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Summary

  1. South Sudan's president 'prays for forgiveness'
  2. Mauritania MPs 'vote for flag to show colonial fight'
  3. Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is back after seven weeks abroad
  4. Buhari: 'I've never been so ill'
  5. Appeal to find hijacked South African baby
  6. Africa gets its own web address with launch of .africa
  7. SA man and fiancee on unlawful sex charge released in UAE
  8. Mozambique discovers illegal Chinese prawn exporters
  9. Japan to withdraw troops from South Sudan
  10. Cholera cases in Somalia soar
  11. SA pellet-shooting farmer 'denies mistaking worker for monkey'
  12. Somaliland calls for US travel ban exemption
  13. SA opposition demonstrate over welfare payments
  14. Madagascar 'dam bursts' after Cyclone Enawo
  15. SA man crosses Atlantic on paddle board
  16. Rebels in DR Congo 'sentenced to death'
  17. South Africa taxi drivers protest over Uber
  18. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 10 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the  BBC Africa Live  page this week. 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 African proverb of the day: 

A turtle knows how to bite a turtle."

A Sudanese proverb sent by Abuelgasim Elsir, Khartoum, Sudan

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with one of our   top shots from across the continent this week  this picture of a fruit vendor in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. 

Fruit vendor
EPA

Help find hijacked SA baby

#HelpFindDurbanBaby is trending in South Africa, with people sharing the photo of a one-month-old baby who was in a car that was hijacked in the port city of Durban earlier today:

View more on twitter

The baby's mother and an eight-year-old child were booted out of the car by the hijackers, who then drove off.

A police spokesman says they have officers searching for the baby, including a dog unit.

Cholera 'spreads in South Sudan'

An outbreak of cholera in South Sudan has reached the country's second-largest city of Malakal, which has been ravaged by the three-year civil war, the Associated Press agency reports. 

The number of cases are reported nationwide to have risen to 5,500. 

Cholera now has been confirmed in 14 counties, with at least 137 deaths since June.

An ongoing civil war and drought in the country has complicated the aid response especially in the northern county of Mayendit where local authorities told aid workers late last month to leave the area because of fighting, Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the UN chief, is said to have told reporters on Friday. 

Cases of cholera have also been reported in Somalia, which is also facing a hunger crisis, with at least 200 fatalities reported so far this year (see earlier report).

Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious infection that can spread in areas without clean drinking water and with poor sanitation.

Mozambique discovers illegal Chinese prawn exporters

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Mozambican prawns
Getty Images
Mozambique is famous for its prawns

An illegal Chinese company has been discovered exporting prawns from Mozambique.

The fisheries authorities in the central province of Sofala say they have seized almost a tonne of top quality tiger and queen prawns from the firm.

Also seized 80kg of processed crabs from Nova Praia in the port city of Beira.

The produce was being packaged in freezers for export by Chinese nationals, Carlos Sindela, the provincial director of fisheries, said.

They refused to talk to the media, saying the owner of the business was away in China.

The illegal firm was using the site of a former fisheries firm that went bankrupt.

In the last decade, fishing companies have been hit first by the collapse in the price of prawns and also by the increase in fuel prices.

In addition, the government has restricted the amount companies can catch because prawn fishing was reaching it exploitation limits.

About 11 companies have gone bust in recent times.

According to Mr Sindela, the Chinese firm was not registered, which meant it was not paying tax:

The owners of the fake Chinese company had no documentation, at all."

He added that the alleged criminals would be duly penalised, which is likely to involve a heavy fine.

Africa gets its own web address with launch of .africa

Africa now has the unique web address .africa, equivalent to the more familiar .com, following its official launch by the African Union.

AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma hailed its creation as the moment when Africa "got [its] own digital identity".

The AU says the .africa domain name will "bring the continent together as an internet community".

Addresses can now reflect a company's interest in the whole of Africa.

For example, a mobile phone company could create mobile.africa to show its Africa-wide presence, or a travel company could set up travel.africa.

