-to-kill orders against bandits.

Somali pirates demand ransom

the hijacked ship
Mohamed deeq
Armed men are demanding a ransom for the ARIS-13

Pirates off the coast of Somalia who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU anti-piracy Naval Force has said. 

The EU force said it had made contact by phone with the ship's master, who said his vessel and crew were being held captive in an anchorage off the north coast in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

But the statement gave no details on the size of the ransom.

The ARIS-13 was en route from Djibouti to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, when it sent a distress signal, saying it was being approached by high-speed boats. 

EU Navfor said as soon as it received an alert on the ship's seizure, it sent a patrol aircraft from its Djibouti base to try to make radio contact. 

Its headquarters in London managed to contact the vessel's master by phone late on Tuesday. A statement said:

The master confirmed that armed men were on board his ship and they were demanding a ransom for the ship's release. The EU Naval Force has now passed the information regarding the incident to the ship's owners.

The armed men on board had earlier told a local official that they were fishermen whose equipment had been destroyed by illegal fishing vessels.