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  1. UK minister Priti Patel says what is happening in South Sudan is genocide
  2. Nearly 100 migrants 'missing' off Libya's coast
  3. Angola-born model Maria Borges featured on US Elle cover
  4. Nigeria still negotiating for Chibok girls' release
  5. WHO says 25,000 people in Somalia struck by cholera and diarrhoea in 2017
  6. Kenya-born woman wins election in Australia
  7. Nigeria's EFCC uncovers more than $40m of cash in a flat in Lagos
  8. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 13 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back on Tuesday after the Easter weekend

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:

Courtesy is not slavery."

A Swahili proverb sent by George Okumu Omollo, Mombasa, Kenya

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

And we leave you with this picture of a market in Mali's capital, Bamako, from the EverdayAfrica Instagram account.

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Survivors of capsized boat off Libya coast were at sea for 'three days'

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

I have been speaking on telephone with two survivors of a boat that capsized off the coast of Libya's capital Tripoli, in which 90 people are feared to have drowned. 

Mohamed Amine, who said he is from Mali, told me:

We were at sea in the boat for three days… we were rescued after after it was capsized."

Survivor Mohammed Amine
Mohamed and the other survivors are being held at the Maitiga detention centre

Ahmed from Ivory Coast who told me that he is 12 years old, told me that his mother was among those who drowned, "I am not good…the boat broke, and my mother died." 

He said he was OK but feels hurt. 

When I asked if anyone has been mean to him where he is being held, he said that no-one had mistreated him so far. 

Genocide is not UK's official view of what's happening in South Sudan

We've been reporting about the comments by UK Development Minister Priti Patel that what's happening in South Sudan amounts to a genocide (see earlier post), but it seems that is not the official view of the British government.

The Foreign Office issued a statement that isn't directly critical of Ms Patel but does take a different line, talking about "a risk of genocide".

It says:

The UK is deeply concerned about the violence, blocking of humanitarian access and forced relocation of populations along ethnic lines in South Sudan.

The UN has alerted the international community to the risk of genocide and this is something we are monitoring closely."

Egypt lawyer gets 10-year sentence plus social media ban over Facebook posts

The human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the jail term given to an Egyptian lawyer for criticising the government on Facebook.

It called the conviction of Mohamed Ramadan a "blatant assault on freedom", and proof that anti-terror legislation was being used to silence critics.

Ramadan was convicted, under a 2015 law, of using Facebook to harm unity and create instability.

The government says the law is needed to fight terrorism.

It is unclear exactly what Ramadan, who is based in Alexandria and has represented alleged victims of torture, posted online last year.

Read more here.

Egyptian policeman

Peace 'absent' in South Sudan over Easter

A joint pre-Easter statement from the US, UK, Norway and Canada on events in South Sudan paints a gloomy picture ahead of this Easter weekend.

As South Sudanese across the country look forward to the Easter holiday, traditionally a time of reconciliation and redemption, they are confronted by an escalation in the conflict and an unprecedented expansion in hunger and malnutrition. Peace is painfully absent during this holy season."

The statement is critical of both President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and lists a number of incidents in recent weeks suggesting the conflict is not going away.

Earlier, Britain's Development Minister Priti Patel described what is going on in South Sudan as genocide (see this post).

South Sudanese refugees
Three million people have been displaced by the fighting in South Sudan since December 2013

DR Congo's expensive passport

An investigation by Reuters news agency says that most of the $185 ( £147) Congolse pay for their passport goes to a foreign firm instead of the Democratic Republic of Congo's government:

A new passport that captured biometric information was launched in 2015. 

Reuters says that the cost of the passport makes it the word's most expensive. A UK passport costs half as much and a US passport $110:

View more on twitter

Th report says it reached out to the government for a comment but it did not get one.

Resuce mission for missing migrants

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

A boat with nearly 120 migrants has capsized off the coast of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, according to the head of the coast guard there.  

Over 90 people are feared drowned, but a search and rescue operation is still under way, the BBC has been told.  

Libya’s perilous sea journey to southern Europe has long been a popular transit route used by economic migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

The spokesman for Tripoli’s coast guard, Ayoub Kassem, said he believes everyone on board the capsized boat is from sub-Saharan Africa.  

Only 23 out of an estimated 120 people were rescued at sea after the boat fell apart off Tripoli’s coastline earlier today.  

