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  1. 'Miracle baby' returns to Ivory Coast after US surgery
  2. Nelson Mandela's granddaughter at anti-Zuma rally
  3. Kenyan opposition chooses Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate
  4. Ex-Chadian ruler's life sentence upheld
  5. Life sentence for pirate who attacked American Navy ship
  6. First Africa-born player in top-flight baseball
  7. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 27 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Thursday'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 today's wise words:

A mother holds a knife by the blade."

A Sepedi proverb sent by Faith Dikgale, Pretoria, South Africa

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with a supporter of Kenya's Orange Democratic Movement at a rally in Nairobi, where the opposition announced its presidential candidate:

Woman with oranges round her neck

Mandela's granddaughter addresses anti-Zuma rally

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The eldest granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, Ndileka Mandela, has addressed a large crowd of demonstrators who are calling for President Jacob Zuma to stand down at a rally in the capital Pretoria. 

Some opposition parties and other formations have come together under the banner of the recently established Freedom Movement as part of efforts to pressure President Zuma into resigning, local Eyewitness News reports

It seems that Ms Mandela did not explicitly call for Mr Zuma to step down in her address, but said that "our government is failing us" and "needs to hear our cries". 

She also quoted her late grandfather's warning about the governing African National Congress, which has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994:

I would echo the words he spoke when he was alive: ‘If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government’."

She said her grandfather would have wanted lawmakers "to do the right thing" at the upcoming no-confidence vote in Mr Zuma. 

Local radio station Jacaranda FM spoke to her at the rally, taking place on Freedom Day, which marks the first free elections after white minority rule. 

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Kenyatta takes swipe at presidential rival

Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta addresses a welcoming crowd after arriving in Nairobi on October 9, 2014
The president is running for a second term

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed the opposition National Super Alliance's (NSA) line-up for the 8 August election as "nothing more than a ploy to create jobs for its leading figures.

The NSA has chosen former Prime Minister Raila Odoniga as its presidential flagbearer and former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate. 

It also said that if it formed the next government, Musalia Mudavadi will serve in the new post of Premier Cabinet Secretary. He will be flanked by two deputies, Moses Wetangula and Isaac Ruto.

They all come from different parties which have come together under the banner of Nasa in  a bid to unseat Mr Kenyatta in the election. 

In his reaction to the announcement, Mr Kenyatta said:

This was never about the country. It was about giving jobs for themselves instead of the millions of Kenyan who need jobs."

Mr Odinga, 72, lost to Mr Kenyatta, 55, in the last election. So what are his chances of winning this time? The BBC's Dickens Olewe discusses his prospects with Nic Cheeseman, a well known scholar of Kenya's politics currently based at the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Raila Odinga's nomination is not a surprise

Choice of Odinga 'no surprise'

Dickens Olewe

BBC Africa

Veteran Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga's nomination as the presidential candidate of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) is not a surprise.

He has performed better than his rivals in opinion polls and has shown that he has wide support beyond his ethnic base in western Kenya.

Raila Odinga
Mr Odinga refers to himself as the "first among equals"

He also leads the Orange Democratic Movement, the biggest of the opposition parties to come together to form Nasa in the hope of  defeating President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party in the 8 August election.    

Going into his fourth election, Mr Odinga is returning to a coalition strategy used in the 2002 campaign when opposition parties united to defeat Kanu, the party that brought Kenya independence.

The coalition that won that vote did not however survive as former President Mwai Kibaki reneged on a pre-election deal.

To try and avoid this, Nasa has unveiled a power-sharing structure involving the party leaders.

During Thursday's rally Mr Odinga called himself "first among equals".

Born with four legs - the story of Ivory Coast's miracle baby

The BBC News Instagram channel has posted this short video telling the story of Dominique, the 11-month-old baby who has returned to Ivory Coast after successful surgery in the US (see earlier entry)

View more on instagram

Civilians 'cut off without water' over South Sudan clashes

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Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) charity says that in the past three days 25,000 South Sudanese have been displaced by intense fighting around the northern town of Kodok.

