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  1. West Africa piracy nearly doubles in a year
  2. Opposing sides in Libya conflict meet in Abu Dhabi
  3. Players' union backs Muntari in racist abuse row
  4. Number of acutely malnourished children in Somalia 'rises by 50%'
  5. Dutch police arrest 'al-Shabab operative'
  6. Rights group says CAR civilians are the target of militia attacks
  7. Kenyan betting company pays out $2m to a lucky winner
  8. Nigerian civil society activists say the president should take medical leave
  9. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 2 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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We'll be back tomorrow

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

A reminder of today's wise words:

A single jump takes you to the bottom of a well, but 100 jumps cannot take you out."

Sent by Isah Sani Saleh, Kano, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of a man buying bread in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott. 

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Players' union backs Muntari in racist abuse row

The professional football players' union Fifpro says that the yellow card given to Ghanaian player Sulley Muntari after he complained to the referee about racist abuse from the crowd in a Serie A match should be withdrawn.

Muntari, who was playing for Pescara, was booked for dissent and then walked off the pitch.

It is not exactly clear what happened during the discussion between the referee and the player.

Fifpro says: 

Players should feel comfortable bringing any issue to the attention of the referee, especially one as significant as allegations of racism in the workplace.

Professional footballers should expect to be adequately protected by the relevant authorities in a place of work that does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

Muntari talks to the corwd
Getty Images
Sulley Muntari reacts to supporters during Pescara's 1-0 defeat at Cagliari

Speaking after the game, Muntari said: "The referee should not just stay on the field and blow the whistle, he must do everything.

"He should be aware of these things and set an example.

"I asked him if he had heard the insults. I insisted that he must have the courage to stop the game."

Mali soldiers killed in ambush

At least eight Malian soldiers have been killed in an ambush by suspected Islamist militants on a road between Dogofri and Nampala in the central region of the country, army spokesman Colonel Diaran Kone said, Reuters news agency reports. 

Militants have staged a series of attacks in Mali in recent months, including a suicide bombing at an army base in January in which at least 77 people were killed. 

The attack comes days after France said its forces had killed or captured more than 20 militants in a forest near Mali's border with Burkina Faso.

Read:Burkina Faso's new war against militant Islamists

Buhari's health 'personal matter'

Nigeria's Information Minister Lai Mohammed has responded to calls by some prominent civil society members that President Muhammadu Buhari take medical leave, saying the president's health was "a personal matter", the BBC's Peter Okwoche reports. 

The minister told him that Nigerians have been kept aware of Mr Buhari's health. 

Mr Buhari has missed the last two cabinet meetings and uncharacteristically did not show up at last Friday's prayers at the mosque on state house grounds.

The hashtag #WhereIsBuhari has been trending in Nigeria as people speculate about his state of health.

Meanwhile, the president's personal assistant has tweeted that Mr Buhari was today briefed by several ministers: 

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In March, President Buhari returned from seven weeks of medical leave in the UK.

On his return he said that further medical checks would be needed.

President Buhari
Mr Buhari has not been seen in public for more than a week

UN human rights chief in Ethiopia

The UN's human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has been holding talks in Ethiopia with the head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reports.

Mr al Hussein has urged the government to allow independent investigators into the country to look into the deaths during a recent wave of anti-government protests.

The government has refused to do this.

FBC does not give many details of what was discussed at the meeting except that the two men "exchanged views on ways to strengthen cooperation". 

It quotes Mr al Hussein as saying that "Ethiopia is one of our partners in the Commission’s efforts to promote and protect human rights for all".

The EHRC, which was created by the government, said recently 669 people were killed during the demonstrations, but rights groups put the figure much higher.

During his visit, Mr al Hussein is due to meet Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein will be in Ethiopia until Thursday

Analysis: Libya's strongman meets leader of UN-backed government

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

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This encounter in Abu Dhabi, between Libya’s embattled UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, and East Libya’s military strongman Khalifa Haftar, has been in the making for months.  

That they were pictured in the same room together is seen as an achievement on its own at this stage.    