The survivors have been transferred to a detention centre for migrants in Maitiga airport, according to a senior security source there. 

The survivors said those who are believed to have drowned include women and children.  

Libya’s Red Crescent is working with the coastguard in an on-going search and rescue operation, but the prospects of finding more survivors appears small.

People being helped off a boat
Getty Images
Rescue missions are often carried out in the Mediterranean like this one in February

UK minister: South Sudan killings amount to genocide

The killings and atrocities going on in South Sudan amount to a genocide, Britain's Development Minister Priti Patel has said.

She was speaking to journalists in Uganda after travelling from a visit to South Sudan.

She said:

It's tribal, it's absolutely tribal, so on that basis it's genocide."

The civil war, which broke out in December 2013, has taken on an increasingly ethnic dimension.

UN adviser on the prevention of genocide Adama Dieng has in the past said the situation in the country has the "potential for genocide".

More than three million people have been uprooted by the fighting.

Recent fighting in the towns of Wau and Pajok creating more refugees.

South Sudan's Information Minister Michael Makuei called Mr Patel's comments as "unfortunate and misleading", the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

South Sudanese families displaced by fighting queue for vaccination in Lamwo after fleeing fighting in Pajok
Fighting in the South Sudan town of Pajok led to thousands more people fleeing to Uganda

Zambia police deny blocking Hichilema's lawyers

Zambian police have denied claims by the main opposition UPND party that its detained leader Hakainde Hichilema has been denied meeting his lawyers, the Reuters news agency reports. 

Police spokeswoman Esther Mwaata-Katongo said: "We have not blocked lawyers and Mr Hichilema's members of the family from visiting him because that is his constitutional right."

Mr Hichilema's lawyer Jack Mwiimbu  told Reuters that he had seen his client on Wednesday but had since been prevented from visiting him:  

There are instructions for him not to be seen by anybody without authority from police headquarters. We have therefore started processing court papers. We want the court to compel the police to allow us to see our client."

View more on twitter

Mr Hichilema has been charged with treason for allegedly endangering the life of President Edga Lungu. 

Ugandan activist Nyanzi refusing psychiatric tests

One of the lawyers for detained Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi has confirmed to the Reuters news agency that she has refused to undergo psychiatric tests.

Ms Nyanzi is being held on charges of cyber harassment for referring to President Yoweri Museveni as "a pair of buttocks". 

She denies the charges.

On Tuesday, her supporters wrote on her Facebook page that when they went to visit Ms Nyanzi in prison she "fervently protested [to the tests] and clearly stated that if the state is to go ahead and unlawfully carry out these tests, the Ugandan government must allow her to have legal representation, a family member as well as her personal doctor present during the examination".

Her lawyer Nicholas Opiyo told Reuters that the authorities "just want to de-legitimise Stella, characterise her as a fool, a mad person ... and confine her to a mental hospital".

Stella Nyanzi
Ms Nyanzi appeared in court on Monday

BreakingAt least 97 migrants 'missing off Libyan coast'

Dozens of migrants have gone missing after their boat went down off the coast of Libya, the coastguard there says.

Survivors have said that among those who have not been found are 15 women and five children, according to a naval official quoted by the AFP news agency.

The joy of a Christian-Muslim wedding among Egypt's Nubians

The attacks this week on Coptic churches in northern Egypt underline the dangers faced by the country's Christian minority. 

But among the Nubians - an ancient nation that lives along the upper reaches of the Nile - Muslims and Christians mostly live in harmony. 

The BBC's Nicola Kelly attended a Muslim-Christian wedding celebrated discreetly after nightfall.

The groom Akram told her: "We're the first people to marry outside of our religion here. That's very difficult, especially for my parents." 

For seven years, the couple were banned from seeing each other by both sets of parents.

"We agreed to get married at night, so as not to bring shame on either of the families," Akram says.

Read more here.

The bride to be
The bride Sally met Akram seven years ago in Aswan

Morocco 'dismantles' IS cell

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

Moroccan authorities say they have dismantled an extremist cell with links to the so-called Islamic State (IS). 

The group was operating in the popular tourist city of Fez in the north of the country and the nearby town of Moulay Yacoub.  

