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Summary

  1. Ebola case confirmed in DR Congo
  2. Kenyan women get help to reverse female genital mutilation
  3. Ivory Coast soldiers angry with deal with president
  4. Karabo Mokoena's boyfriend in court in South Africa after her burnt body was reportedly found
  5. Case sparks debate over #MenAreTrash hashtag
  6. Kenya moves to isolate anthrax cases
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 12 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

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 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:

The stone hides among the beans to get some oil."

A Mossi proverb sent by Souleymane Dicko in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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

And we leave you with this image from our selection of top shots from Africa this week, of some of the 82 freed Chibok girls queuing to enter the Presidential Villa in Nigeria's capital, Abuja. 

Chibok girls
AFP

Analysis: DR Congo well placed to defeat Ebola

Tulip Mazumdar

Global Health Correspondent

The Democratic Republic of Congo has announced that there is an Ebola outbreak in the north of the country.

While this will be extremely worrying for communities in the affected part of the country, it’s important to remember that the DR Congo has stamped out more Ebola outbreaks than any other place on earth. 

Ebola was first identified in DRC (then Zaire) in 1976. Since then, there have been at least nine outbreaks in the country. The last was in 2014, when, at the same time, parts of West Africa were fighting a separate outbreak, the worst in history.

DR Congo was able to bring an end to its epidemic within four months. 

In West Africa, which had never experienced an Ebola outbreak before, it took two years.

Eboal medic treating patience
AFP
DR Congo has successfully fought several Ebola outbreaks

Resident presidents take on Magufuli

Tanzania's President John Magufuli expelled the head of the UN's Development Programme accusing her for the “deteriorating performance” of her office.

But this is disputed and some thought it was about her criticism of elections in Zanzibar

Not surprisingly, our satirical resident presidents have an opinion about that: 

Olushambles and Kibarkingmad talk about their own qualifications

DR Congo authorities tracing those who had contact with Ebola case

The World Health Organization has stressed that anyone who has had contact with the person that died of Ebola needs to be traced.

Important to trace ppl who hv contact w/ the confirmed #Ebola case in the Democratic Rep. of Congo to stop the disease from spreading #DRC

This practice of contact tracing is vital to stop the spread of the virus.

The WHO is also offering its support to government of the Democratic Republic of Congo:

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Director of @WHOAFRO, will arrive in Kinshasa, #DRC, this weekend for a coordination meeting w/ the Ministry of Health

People run for cover from the shooting in Abidjan

The BBC's Tamasin Ford recorded the gunfire she heard outside the main army barracks in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan.

Soldiers who were behind a mutiny at the beginning of the year were unhappy with a deal that was agreed last night that ended the payment of further bonuses.

But it was not clear which side the shooting was coming from.

Our reporter says that the head of the army is now trying to talk to the mutineers to try and resolve the problem.

Namibia's Sam Nujoma celebrates 88th birthday

The man who led Namibia to independence and the country's first President Sam Nujoma is 88 today.   

Sam Nujoma
AFP

State-owned New Era has marked his birthday by praising his "brave and fearless leadership". 

We are proud to celebrate the life and legacy of the leader of the Namibian revolution. Thank you for the freedom, independence, and thank you for laying the foundation of our future. "

Namibia gained independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990.

Kenya election: Your questions answered

Ahead of Kenya's elections in August, we asked you what issues you want us to report on.

Here is one example: 

  • How are the politicians funding their election campaigns?

Kenya does not have an election campaign funding law. An attempt by the electoral commission to introduce one last year was defeated by MPs.

The commission had proposed four different caps for the different levels of elected officials:

  • President: $50m
  • Governor: $4m
  • Members of National Assembly (MPs and Senators): $290,000
  • Members of County Assembly: $97,000

The absence of the law means candidates are currently free to spend as much as they want.

Read about other questions and send us your ideas

Woman voting
AFP

Pilgrimage to Africa's oldest synagogue

Africa's oldest synagogue on Tunisia's Djerba island has been welcoming pilgrims today, AFP reports.

Woman in a synagogue
AFP

It is the start of the two-day annual pilgrimage to the synagogue, which is thought to have been founded in 586 BC by Jews fleeing the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, AFP adds.

The people come for the festival of Lag B'Omer, which marks the 33rd day since the end of Passover.

The organisers are expecting 3,000 visitors who will go to pray and light candles.

People praying in the synagogue
AFP
People lighting candle
EPA

Just before the pilgrimage in 2002, the synagogue was hit by an al-Qaeda attack killing 21 people.