Egypt and the UAE have long been staunch supporters of the military commander.  

But with mounting pressure from Western governments, they’ve recently appeared to take on a more serious mediation role to end the political and military impasse in Libya.  

Commander Khalifa Haftar has refused to recognise the authority of the Tripoli based unity government for over a year because he is vying for a top military role in the country.  

As it stands, the UN-brokered political agreement that was signed by some within Libya’s rival camps does not guarantee that. 

Today there are signs that both sides may be willing to give an inch over the matter to reach a workable compromise.  How long that will take in Libya’s snail-paced ‘progress’ is anyone’s guess.

Kodjia could miss Ivory Coast's next match with broken ankle

Striker Jonathan Kodjia could miss the start of Ivory Coast's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign at home to Guinea in June after breaking his ankle playing for Aston Villa.The 27-year-old, Villa's top scorer this season, was hurt in Saturday's 1-0 Championship defeat by Blackburn.

club statement said the injury is likely to require surgery, which could then rule Kodjia out of club's pre-season and the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

Kodjia, who has scored 19 goals for Villa this season, will visit a specialist for further tests.

He was taken off on a stretcher in the club's penultimate league match of the season.

Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa celebrates
Getty Images
Jonathan Kodjia is likely to undergo surgery on his broken ankle

Court rules Burundi king's body to remain in Switzerland

A court in Switzerland has ended a legal battle over the fate of the remains of a Burundian deposed King Mwambutsa IV, who died 40 years ago, must remain in country, AFP news agency reports quoting local media. 

King Mwambutsa led Burundi at independence from Belgium in 1962, but was deposed just four years later in a dispute linked to rivalries between ethnic Tutsis and Hutus.

He died in Switzerland in 1977, leaving clear instructions that his remains should never be returned to Burundi.   

His daughter and the Burundian government, however, campaigned for his remains to be repatriated, reportedly hoping to use the occasion to organise a ceremony promoting national reconciliation. 

A niece of the king opposed the plans insisting the king's last wishes should be honoured.  

Amid the legal back and fourth following his exhumation in 2012, Mwambutsa's remains have been held in a cold-storage facility at a Geneva funeral home for the past five years, AFP reports.

How Mandela upstaged a famous SA musician

After nearly 40 years in the business, one of South Africa's best-known musicians is hanging up his guitar. Johnny Clegg, best known for his fusion of western and Zulu music, reflects on the highlights of his career. 

Video Journalist - Christian Parkinson.  

How Mandela upstaged famous SA musician Johnny Clegg

How to scare elephants from crops

Scientists in South Africa have found that sounds are an effective method to keep elephants away from crops. 

People use firecrackers and drums to get elephants off their land but it seems the most effective deterrent could be the sound of drones. 

Nathan Hahn, a researcher of the US-based NGO called Resolve, has been working on this issue and he spoke to the BBC's Newsday programme:

The man who won more than $2m

The Kenyan who's just picked up his more than $2m prize money for a sports bet he placed at the weekend is sounding incredibly level headed.

Samuel Abisai spoke to the BBC's David Wafula shortly after the prize-giving ceremony in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Mr Abisai correctly predicted the outcome of 17 football matches, but told our reporter that he made his decisions in a hurry rather than his more thoughtful approach.

He said that he now plans to invest the winnings in real estate as well as give some money to good causes as he himself was helped by an American benefactor when he was younger.

There have been concerns in Kenya about the growing popularity of betting with the suicide of some people being linked to gambling.

So what advice from the big winner?

"You should bet wisely," he told the BBC.

"I bet my extra coins... I didn't bet my basic coins."

Nigeria's vice-president enters jollof wars

Nigerians continue to discuss who in West Africa makes the best jollof rice.

Ghanaians and Nigerians regularly exchange barbs about their respective preeminence in making the dish - a spicy rice, tomato and meat meal.

Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinabajo has now weighed in saying "we all know that Nigerian jollof is the best. We beat the Ghanaians and the Senegalese hands down."