Moroccan security services have been engaged in a crackdown on suspected extremist cells in the country in recent years and they have made several arrests in the past. 

In this latest operation, the ministry of interior says its forces dismantled a seven-member cell that supported IS by recruiting Moroccan nationals and sending them to fight in Iraq and Syria. 

They also found weapons, cash and military uniforms during the raid.

Officials say most of those arrested already have relatives fighting in Iraq and Syria. 

An official of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) holds a confiscated submachine gun during a press conference in Sale, near the capital Rabat on January 29, 2017.
In January, the Moroccan authorities showed weapons off in January from a raid on another suspected IS cell

Deadly blaze kills 20 in Senegal religious event

At least 20 people have died after a fire broke out at a makeshift prayer centre during a religious event in Senegal's southern city of Kolda, BBC Afrique reports. 

It quickly spread around the site hosting the event, burning down tents that were sheltering thousands of people. 

The death toll is likely to rise as many survivors have been badly burned, the fire brigade said in a statement.

It is unclear what caused the blaze. 

Daaka, which means spiritual retreat in a local dialect, is a worship camp organised by the Tijaniah Order - a branch of Sunni Islam - as a way to promote detachment from mundane interests. 

Crowds of Muslim faithful converge every year on the camp, and fires have regularly disrupted the event in the past, BBC Afrique adds.

Senegal is a majority Muslim country, with religious festivals celebrated at various times throughout the year. 

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Angolan model graces Elle magazine cover

View more on twitter

Angolan model Maria Borges has become the second African to grace the cover of Elle magazine, exactly 20 years after Sudanese model Alek Wek. 

Borges, 24, is a rising star, and has been celebrated for wearing her natural hair at the acclaimed Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. 

She became the face of L’Oreal Paris in February and has been dubbed as one of the African models breaking barriers

She told CNN in a recent interview that she is living her dream:

The empowering message that a girl who started from the bottom can be an international beauty symbol and be living proof that our dreams are valid, and the future ahead of us is bright.”

Zambia opposition leader 'denied lawyer'

Hakainde Hichilema
Mr Hichilema was charged with treason

Zambia's detained opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been denied access to a lawyer, the Reuters news agency reports. 

Mr Hichilema was yesterday charged with treason following an incident at the weekend when a convoy he was travelling in reportedly refused to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade. 

A statement from his UPND party says his lawyers had been denied from seeing him during visiting hours: 

When HH's lawyers went to see him earlier in the day, they were told they could only see him during the visiting hours. But when the lawyers went during the visiting hours as advised, they were again told they were not allowed to see their client Mr. Hichilema."

It adds that Mr Hichilema was being denied his rights:

The law is very clear that lawyers should have full access to their clients as part of the judicial processes. Even the worst condemned prisoners in Zambia are allowed to meet and confer with their clients and meet close associates such as family members."

Watch:How road rage led to treason charge in Zambia

New honour for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The celebrated award-winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences - considered one of the highest honours for intellectuals in the US.

She will be one of 228 new members to be inducted in October.

Others named alongside her include mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani and astrophysicist Gabriela Gonzalez.

Adichie is well known for her novels, including Half of a Yellow Sun about the Biafran war and Americanah, which is set in Nigeria and the US and deals with issues around living in the diaspora.

She has also become prominent for her views on feminism. 

She recently published Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions and her TED talk on feminism was sampled by Beyonce in her song Flawless released in 2013.

View more on youtube

Kenya-born Australian senator-elect: 'I'm tough'

A profile of Lucy Gichuhi, the Kenya-born woman who is set to become a senator for the small Family First party in Australia, says she is a strong opponent of welfare spending which local ABC reports would be handy support for the ruling Labour party's plan to make budget savings. 

She is expected to become a senator representing South Australia after a court invalided party leader Bob Day's election. 

Questions have been raised over whether Mrs Gichuhi held dual citizenship at the time of the election - something that would bar her from being in parliament 

Kenya's High Commissioner to Australia has however said she automatically lost her citizenship when she became an Australian citizen, ABC reports.

Ms Gichuhi says that she is eligible to assume the seat and has what it takes to serve in the Senate: 

I was tough enough to land in Australia 19 years ago knowing no one. Only with [my husband] William and three toddlers."

View more on twitter

Relative of dinosaur found in Tanzania

One of the earliest relatives of dinosaurs had some features we associate today with crocodiles and alligators, a study based on a find in Tanzania suggests.