Kenyan women get surgery to reverse FGM

Paula Odek

BBC Africa

More than 35 women who had previously undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya have benefited from the offer of free reconstructive surgery. 

This is part of a campaign by a local private hospital aimed at restoring the self-esteem among the circumcised women. 

A mother of two, Jane tells me that she has decided to undergo the procedure to save her marriage of 15 years.

She says her partner complains about their sexual relationship and blames it on the FGM she underwent before they got married:

I decided to come here because I wanted to get sexual pleasure back. I have been suffering like since I got married. My husband complains all the time; my friends stigmatise me...

So I decided that I should come and get this reconstructive surgery at least I can have that pleasure back and then to please him so that he does not go out because I know he has a reason to go out."

Dr Marci Bowers, from the US, who has practiced reconstructive surgery for women with the aim of restoring their sexual pleasure says sexual feeling is important just like the other senses: 

Marci Bowers
David Wambundo.

We have to consider sexual feeling like we respect other senses like sight and touch, vision, hearing but life is better with sexual feeling."

A woman's life in South Africa

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News

Being a woman in South Africa is like being trapped in a locked room - you can hear someone walking outside and you know they will come in one day and you won't be able to stop them.

Nothing can protect you - not the pepper spray in your bag, not the self-defence classes you got as a gift for your birthday when your breasts developed, not travelling in groups, not the saying NO you've been taught to say should that day come - nothing.

It is learning to be "vigilant" before you even know what it is to feel safe.

It is feeling unsafe everywhere, all the time.

African societies are built on patriarchy - every young girl grows up knowing that a man is the head, that he is powerful, that he is a go-getter, a conqueror. 

We are taught to admire these very traits about you, and I do. But dear God I am afraid of you - and with good reason.

The statistics in this country are not in my or any woman's favour. They say that one day I, or someone I know, will be your victim.

Women hold signs during a protest against ongoing violence against women, in Gugulethu, on May 21, 2016
AFP
Last year, women protest took to the streets near Cape Town to protest against violence against women

'We must confront the Ebola outbreak'

Following the confirmation that one person in the Democratic Republic of Congo has died of Ebola, the health ministry says "our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of international significance," the Reuters news agency reports.

The World Health Organization is tweeting that it is backing the government:

View more on twitter

Ebola outbreak declared in part of DR Congo

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo after it was confirmed that one person was killed by the virus, a World Health Organization spokesperson has told the BBC.

Reuters reports that the last recorded Ebola case in the country was in 2014 when dozens died.

This case "is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky," WHO spokesman Eric Kabambi told Reuters.

Ebola case confirmed in DR Congo

The World Health Organization says a case of Ebola has been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

View more on twitter

The Reuters news agency reports that the test comes from nine people who had hemorrhagic fever.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were hit by an Ebola outbreak in which more than 11,000 people died between 2014 and 2015.

Heavy gunfire heard in Ivory Coast's main city

Tamasin Ford

BBC Africa, Abidjan

In the last hour there has been heavy gunfire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's economic capital. 

It comes after former rebels, now part of the army, blocked the roads outside the army headquarters.  

I witnessed a scene of panic in Plateau, the city's financial district.

People were running through the streets with the sound of heavy gunfire behind them. 

We have been told they were blanks being fired but remember this is a city that experienced devastating fighting during the country's civil war.  

People here know the damage stray bullets can do.  

This is all about the former rebels who had fought for years to bring President Alassane Ouattara to power.  

They brought the country to a standstill back in January demanding back pay and bonuses. 

That request was granted, but  then on national TV last night, the deal was scrapped.  

Soldiers in military bases all over the country have been shooting in the air in protest.

The roads in Plateau, normally choked with traffic, are now quiet:

BBC
Quiet street
Quiet street
BBC

'Biggest cake' for Yaya Toure's birthday

Three years ago the birthday of Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure nearly became a resigning issue.

His manager Pep Guardiola, speaking ahead of tomorrow's English Premier League game against Leicester City, touched on this issue again. 

Journalists asked him whether the club was planning to get a cake for the Ivorian player to mark his birthday, he said that they will get him the "biggest one as possible":

#PEP: We’re going to buy Yaya as big a birthday cake as possible. We’ll do that after the game.

The midfielder turns 34 tomorrow. 

In 2014, Toure threatened to leave the club because the club failed to send him best wishes for his birthday. 