You can see the quote one minute 30 seconds into this video:

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One Nigerian news site suggests that Mr Osinbajo is the saviour of Nigerian jollof:

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Malawi court hearings over school pregnancies

Lawyers in Malawi representing students who were detained, fined and suspended from a school for getting pregnant, or causing the pregnancy, have gone to court over the decision.

Last year, 32 students - 16 girls and 16 boys - were detained by a local magistrate and their parents were asked to pay a 10,000 kwacha ($14; £11) fine.

Fourteen of those affected are now taking the magistrate to the high court in the northern town of Mzuzu claiming unlawful detention. They also want the money back.

Piracy 'increases in West Africa'

Armed attacks on ships operating in West African waters have nearly doubled, with pirates increasingly focused on kidnapping ships' crews, according to a Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) report, Reuters news agency says. 

The report recorded 95 attacks in the Gulf of Guinea in 2016, up from 54 the previous year. 

"Nigeria... experienced a spike in attacks, including 18 kidnap-for-ransom attacks between March and May," it said.

Cargo theft has now been replaced by kidnappings with 96 crew members taken hostage compared to 44 in 2015, the report says. 

OBP estimated the total economic cost of maritime crime in West Africa at nearly $794m (£614 m).   

A recent spate of attacks off Somalia, meanwhile, may also indicate a resurgence of piracy in East Africa as a result of less vigilance. 

Maisie Pigeon, one of the authors of the OBP report, says kidnapping offers less risks to the pirates: 

One of the reasons we are observing increased incidents of kidnap-for-ransom is that the model offers financial gain with less risk to the perpetrators than hijacking for cargo theft."

Soldiers of the Ivorian navy commandos steer speedboats newly purchased by Ivorian navy from France at Abidjan military base,
Navies patrol the West African coast to try to stop piracy

Rwanda welcomes back black rhinos

BBC World Service

Rwanda is welcoming back the first black rhinos to the country in 10 years. 

The animals are part of a group of 20 which will be airlifted from South Africa to the Akagera National Park. 

Rwandan conservation authorities hope that helicopter patrols and protection teams will help provide security for the animals. 

The black rhino is critically endangered sub-species of the African rhino. 

By 2007, all the black rhinos in Rwanda had been killed by poachers. 

Only a few thousand are now left in the wild.

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Black but beautiful? 'It's not a compliment'

Abeer Sinder is Saudi Arabia's first black beauty vlogger. But sometimes, she says, the compliments she receives aren't flattering.

Watch her story here. 

Abeer Sinder
Abeer Sinder

Kenyans debate rise in commodity prices

Kenyans on Twitter are sharing updates on the costs of basic foodstuffs and essential services which they say have been going up. 

They are using #CostOfLivingKe to post their stories and pictures. 

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View more on twitter

In his May Day address President Kenyatta announced an 18% increase to the minimum wage but critics say that it was not enough to offset the rising prices. 

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The recent drought has had an impact on prices, but Deputy President William Ruto has been criticised for saying in a tweet that the price rises were a result of "external factors":

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Al-Shabab suspect arrested in the Netherlands

Dutch police have a arrested a man with connections to the Somali Islamist militant movement al-Shabab, prosecutors say.

News agencies say that the 23-year-old is a Dutch man with a Somali background

In a statement quoted by the AFP news agency the prosecutors said "the man has since last year been an active member of the al-Shabab terrorist organisation in southern Somalia".  

Kenya's jackpot sum can pay Spurs' Victor Wanyama salary for seven months

The $2m jackpot win has captured the imagination of Kenya's media. 

Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper has been has been crunching the numbers to explain the magnitude of the sum. 

It reports that the figure is much more than what the government has allocated to the Kenya Sport Academy, with $200,000 to spare. 

It also says the figure could pay the salary of Kenya's only English Premier League player, Spurs' midfielder, Victor Wanyama, for seven months. 

Interestingly, the winner can also finance the prize money in three of the World Marathon Majors richest races - Boston ($688,000), Chicago $737,000 and New York $514,000 and still remain with $200,000, it adds. 