Many palaeontologists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like, as the fossil record in this time period is sparse.

Some assumed they walked on two legs, looking a bit like miniature dinosaurs.

But the newly described creature walked on four legs like a crocodile, the journal Nature reports.

The 2-3m (7-10ft) carnivorous animal, unearthed in southern Tanzania, lived some 245 million years ago during the Triassic Period. It pre-dated the earliest dinosaurs.

Read the full story

New fossils found in 2015 help fill gaps in our knowledge of how Teleocrater looked

Nigeria 'still negotiating' over Chibok girls release

Nigeria’s government says it is still negotiating with militant Islamist group Boko Haram in a bid to secure the release of the remaining girls who were kidnapped from Chibok three years ago tomorrow.

In April 2014, 276 students were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria and 197 are still missing.

In a statement, President Muhammadu Buhari said:

The Federal Government is willing to bend over backwards to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. We have reached out to their captors, through local and international intermediaries, and we are ever ready to do everything within our means to ensure the safe release of all the girls."

Last year, Nigeria negotiated through intermediaries the release of a group of 21 of those kidnapped.

Others have been rescued or found after they escaped from where they were being held.

Thousands of other Nigerians have also been abducted and President Buhari said the government is "determined to secure the release" of all those who have been taken.

He also said that Boko Haram's ability to act has been depleted because of the efforts of Nigeria's army.

Activists of the online movement #bringbackourgirls demonstrate during a march to the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 8, 2017
Parents and relatives have been campaigning for the girls' release for the last three years

Lucas Alcaraz appointed new Algeria coach

Algeria have appointed Lucas Alcaraz as their fourth full-time coach in the last 13 months.

The Spaniard was sacked on Monday as the coach Granada who are currently bottom of La Liga.

The 50-year-old replaces Belgian Georges Leekens who quit after Algeria were eliminated from this year's Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage.

Christian Gourcuff left as coach in April 2016 to be replaced by Milovan Rajevac who quit after just two games.

Read the full story

Lucas Alcaraz
Lucas Alcaraz was replaced as coach of Spanish club Granada by former England defender Tony Adams

'Fake news goes offline' in Kenya

Political parties in Kenya have begun their nomination process, usually a highly contested exercise, to elect candidates to contest various seats ahead of the general elections in August. 

An opposition candidate for the governor position in Busia county, in western Kenya, was surprised to find fake print-outs of the country's widely-read Daily Nation newspaper being distributed in the region - alleging that he had defected to the ruling Jubilee Alliance party, which does not enjoy wide support in the county.

Paul Otuoma was pictured holding up a copy of the fake print-outs and a poster of him with the ruling Jubilee Alliance colours.

View more on twitter

Daily Nation reports that his opponent, the incumbent governor, Sospeter Ojaamong, "appeared to reinforce the fake news about his opponent by saying that it was true Dr Otuoma had defected".  

The Nation Media Group, which owns the newspaper,  tweeted a statement disassociating itself from the fake printouts saying its brand had been misused and that it had reported the matter to authorities. 

View more on twitter

Read:Fake news: How can African media deal with the problem?

'I paddle across a lake to school'

Many children who live on Lake Bunyiyoni in south-western Uganda have to cross the water every day to get to school.

It often means they are late and when the weather is rough, it can be dangerous.

Video journalist: Mark Sedgwick

The Ugandan children who canoe to school

Cholera and diarrhoea warning in Somalia

The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that there could by a cholera and diarrhoea epidemic in Somalia in the coming months, the Reuters news agency is reporting.

It adds that 25,000 people have been infected so far and that number could double.

Two deaths out of every 100 infected people is currently being observed.

Reuters says that 533 deaths from cholera or diarrhoea have been recorded so far.

The WHO has been tweeting today about the dangers of contaminated drinking water saying that it kills a lot of people across the globe every year

View more on twitter

US imposes sanctions on CAR militia leaders

The US has imposed sanctions on two militia leaders from the Central African Republic (CAR), saying they were responsible for the prolonged instability in the country. 

Abdoulaye Hissene, a chief of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, and Maxime Mokom, a leader in the anti-Balaka mainly Christian militias, who were rivals in the country's civil war are accused of teaming up afterwards to destabilise CAR 

Any assets they have in the US will be frozen - though it is unclear if they actually have any. 