The manager also revealed that he has not spoken to Toure about his future at the club. 

Guardiola also spoke about Nigerian sytriker Kelechi Iheanacho: "He has not played much. Kelechi is a killer in the box. It is my decision whether he is picked, everybody can discuss it. End of the season we will talk about Kelechi."

Yaya Toure of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2017
Getty Images

Togo's student-run chocolate co-operative

Choco Togo is a small but growing chocolate producer run by a co-operative of young entrepreneurs. The company produces organic locally-made chocolate for the Togolese market. 

The BBC's Africa Business Report went to see Choco Togo in action at its small factory in Togo's capital, Lome:

BBC to open new office in Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed the BBC's plan to expand its operations in Kenya:

View more on twitter

The BBC will be investing nearly $10m (£7m) to move into a modern multimedia studio in the capital, Nairobi and create 250 new jobs, with 200 going to Kenyans. 

BBC Africa editor Solomon Mugera told the president that the investment will provide an internship and mentoring programme for upcoming journalists, digital and technical producers. 

The BBC is also introducing three new language services in East Africa.

Those in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya will be produced in Nairobi for audiences in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 

The BBC already produces Kiswahili and Somali programmes from its bureau in Nairobi. 

Kiir moves to calm tension after sacking army chief

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has moved to calm tension in the country following his decision on Tuesday to fire army chief Paul Malong. 

In a letter shared by a local media he said the security situation in the country was normal, and urged citizens to carry on with their daily routines. 

Gen Malong reportedly left the capital, Juba, with a group of loyal soldiers, after he was relieved of his duties, creating fear that he was planning a rebellion. 

Mr Kiir said he was in touch with the former general, saying that he had assured him of his safety when he returns to the capital. 

Gen Malong, who is reportedly in Yirol town, north of the capital, said he was not planning a rebellion but wanted to rest in his home region of Bahr El Ghazal, according to the Sudan Tribune. 

View more on twitter

Read:Find out more about South Sudan

Ivory Coast's dengue exterminators

Alex Duval Smith

BBC News

Cases of dengue fever have been reported in Ivory Coast. 

One case of type three dengue was confirmed last week in the main city, Abidjan, and 17 others have been reported but not confirmed. 

The government has dispatched a team of dengue exterminators who have been going house to house in Abidjan today on a killer mission against the mosquito larvae. 

Dengue fever exterminators
BBC

The service is free and the exterminators are on the lookout for mosquito egg-laying places like shower drains and plants' leaves. 

They sprayed my shower and a floor drain in the kitchen as well as some plants in the yard.

One of the exterminators, Mokhtar, told me to remove a dustpan in the yard which had some rainwater in it.

It was "an invitation for the mosquitoes," he said. 

Debate over #MenAreTrash in South Africa

The brutal murder of a woman in South Africa has sparked a debate in the country over gender-based violence.

There has been widespread outrage after the burnt remains of a young woman, Karabo Mokoena, were found.

People have been using the hashtag #MenAreTrash to highlight the issue. But some are angry with the generalisation:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

  But others see it as the starting point for a thoughtful discussion:  

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Writing in the Daily Maverick Rev Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu says that the generalisation is not the issue: "This is not a conversation about the accuracy of a syllogism but rather about the female experience."  

The reason why so many men miss the point about this view is that there has never been, on the part of many men, an opportunity to enter into the experience of being a woman.

One has to really lose his manly security and enter into the insecure world of a woman where she can barely walk alone at night or on any deserted patch of land and not be afraid."

Man arrested in connection with murder of Karabo Mokoena in court

The man arrested in connection with the murder of Karabo Mokoena has appeared in court for an initial hearing.

Her burnt remains were identified this week and her death has sparked a social media reaction with people in South Africa talking about gender-based violence.

A South African radio station is tweeting from the court:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Controversial former head of SA's power company to get job back

Karen Allen

BBC southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

Brian Molefe
Getty Images

The former chief executive of South Africa's state-owned power company Eskom is to return to his post four months after he stepped down following questions raised about the company's alleged links to the controversial Gupta family.

Brian Molefe had tried to negotiate a $2.2m ( £1.5m) pension from Eskom despite having only served for less than two years.

He became an MP after leaving Eskom and was named in an anti-corruption report, which said that on his watch the company gave favourable contracts to the wealthy Gupta family who have been accused of wielding considerable influence over President Jacob Zuma. 

Mr Molefe has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 

But trade unions and civil society groups say returning him to his post with serious allegations still hanging over him will do little to restore trust in the company.