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Egypt violence: Three police killed in Cairo attack

Suspected militants have killed three police officers and wounded five others in an attack in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, the interior ministry says.

The assailants, riding in two vehicles, opened fire on a security convoy on the main ring road in the Nasr City area.

No group has yet said it was behind the attack, which occurred on Monday night.

However, jihadist militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Last month, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi declared a state of emergency after at least 45 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks on two Coptic Christian churches in Tanta and Alexandria.

So-called Islamic State said a local affiliate had carried out the bombings.

Read more from BBC News Online

Police in Cairo
Hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed by jihadist militants since 2013

Museveni: 'I must be a wonderful dictator'

Ugandans have been sharing a recent interview President Yoweri Museveni gave to Al Jazeera in which he discussed a range of issues. 

In it he defended his three-decade stay in office dismissing those calling him a dictator, saying that he must be a "wonderful dictator" having been voted into office five times. 

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He discussed the jailing of activist Stella Nyanzi, who is being held in custody for calling him "a pair of buttocks", saying she had no right to abuse others:   

If you are an activist and you commit an offence, because with human rights you must also speak of the rights of others, you cannot trample on the rights of others, and you say "it is my right to abuse other people", to insult other people … no. Rights go with responsibilities - if you know anything about democracy."

He refused to be drawn to discussing last year's fighting in the western region of Kasese, where security forces clashed with guards of a local king, leaving dozens killed and many arrested, saying that it was a matter to be determined in court:

That issue is in court and according to our law, when something is in court I am not allowed to comment. The court will tell us whether those people were arrested for nothing or not."

Kenya's jackpot winner says he will not bet again

Kenya's jackpot winner Samuel Abisai has been speaking to the media and sharing plans of how he will be spending his more than $2m prize money. 

He says that he will not be betting again and wants to spend time helping other people including supporting his local team in Kakamega, in the western region.

He says that he will share the winnings with his friends because they made the best together.

He also has plans to take a vacation and will take time to think about exactly what else he will do.

Abisai Samuel

Number of acutely malnourished children in Somalia 'shoots up'

The UN children's agency Unicef says its estimate of children in Somalia suffering from acute malnutrition this year has "shot up" by 50%.

It now puts 1.4 million children in that category.

Unicef says that "severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die of killer diseases like cholera and acute watery diarrhoea and measles, which are spreading". 

Somalia is suffering the after effects of a severe drought which has also affected neighbouring countries.

Young mothers wait with their children to be seen at a UNICEF-supported outpatient therapeutic center in Garbaharey, Somalia, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. UNICEF/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin
Unicef/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin

Kenya's jackpot winner unveiled

The winner of Kenya's biggest jackpot has been unveiled. 

Betting company SportPesa has shared a picture of a beaming Samuel Abisai who has won more than $2m for correctly predicting 17 football matches. 

The company's CEO Ronald Karauri led a convoy including a swanky limousine to pick up Mr Samuel who lives in Thika, 45 km (27m) north-east of the capital, Nairobi. 

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View more on twitter

Civilians 'targeted in revenge killings' in Central African Republic

Civilians in the Central African Republic have been targeted as armed groups have been clashing in the country's Ouaka privince, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

It adds that 45 people have died and at least 11,000 have been displaced by what it calls "reprisal killings".

HRW points the finger at two factions of the mainly-Muslim Seleka militia and a group which was aligned to the anti-balaka.

There has been fighting in CAR since the end of 2012 when Seleka rebels began a campaign to overthrow President Francois Bozize.

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected in 2016 on a pledge to untie the country.

European proposals could threaten African world records

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

A lot of African athletes could be affected if a proposal from European Athletics to wipe some world records from the books due to doping concerns is accepted at any point. 

European Athletics have proposed several criteria that the records must fulfil:

  • It was achieved at a competition on a list of approved international events where the highest standards of officiating and technical equipment can be guaranteed;
  • The athlete had been subject to an agreed number of doping control tests in the months leading up to it;
  • The doping control sample taken after the record was stored and available for re-testing for 10 years.