MSF said aid organisations have suspended operations due to the insecurity. 

The UN says the government launched a new offensive in the area, against Agwelek rebel forces.

Many people in Kodok fled there recently from fighting in other areas. 

MSF said the fighting had forced all hospitals in the area to close. 

It has been impossible to deliver water to displaced people who are living outside under scorching sun. 

Many are making their way by foot to Sudan.

The head of the UN mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, said the conflict had widened in recent weeks. 

South Sudan, Africa's newest country, has had an unhappy six years of independence. 

Its leaders fell to fighting, and seem oblivious to the immense suffering of civilians. 

Earlier this year, the UN formally declared a famine, a disaster it described as man-made.

Ravaged by war, now famine hits South Sudan

Facebook Live on 'the lifesaver that medicine nearly forgot'

A drug to stop bleeding after giving birth could cut deaths by a third, new research suggests.

BBC Africa is holding a Facebook Live with one of the experts behind the study, putting your questions to her. Watch the video below:

View more on facebook

Read the full BBC News story 

Tunisian PM under fire on visit to Star Wars town

Photo dated 22 March 2002 shows a mosque built in the center of a 'Ksour' (fortified attic) on top of a hill near Tataouine,
Tataouine inspired Tatooine, the desert home planet of hero Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise

Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has faced a hostile reception on a tour of the southern city of Tataouine, famous for being the inspiration for the Star Wars planet of Tatooine. 

The town has been brought to a standstill by anti-government protesters in recent weeks, if not a fully fledged rebel alliance (sorry). 

Mr Chahed made the visit to discuss new measures to improve the situation in the town, with residents demanding jobs and more development. 

They say they are marginalised by the central government and don't sufficiently benefit from oil revenues in the region.

Tunisians take part in a general strike against marginalization and to demand development and employment on April 11, 2017
Residents of Tataouine have been striking this month

Shock after death of Gabonese 'monument of football' Apanga

Moise Brou Apanga
Getty Images
Defender Moise Brou Apanga played 33 times for Gabon including at two Africa Cup of Nations

Tributes have been paid to former Gabon international Moise Brou Apanga who died on Wednesday from a suspected heart attack.

The 35-year-old collapsed during a training session with his Gabonese club FC 105 Libreville.

He played for the Panthers at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 and 2012.

"The country has lost a brave son who has always given his best for the Gabonese flag," the country's football association, Fegafoot said.

Sunderland and Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong also paid tribute to Brou Apanga on social media.

"I take this moment to tell you that I'll be thinking about you every minute of this match - rest in peace big brother," the 22-year-old wrote just before he took to the field for Sunderland against Middlesbrough.

He signed his post off with a hashtag in French meaning "Brou Apanga - monument of Gabonese football".

Read the full BBC Sport story 

Jubilation as sentence of Chad's ex-ruler upheld

Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre (C) is escorted by prison guards into the courtroom for the first proceedings of his trial by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar on July 20, 2015.
Hissene Habre was convicted of crimes against humanity

About a dozen people in a court room in Senegal's capital, Dakar, jumped up and down, crying "We won!" when an appeals judge upheld the life sentence imposed on Chad's ex-President Hissene Habre, Reuters news agency reports. 

The group was made up of victims of atrocities committed during Habre's eight-year rule in Chad. 

One of them, Clement Abaifouta, said:   

Our patience has paid off. Never again will a dictator... be permitted to do horrible things and escape justice."

Habre, 74, had appealed against his conviction for crimes against humanity.

A special court set up by the African Union had convicted him last year. 

He was exiled in Senegal when he was arrested following intense pressure from victims, rights groups and some Western governments.

Habre's lawyer Francois Serres said the trial was politically motivated:

Africa cannot be proud of this trial. It was unfair from beginning to end."

Odinga's running mate named

Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) has chosen former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka as the running mate of its presidential candidate Raila Odinga in the August poll. 