Read the BBC News story for more

People on laptops
AP
The African Union hopes .africa will create a unique online identity for the continent

SA opposition demonstrate over welfare payments

Supporters of South Africa's opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) have today held a demonstration in support of state welfare payments which have been mired in uncertainty.

The government has failed to appoint a new company to distribute the funds next month. The current distributor's contract ends on 31 March.

View more on twitter

DA party leader Mmusi Maimane, who led the protest outside the offices of South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the capital, Pretoria, said millions stand to lose their benefits:  

"In less than three weeks' time, millions of South Africans stand to lose their social grants if an urgent solution to the grant payment crisis is not found."

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini told reporters on Sunday that payments would continue, despite ongoing confusion over how they would be made.  

Sassa pays out around 140bn rand ($10.7bn; £8.7bn) a year in grants to vulnerable people including pensioners, unemployed mothers and disabled people.

"No-one will go unpaid. We are sure about that," she said.

In 2014, the constitutional court found that the contract awarded to private company CPS was not lawful.  

Sassa is responsible for distributing social grants to 17 million South Africans.

South Sudan's president 'prays for forgiveness'

Ibrahim Haithar

BBC Monitoring

Salvar Kiir
AP

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has prayed for forgiveness for what he described as sins he may have committed while exercising his duty as the head of state, reports the privately owned Eye Rdio FM website .

Today was declared a national holiday in the country so that a national day of prayer could be held.

The prayers were held at a gathering in the capital, Juba, at the mausoleum for John Garang, the man considered the father of South Sudan:

A woman praying in South Sudan - Friday 10 March 2017
AP

President Kiir also called for redemption of the people of South Sudan from the many troubles bestowed on the country:  

I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan.

Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do."

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, but two years after independence the world's newest country descended into civil war.

Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have fled their homes and ethnic violence continues despite a regional peace initiative.

Last month, famine was declared in some parts of the country.

Madagascar 'dam bursts' after Cyclone Enawo

A broadcaster in Tarmacadam has tweeted videos and images of a dam that has burst flooding a village near the capital, Antananarivo, following Cyclone Enawo that hit the Indian Ocean island this week.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Five are known to have died when Enawo dumped 12 inches of rain across north-east Madagascar in 12 hours on Tuesday, with winds reaching up to 300km/h (185mph).

'We are happy to see Buhari back'

Watch Nigerians in Lagos react to the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from extended sick leave:

Nigerians welcome the return of president from sick leave

Rebels in DR Congo 'sentenced to death'

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo region of Beni has sentenced nine rebels to death for the killing of 1,000 civilians since October 2014 in the eastern region, the AP news agency is reporting.

Presiding judge Jean-Paulin Esosa Basema reportedly said that they had been prosecuted for crimes against humanity, terrorism and participation in a rebellion

Two others on trial were acquitted and another transferred to a court for minors.

They are members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that was founded in neighboring Uganda but is now based in DR Congo.   

The ADF rebels are among scores of armed groups vying for control in mineral-rich eastern DR Congo.   

Poison on the minds of the Resident Presidents

This week the Resident Presidents are musing about using VX nerve agent, that was used to kill Kim Jong-nam the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, at a Malaysian airport in February. 

Listen to Presidents Olushambles and Kibarkingmad's satirical take on what they would do if they could get their hands on the lethal chemical weapon:

Presidents Olushambles and Kibarkingmad's take on global events

South Africa's tech-savvy domestic workers

Sweep South, a South African startup, has tapped into the country's domestic work industry - by pairing registered domestic workers with cleaning opportunities. 

BBC Africa Business Report presenter Lerato Mbele looks at how the technology is changing domestic work scene:

South Africa's tech savvy domestic workers

Cholera cases in Somalia soar

Child being treated
Save The Children
Fifteen-month old girl suffering from malnutrition and related complications

Aid agency Save the Children is warning that an outbreak of cholera in Somalia has reached crisis levels and is calling for international support to deal with the crisis.

It says that at least 200 deaths have been recorded from the 8,400 cases that have been confirmed this year.

Somalia is currently experiencing severe drought which has made the situation worse. 

Cases of pneumonia among children and adults have also been registered in 72 clinics in the Puntland region. 