US citizens are generally banned from any transactions with them, according to a Treasury statement. 

Read: Central African Republic profile - Timeline

UN soldiers
UN peacekeepers were sent to CAR in 2014

Mugabe's new hairdo attracts attention

Robert Mugabe

What's in a haircut? 

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe debuted a new hairdo on Wednesday at the burial of a former solider. 

Some believe it's the first time he has shaved off all his hair as well as his characteristic toothbrush moustache.

Images posted on social media have drawn some comments from Zimbabweans. 

Some have said that the hairdo makes him look younger. 

But others are wondering what the fuss is about.

Perhaps sporting a new cut is a growing trend amongst heads of state. Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila also showed off a new bushier style when he addressed MPs last week.

Joseph Kabila

The woman who fought to become Egypt's only deaf dentist

Esraa was born deaf and grew up in Egypt where she was classed as "unfit" due to her disability.

Despite the discrimination, she had aspirations of becoming a dentist and applied to many dental schools across the country.

She was turned away by all but one.

Accepting the only place she was offered, Esraa went on to become Egypt's first deaf dentist.

The woman who fought to become Egypt's only deaf dentist

DA to charge ex-leader Zille for tweets on colonialism

South Africa's main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) has charged its former leader Hellen Zille with bringing the party into disrepute for her remarks on colonialism, eNCA reports. 

A date for a formal hearing has however not yet been set.  

The party accuses her of damaging the party.

Ms Zille, who is serving as the premier of Western Cape province, posted tweets on 16 March that were interpreted by some as glorifying South Africa's colonial legacy:    


Ms Zille later apologised. 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who took over from Ms Zille in 2015, said at the time that the social media posts had undermined the party's project to build a "a non-racial, prosperous democracy".  

Read:Helen Zille undermines Democratic Alliance with colonialism tweets

Helen Zille
Helen Zille stepped down as leader of the DA in 2015

Ivory Coast's Drobga co-owns US soccer team

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has joined United Soccer League side Phoenix Rising as a player and co-owner.

Drogba, 39, has not played since leaving Major League Soccer club Montreal Impact in November.

He will start out as a player but has also joined Phoenix's "MLS expansion franchise ownership group".

"To own a team and be a player at the same time is unusual but it's going to be very exciting," Drogba said.

"It's a good transition because I want to carry on playing but I'm almost 40 and it's important for me to prepare for my later career."

Phoenix have just started their fourth season in the Western Conference of USL, which forms part of the second tier of the American league system.

Watch more here:

Millions of dollars-worth of cash uncovered in Nigeria

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

Nigeria's security authorities have uncovered more than $40m (£32m) in cash in local and foreign currencies following a raid on a property in Lagos. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it got the "neatly arranged US dollars, pound sterling and some naira notes in sealed wrappers" in two rooms of a four-bedroom apartment. 

It says that the investigators forced entry into the property and found $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m in cash.

It adds that a further search of one of the rooms found more cash hidden in wardrobes. 

It says it believes the cash are proceeds from unlawful activity. 

EFCC said that a whistle blower alerted them about suspicious movements of bags in and out of the apartment:

Another source who is conversant with the apartment of interest indicated that some women usually appeared on different occasions with Ghana Must Go bags. She comes looking haggard, with dirty clothes but her skin didn't quite match her outward appearance, perhaps a disguise."

The statement also says that the officials interviewed guards at the property who said that no one lives there. 

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

Kenyan-born woman becomes Australian senator

Kenya-born Lucy Gichuhi is set to become the first person of African descent to sit in Australia's 76-seat senate if her election is confirmed by the high court, the Guardian reports.

The upper house of Australia's parliament has the power to both amend and block legislation.

She took the seat after her colleague from the Family First party, who originally won the election, was forced to step down.

Ms Gichuhi, a lawyer, moved to Australia in 1999 and became a citizen two years later, ABC news reports.

ABC quotes a statement from her saying: 

I am honoured and grateful for this opportunity to serve Australia. I see it as an opportunity to give back to this great nation."

The website adds that she could face a challenge herself if she is found to have held dual citizenship at some point, but she says she is "eligible to serve".

View more on youtube

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Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news stories on the continent.