A leading Kenyan television station has tweeted the announcement: 

View more on twitter

Kenyan opposition chooses Odinga as candidate

Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) has announced that ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 72, will be its candidate in the August presidential election, a BBC reporter tweets from its rally in the capital, Nairobi:  

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Earlier, the opposition alliance unveiled its official symbol to thousands of supporters who have packed Uhuru Park:

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Cheap drug tackles death in childbirth

A cheap drug has been shown to stop women bleeding to death, in a discovery that should change practice around the world, say researchers.

Every year, 100,000 women die from massive bleeding in the moments after giving birth.

But an international study, in the Lancet, suggests "tranexamic acid" could cut that by a third.

Postpartum haemorrhage is the biggest cause of death during pregnancy and early motherhood.

Professor Haleema Shakur from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is the co-leader of the report:

Severe bleeding after childbirth is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide

Jail terms over Moroccan fish seller's death

A court in Morocco has given seven people prison sentences of between five and eight months over the death of a fish seller crushed in a refuse lorry, AFP news agency reports. 

Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was killed last year as he tried to retrieve swordfish that police had confiscated from him in the northern port city Al-Hoceima. 

His death led to widespread protests, and drew parallels with that of a Tunisian fruit seller in 2010 which helped spark the Arab Spring uprisings. 

The sentences were handed down on Wednesday after a manslaughter trial of 11 people, including officials from the fisheries authority, the interior ministry and employees of a cleaning company, the local prosecutor said, AFP reports. 

Protesters in Rabat in 2016
Protesters said the fish seller's death was a sign of abuse and injustice

Read more about Morocco

Could more African baseball stars hit the big time?

After South Africa's Gift Ngoepe became the first Africa-born player to feature in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game last night, here's a reminder of our story from last year about talents scout on the hunt for future stars on the continent. 

There's some very cool drone footage in this video piece from the BBC's Christian Parkinson in Johannesburg, who went to meet young players hoping to make it onto the MLB's "Elite Africa" training camp:

MLB scouts for African baseball stars

Read the full BBC News story

Yoruba 'king of kings snubbed'

Oba of Lagos (L) dismissed the Ooni of Ife's( R) outstretched hand with a wave
The Oba of Lagos (L) dismissed the Ooni of Ife's( R) outstretched hand with a wave

Video footage showing a traditional leader, the Oba of Lagos, seemingly snubbing the Yoruba "king of kings", the Ooni of Ife, at a public event has shocked many Nigerians. 

Journalist Ugochukwu Ikeakor explains why it is such a big deal:

Deep respect for leaders is a pillar of the culture of the Yoruba people, one of Nigeria's biggest ethnic groups.

But at a recent public event a Yoruba leader, known as the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu ,74, refused to properly greet the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi 42.

As the Ooni leaned over to greet the Oba by shaking his hand, what he got instead was a dismissive wave and what looked like a scowl of disdain.

It's quite unheard of for traditional leaders to rebuff each other in public. And for a lesser leader, like the Oba, to rebuff the Ooni of Ife, the spiritual head of all Yoruba people, is an even graver offence."

Ex-Chadian leader's life sentence upheld

An appeals court in Senegal has upheld the life sentence given to Chad's former leader HIssene Habre for crimes against humanity, reports the BBC's Enoh N'Dri from Dakar. 

In a landmark ruling last year, Habre was convicted of rape, sexual slavery and ordering killings during his rule from 1982 to 1990.

He was tried a special court set up by the African Union (AU) in Senegal. 

He was exiled in Senegal when he was arrested, following pressure from Western governments and survivors of atrocities committed during his rule. 

It was the first time an AU-backed court had tried a former ruler for human rights abuses.  

Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre gestures as he leaves a Dakar courthouse after an identity hearing on June 3, 2015.
Habre refused to recognise the court's jurisdiction

Read: How the CIA meddled in Chad - and elsewhere in Africa

Nkosi Sikelel i’Afrika composer honoured

Google doodle shows search box with Enoch Sontonga

In honour of South Africa's Freedom Day today, which celebrates the country's first multiracial elections following the end of apartheid 23 years ago, Google's homepage in the country features a drawing of Enoch Sontonga, the Methodist teacher who composed Nkosi Sikelel i’Afrika, God Bless Africa, in 1897.