Officials at the aid agency say that the scale of the suffering is even greater than at the equivalent stage in 2011, before a famine was eventually declared. 

At least 6.2 million people, around half of the population, are in urgent need of support, the agency says.

It has made an appeal for $824m (£677m) to stop, "the drought becoming a full blown disaster".

Carcass
Save The Children
Drought conditions have led many pastoralists to abandon their land in search of pasture for the their livestock
Children being treated
Save The Children
Two-year-old Mayda Mohammed brought to a mobile health clinic set up in the dry arid landscape of the area East of Qardho in the Puntland
Woman holds child
Save The Children
Three-month old twins Abshir for by her grandmother at the stabilisation unit at Garowe General Hospital in Puntland.

Zimbabwe designer: 'No need for his and hers'

Zimbabwe's Tanya Mushayi describes herself as an accidental designer. She began by making her own dresses and posting the pictures online.

Those that liked her designs began asking her to make them similar outfits and that is how her fashion label Tanya Nefertari began.

Zimbabweans in the diaspora are particularly good customers, as the BBC's  Africa Business Report  reports:

Tanya Mushayi: 'I want to make gender fluid clothing'

SA farmer 'denies mistaking worker for monkey'

A farmer in South Africa in court this morning for shooting and wounding one of his workers with a pellet gun has denied mistaking the man for a monkey, a journalist for the public broadcaster SABC reports.

On Thursday, police said the farmer in Letsitele, in Limpopo province, had shot at Mathanene Ismael when he was returning from a storeroom on a bicycle, claiming he had thought he was a monkey.

The police reportedly said today they not believe the case was racially motivated:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The SABC journalist says the farmer was granted bail of 5,000 rand ($378, £311).

According to News24, in KwaZulu-Natal, an 87-year-old man appeared in court on Monday for allegedly shooting and killing a 12-year-old boy he apparently mistook for a monkey.

The boy had reportedly climbed a guava tree on the man's property in Braemar on Sunday. 

Egypt statue 'a colossus of a king'

Archaeologists have said a figure found submerged in water in a Cairo neighbourhood may depict Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

Egyptian pharoah statue of Ramses II is 'big discovery'

Unlawful sex charges dropped - SA confirmation

Iryna Nohai and Emlyn Culverwell
Culverwell family
The couple were arrested when Iryna Nohai was found to be pregnant

South Africa's foreign ministry has confirmed that the charges against a South African man and his Ukrainian fiancee, detained in the United Arab Emirates for having unlawful sex as they were not married, have been dropped, News24 reports .

All charges against the couple have been dropped and they have been released. The family will arrange when they would return to South Africa."

Clayson Monyela Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman

Emlyn Culverwell‚ 29, and Iryna Nohai, 27, were arrested in January when Ms Nohai was taken to hospital with stomach cramps and was found to be pregnant. 

Somaliland calls for US travel ban exemption

The self-declared republic of Somaliland has called on the United States to recognise its independence and to exclude its citizens from the recent travel ban that excludes citizens of six mainly Muslim countries, including Somalia, from travelling to the US for 90 days. 

Saad Ali Shire, the breakaway region's foreign minister, said in a statement:

Somaliland and the United States seek to advance shared security and economic interests, immigration policies directed at Somalia must not be applied to citizens of our country.

Somaliland will also reaffirm our desire for strengthened bilateral relations and official US recognition of Somaliland’s independent sovereign status.”

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 when the overthrow of military ruler Siad Barre plunged the country into civil war.

US President Donald Trump signed the executive order on Monday - and it comes into force on 16 March.

His previous travel ban order, signed in January, was blocked in federal courts and sparked mass protests as well as confusion at airports.

Read more: Somaliland - making a success of independence

Mauritania MPs 'vote for flag to show colonial fight'

MPs in Mauritania’s lower house of parliament have voted to change the country flag’s to include two red bands to represent the blood shed during the fight to end colonial rule from France, the AFP news agency is reporting.

Planned new Mauritanian flag
_

The current green flag has a crescent and star symbolising the importance of Islam to the country:

Old Mauritanian flag
_

The lawmakers also decided to get rid of the Senate, which must now vote on these constitutional amendments.