President of athletics' world governing body, the IAAF, Seb Coe, is keen on the idea so there could be momentum behind the proposals.

While some of these races are not run very often (1000m, mile, 2000m, 20,000m track, 30,000m track) they are all official world records according the IAAF website.

Among the losers would be Morocco’s Hicham El Gerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele.

Kenenisa Bekele
Getty Images
Kenenisa could lose two world records

African World records under threat:


Noah Ngeny Kenya 1000m (September 1999)

Hicham El Gerrouj Morocco 1500m (July 1998), mile (July 1999), 2000m (September 1999)

Daniel Komen Kenya 3000m (September1996)

Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia 5000m (September 2004)

Tegla Loroupe Kenya 20,000m track (September 2000), 25,000m track (September 2002) 30,000m track (June 2003)


Frankie Fredericks Namibia 200m (February 1996)

Hicham El Grrrouj Morocco 1500m (February 1997), mile (February 1997)

Daniel Komen Kenya 3000m (February 1998)

Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia 5000m (February 2004)

Rock star treatment for jackpot winner

Life, it seems, is about to change  drastically, for one lucky Kenyan who has won more than $2m after correctly predicting the outcome of 17 football matches. 

Betting company SportPesa has been sharing updates leading up to the unveiling of the winner at a media event. 

In one video a limo negotiates around a big pothole in a residential estate in Thika, north-east of the capital, Nairobi as the SportPesa team arrives to pick the winner:

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View more on twitter

#MetGala red carpet appearances wow the fans

Tweets about the annual Met gala in New York are dominating conversations on Twitter across the continent so far today.

People are sharing photos of the celebrities turning up at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art last night for the exclusive event with tickets costing tens of thousands of dollars.

It's an excuse for celebrities to be pretty extravagant on the red carpet. 

Kenya's Lupita Nyong'o garnered a lot of attention:

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And people have also been excited to see her next to Rihanna:

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Last week, there was a lot of excitement about the two women appearing in a film together.

Kenya to unveil 'historic sports betting winner'

A lucky Kenyan has won more than $2m (£1.5m) for correctly predicting 17 football matches in a competition run by betting company SportPesa 

The payout is set to be one of the biggest in Africa, the privately-owned Daily Nation reports.

The winner will be unveiled at an event in the capital, Nairobi. 

A statement from SportPesa says its CEO Ronald Karauri called the winner who was already celebrating: 

The consumer said he met his friend with whom they bet and as they were discussing what to do with the millions a call came through.

The CEO advised the winner, who was screaming, to end his night out, to which he said, ‘I’m going home right away'. "

SportPesa also shared a video of Mr Karauri calling the winner to congratulate him: 

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It also said the winner placed $2 on two mega jackpot picks in which he had to predict the outcomes of 17 games selected by SportPesa. 

Sports betting has become popular in Kenya. 

In its 2017/18 budget the government introduced a 50% tax on the profits of betting companies, a decision that the industry criticised saying it would kill the fledgling industry. 

SportPesa is a shirt sponsor of Premier League club Hull City.   

Nigeria civil society activists urge Buhari to take medical leave

Some of Nigeria's most high profile civil society leaders have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take medical leave.

The president's absence from two consecutive cabinet meetings as well as Friday prayers last week has fuelled speculation about the state of his health.

He has not been seen in public for more than a week and the hashtag #WhereIsBuhari has been trending on Twitter in Nigeria over the past 24 hours

In March, he returned from seven weeks of medical leave in the UK, but did not disclose the nature of his illness.

In a statement, the activists, including lawyer Femi Falana and political analyst Jibrin Ibrahim, said:

We are compelled to advise him to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay."

They quote Mr Buhari's spokesman as saying that his doctors advised him to take things slowly.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses members of his cabinet upon his arrival at the presidency in Abuja, on March 10, 2017
President Buhari has not been seen in public for more than a week

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