It was adopted by the governing African National Congress and became an inspirational anthem in the struggle against apartheid, forever associated with Nelson Mandela and the other prisoners on Robben Island. 

It was sung by the crowd when Mr Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's president in 1994 and is now part of the country's national anthem.  It is also the anthem of Tanzania and Zambia. 

Enoch Sontonga died in 1905, aged 32.  

Race on for Kenya's presidency

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga looks on during a mass funeral for the victims of clashes on January 23, 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya
Raila Odinga has failed in three previous bids to become president

With elections in Kenya only 102 days way, the main opposition alliance is running out of time to name its candidate. 

The National Super Alliance, or Nasa, has five men competing to be party leader, but many expect the selection committee to look no further than Raila Odinga. 

Mr Odinga, 72, leads the Orange Democratic Movement, the largest opposition party in parliament. 

If confirmed as the candidate at today's Nasa rally in the capital, Nairobi, this will be his fourth attempt at becoming president. 

Bus with Uhuru Kenyatta fans
Large groups of people have made their way to the rally
Crowds at Uhuru Park
Mr Odinga's supporters are hoping he will make it fourth-time lucky

Mr Odinga still maintains he won the controversial 2007 elections in which then-President Mwai Kibaki was named the winner, sparking violent clashes that led to the deaths of more than a thousand people.

Meanwhile, many sitting politicians have lost their bids to defend their seats in primaries. 

Kenyans on Twitter are excited that a campaign, #fagiawote, a Swihili phrase which means "sweep them all out", could be succeeding. 

The campaign calls on voters to oust sitting politicians to express displeasure with how the country has been run at all levels in the last four years. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party is running for a second term.

There have been outbreaks of violence in various parts of the country, as well as allegations of vote buying and rigging. 

Mother hails return of 'miracle baby' after US surgery

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A baby girl whose twin failed to develop properly and fused to her growing body in the womb has returned home to Ivory Coast after a successful operation in the US.

A video released by the hospital which gave her the surgery shows an emotion reunion with family at Abidjan International Airport. 

On seeing the 11-month-old baby, her mother said:

I never thought that I'd see my daughter like this today... It really is a miracle."

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

In this extremely rare case, her parasitic twin was attached to her back and shoulder. 

This made her look like she had two extra legs and feet.

Surgeons explain the challenges of the complex operation on Dominique

West Africa's illegal fishing crisis

Waters off the coast of West Africa are crowded with foreign vessels fishing both legally and illegally. 

They come from as far afield as Europe, Russia and Asia and many local fishing communities say that their livelihoods are being undermined as a result.

Pavel Klinckhamers, an activist with the environmental pressure group Greenpeace, has been sailing along the West African coast with local naval officials on the organisation's own vessel, the Esperanza. 

He's told the BBC's Newsday programme that the authorities had detained at least 11 vessels in only a few days of patrols over illegal fishing:

We found shark fins on board the Chinese vessels... which were not displaying the vessel's name [in English]."

Listen to the full interview:

Local fishing communities are being hit hard by illegal fishing

Climate change 'making droughts worse' in Africa

Skeletons of livestock
Livestock in Somalia's Puntland region have been dying by the thousands this year due to drought

Climate change is making drought and humanitarian disasters worse in the Horn of Africa, British charity Oxfam has said, ahead of a major climate march in Washington to coincide with the first 100 days of the Trump administration, Reuters news agency reports.

About 12 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are at risk of hunger due to recurring droughts, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says, with Somalia at risk of slipping into famine for the second time in six years.

Oxfam's regional director Nigel Tricks told Reuters:

Climate change is a real and current problem in East Africa. What were previously once in a life time droughts now come around more often... For the first time, scores of camels and donkeys which are typically hardy animals are dying off and the lives of pastoralists, which revolve around their animals have been greatly disrupted."