The ruling party has a majority in both the lower and upper chamber, AFP reports.

Buhari to 'resume work on Monday'

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari will return to work on Monday according to a tweet by an adviser. 

View more on twitter

Mr Buhari who returned from UK after a seven week medical leave joked that he had returned deliberately on Friday so that Vice-President  Yemi Osinbajo could be in charge over the weekend. 

Meet Kenya's podcasting 'sex queens'

Roderick MaCleod

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Nini Wacera and Kaz Lucas are the self proclaimed "sex queens" of Nairobi. 

They co-host a popular podcast called The Spread which they hope will help women and girls talk openly about, and reclaim, their sexuality. 

Meet Kenya's podcasting 'sex queens'

Footage of Buhari incorrect

A video being shared on Twitter showing ecstatic supporters of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari rushing towards a runway was not of his return today.

We mistakenly posted the footage in this entry - and so we have now removed it.

The video was from when he was campaigning for election.

Nigerian VP still in charge for weekend


          Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy Yemi Osinbajo
Reuters
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari thanks his deputy for holding the helm

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, has been addressing the press, talking about his illness, and said he had rested as much as was humanely possible.

I am feeling much better now. There may however be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks.

I have received the best of treatment I can receive.

I couldn’t recall ever being so sick since I was a real young man including the military goings ups and downs.

In a weak voice, he spoke about blood transfusions and the drugs he was taking.

He urged Nigerians to continue to work hard and to take the education of the future generation very seriously.

But he seemed in good spirits, joking with officials. He thanked his deputy Yemi Osinbajo for holding the helm during his absence:

Youth and intelligence is clearly behind him, age and purely military experience is purely behind me."

He said the vice-president would remain in charge for the time being:

I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the vice-president will continue and I will continue to rest."

BreakingSA man and fiancee on 'unlawful sex charge released'

All charges against a South African man and his Ukrainian fiancee over unlawful sex in the UAE have been dropped,  South Africa's Times Live newspaper reports. 

Emlyn Culverwell‚ 29, and Iryna Nohai, 27, were reportedly arrested after a doctor discovered Ms Nohai, who had stomach cramps, was pregnant.

They were arrested for sex outside of marriage, which is illegal in the UAE.

Mr Culverwell's mother had pleaded for their release, saying "the only thing they did wrong was fall in love".

South Africa's foreign ministry had not been able to help the couple as it was a matter of domestic UAE law, according to News24. 

Emlyn Culverwell‚ 29, and Iryna Nohai, 27,
CULVERWELL FAMIL
They couple were arrested for sex outside of marriage, which is illegal in the UAE.

Japan to withdraw troops from South Sudan

Paul Brown

BBC Monitoring


          Japanese soldiers landing in Juba, South Sudan - November 2016
AFP
These Japanese peacekeepers who arrived in November were mandated to use force

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that the Japanese government will end its participation in a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan at the end of May.

"As South Sudan enters a new phase of nation-building, we have judged that we are able to put an end to construction efforts in which the SDF is engaged in Juba," Mr Abe is quoted by the Kyodo news agency as telling reporters today.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga later stressed that the withdrawal is not because to a deterioration in security in the area where the troops are working.

The Japanese troops who arrived in South Sudan in November 2016 were the first in nearly 70 years to be deployed overseas with a broad mandate to use force if necessary.  

South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011, has been devastated by civil war since 2013.

Read more: Soldiers will kill you for no reason

Analysis: Is Buhari back in business?

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

Nigeri's President Muhammadu Buhari is back in town but is he back for business?

It will be critical in the next few days that the Nigerian leader demonstrates to the public that he is in robust health and in full command.

Otherwise the rampant speculation over the 74-year-old's unspecified medical condition will not go away.

His political opponents are questioning whether the president is fit enough to hold office. 

A sluggish presidential performance will give them more ammunition.

Comparisons will also be drawn to his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo who displayed an energy as acting leader in the past few weeks strikingly different to President Buhari’s own style.

The president may be back but for now, anyway, it is not business as usual.

Welcome Baba: Hugs for the president

The hashtag #BabaOyoyo , meaning welcome back father, is trending in Nigeria with the arrival home of President Muhammadu Buhari after nearly two months away on medical leave.

Many people have been retweeting this Tweet from the first lady who posted a photo of herself hugging her husband:

View more on twitter

"The Eagle has landed" is also a common refrain:

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

There has been much speculation about the president's health - with many predicting he wouldn't return: 

View more on twitter

SA man crosses Atlantic on paddle board

A South African man has joined a shortlist of people to have achieved an impressive feat of crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddle board. 

Chris Bertish, 42, accomplished the 4,050-mile (6,517km) journey alone and unassisted with no support boat, carrying everything he needed on board. 

Mr Bertish arrived in Antigua, in the Leeward islands of the Caribbean, at 08.32 local time (12.32 GMT) on Thursday after departing from Agadir, Morocco, 93 days ago.

SUP the Mag  reports that Bertish said he was in good spirits despite losing 20lb ( 9kg):

It seems mind-boggling that I’m alive at all, to be honest., I really had a lot of support and guiding hands from many different sources, both high and low.”

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Buhari: 'Nigeria will continue whether we are here or not'

Naziru Mikailu

BBC Abuja editor

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari says he is feeling much better now. 

Addressing the nation after returning form weeks of medical leave in the UK, Mr Buhari said he was feeling much better and thanks Nigerians for their support.

I realised I’m a little bit more tired now than 18 months ago.

And he added:

Nigeria will continue whether we are here or not."

Buhari meets his deputy and governors

Naziru Mikailu

BBC Abuja editor

President Buhari after arriving at a Kaduna military base
Kaduna government
President Buhari arrived at a air force base in Kaduna this morning

President Muhammadu Buhari has met his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, and the governors of Nigeria's states after his arrival home from London this morning.

The meeting took place at his official residence in the capital, Abuja, where he has just been briefing the press about his health. 

We'll update you with the details soon.

SA taxi operators call for Uber ban

Hundreds of taxi operators in South Africa have gathered at Johannesburg's main airport to protest against ride-hailing app Uber.

The Meter Taxi Association in South Africa says Uber drivers do not pay for operation permits and are calling for authorities to ban its operations.

View more on twitter

Police say the protest is illegal and that they will clear taxi operators who are blocking the main roads leading to the airport.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani says it has been causing causing chaos to east of Johannesburg 

Uber, which operates in a number of African cities, was launched in South Africa four years ago. 

Since then it has attracted half a million users and 4,000 drivers.  

Uber drivers are also holding a small demonstration in Johannesburg calling for protection against attacks from metered taxi-operators:


          #UberProtest The drivers are saying Uber is not doing enough to protect them from metered taxi drivers.  CE

#UberProtest The drivers are saying Uber is not doing enough to protect them from metered taxi drivers. CE

The moment Buhari landed

Watch the moment Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari landed this morning in Kaduna:

Nigeria's President Buhari arrives home after medical leave in London.

Buhari is back!

After seven weeks away in London on medical leave, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has returned home.

His absence has led to much speculation over his health.

The 74-year-old, flew into an air force base in the northern city of Kaduna.

The state's governor captured the moment Mr Buhari stepped off the plane:

View more on twitter

Mr Buhari had to go to Kaduna as the capital's  airport is temporarily closed  for repairs. 

He has now arrived back in the capital, Abuja, and an aide has tweeted that he feels much better:

View more on twitter

Mr Buhari's office has repeatedly refused to disclose details of his condition.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Lagos says critics are now questioning whether the president is fit enough to hold office.

His extended leave came as Nigeria grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades, he says.

Wise words

Today's Africa proverb:

A turtle knows how to bite a turtle.

A Sudanese proverb sent by Abuelgasim Elsir, Khartoum, Sudan
A swimming turtle
AFP

Click here to send us your African proverbs .

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news and trends across the continent, including the arrival home this morning of Nigeria's president after an absence of seven weeks away in London.