Somali herder with his camel
Herdsmen are travelling further and further in search of water for their animals

Read more: 

Crowds gather for Kenya opposition rally

Supporters of Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance are filling into Uhuru Park in the capital, Nairobi, for the official announcement of its presidential candidate, as a private TV station tweets: 

View more on twitter

Veteran opposition politician Raila Odinga, 72, is expected to be named as the candidate. He has failed in previous bids to win the presidency, but served as prime minister in a unity government formed after disputed elections in 2007. 

The poll was marred by allegations of rigging, and triggered some of the worst violence in Kenya since independence.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to seek a second term in the 8 August election.  

See earlier post for more details

South Africa foils 'coup plot'

A suspected "coup plotter" has been arrested in South Africa for planning to assassinate nearly 19 people - including government ministers, officials of state-owned firms and prominent citizens, the elite Hawks police unit has said. 

The 23-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday following undercover operations in the capital, Pretoria, and the main commerrcial city, Johannesburg, Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The suspect, a founding member of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA), was arrested while trying "to explain to donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by the undercover coup plot snipers", Brig Mulaudzi was quoted by local media as saying. 

The Hawks said its investigators had also uncovered a plot by a group known as the Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime (AWMCG) which had also been "soliciting donations in order to assassinate senior government officials and other South African citizens".

One person had been arrested over the alleged plot, and was due to appear in court on Friday, it said. 

South Africa has been hit by sharp political divisons over the past year with President Jacob Zuma's critics accusing him of allowing a wealthy Indian-born family to wield undue influence in the government. The refer to this as "state capture".  

Mr Zuma and the family deny the allegation.

In turn, the president's allies accuse his critics of being close to "white monopoly capital", and opposing "radical economic transformation" aimed at benefiting the black majority.  

Read: Zuma down but not out

African National Congress (ANC) and South African President Jacob Zuma dances and chants during the closing session of the ANC's National General Council (NGC) in Durban on September 24, 2010.
Mr Zuma has been a polarising figure in South Africa

The island where pregnant girls were sent to die

When Mauda Kyitaragabirwe got pregnant in pre-independence Uganda, her parents sent her to Punishment Island, with the expectation she would die there. 

She was saved and is the only known survivor who escaped the island.

Video journalist: Mark Sedgwick 

The island where pregnant girls were sent to die

Read the full story from the BBC's Patience Atuhaire

First Africa-born player in top-flight baseball

Gift Ngoepe signed for Pittsburgh in 2008

South Africa's Gift Ngoepe has become the first Africa-born player to feature in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game.

He made his top-flight debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday evening against the Chicago Cubs.

Ngoepe, 27, grew up in Randburg, near Johannesburg, where his mother worked at the local baseball club.

He has been trying to break into the MLB since signing for Pittsburgh in 2008 but has been playing in the lower leagues since then.

Read the full BBC story here

Kenya opposition to name presidential candidate

Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga visits Kenya National House on August 8, 2012 in London, England
Mr Odinga is a veteran opposition politician

The main opposition alliance in Kenya is due to announce its candidate for the 8 August election at a huge rally in the capital, Nairobi. 

The National Super Alliance is expected to name ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its candidate against President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

Former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka is expected to be his running mate. 

Meanwhile the governing Jubilee Party has finished its chaotic primaries, with many sitting MPs and governors failing to be reselected. 

US jails Somali pirate for life

BBC World Service

A suspected pirate skiff burns after being destroyed by the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) on April 10, 2010 in the Gulf of Aden.
The skiff of the pirates was set ablaze

A Somali man has been sentenced to life in prison by a US judge for his role in an attack on a US Navy ship seven years ago. 

Mohamed Farah and five other Somali pirates attacked the USS Ashland in April, 2010 off the coast of Djibouti. 

The Ashland fired on their skiff, setting it ablaze and forcing the pirates to abandon ship. They were rescued and later handed over to the authorities. 

The other five had previously been tried and convicted. 

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

A mother holds a knife by the blade."

A Sepedi proverb sent by Faith Dikgale, Pretoria, South Africa

Click here to send us your African proverbs

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