Ivorian mutineers cross with spokesperson

The BBC's Tamasin Ford in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan says that former mutinous soldiers are unhappy with their spokesperson who agreed a deal with the president to drop demands for further bonus payments.

In January 8,400 soldiers mutinied over the fact that they had not been paid expected bonuses.

A deal resolved that dispute, but last night a spokesman for the mutineers agreed that all further demands would be dropped.

But the soldiers are angry with what they describe as a televised "surrender", our reporter says.

They went to the spokesperson's house but he could not be found.

'Sunburnt' apples vex South African farmers

The export of fruit is one of Africa's largest sectors but South Africa's apple farmers are growing increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change on their crop. 

They're complaining about the apples now becoming sunburnt and are taking measures to try and reduce the amount of direct sun the apples get. They're also experimenting with different varieties.

The BBC's Jason Boswell reports from the country's Western Cape Province.  

Kenyans and Somalis deported from US

Five Kenyans are among 72 people who have been deported from the US over immigration issues, privately-owned Star newspaper reports

The rest are from Somalia, it adds. 

The group arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Friday morning. 

In January, two Kenyans and 90 Somalis were deported from the US for immigration reasons, the Star adds. 

US President Donald Trump has promised to crackdown on illegal immigration into the US.

View more on twitter

Gunfire in Ivory Coast's main city confirmed by BBC reporter

The BBC's Tamasin Ford in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan has confirmed that there has been shooting in the Plateau district of the city.

She says that the soldiers are unhappy with the fact that mutineers had dropped demands for further bonus payments after a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara.

She also reports that there has been gunfire in Korhogo in the north of the country, and earlier we had heard reports of shooting in the air in the country's second city, Bouake.

'Gunfire in Abidjan'

Gunfire has broken out at Ivory coast military headquarters in the commercial capital of Abidjan, an officer has told the Reuters news agency. 

"There's shooting at the general staff. I wasn't able to enter," the officer said. 

We earlier reported that representatives of soldiers who had mutinied at the start of the year had entered into a deal with the government to drop their pay demands, which sparked shooting from people unhappy with the deal in Ivory Coast's second city, Bouake.

Seventy children survive accident in SA

At least 70 children have sustained minor injuries after a morning accident after the bus they were travelling in overturned in Kwazulu Natal province, South Africa's emergency services ER24 reports. 

It says that when its crew arrived at the scene they "found the bus lying on its side on the side of the road". 

The occupants from the bus had already climbed out of the vehicle and were found walking around the scene, it adds.   

The children were treated for their injuries at the scene and then transported to various hospitals. 

The cause of the accident is unknown. 

In April, 19 schoolchildren died after the minibus they were travelling in crashed with a truck near the capital, Pretoria. 

View more on twitter

African art up for auction in New York

While the debate continues over artist Damian Hirst's use of copy of a Benin bronze in his latest exhibition (see below), you have the chance (if you have enough money) to get hold of an original African art work at an auction in New York.

Southeby's is advertising pieces that it will be selling on Monday including this one from Angola:

Angolan sculpture
Southeby's

It is a Chokwe sculpture dating from the 19th Century, and will probably cost you between $1.5m and $2.5m.

When it comes to the cost of these sculptures, the recent work of Nigerian artist Adeniyi Olagunju explores the idea of the value of traditional objects in the contemporary art world. The BBC heard from him in February:

And, as we mentioned on the BBC Africa Live Page on Monday, Nigerian Victor Ehikhamenor's critique of Hirst's use of a Benin bronze has now attracted a lot of attention with pieces in the New York Times, Huffington Post and Quartz.

Here's one of the original Instagram posts that started the debate:

View more on instagram

Abattoir closed amid anthrax fears in Kenya's central region

Angela Ng'endo

BBC Africa

Eight people have been admitted to hospital following an anthrax outbreak in Kiambu county in central Kenya, a local health official says. 

Officials in the county have closed down the abattoir where the outbreak is thought to have started.

The patients, all male, have been isolated and are being treated after showing symptoms similar to those of victims who have contracted anthrax. 

The local veterinary department has ordered that no animal should leave the area, as the government tries to contain the spread of the disease. 

However the medical officials in the area have assured the public that the situation is under control. 

Anthrax is bacterial disease that affects mostly sheep and cattle, typically affecting the skin and lungs but it can be transmitted to humans. 

It is curable in human beings when detected early.

Kenya police shoot dead alleged female gangster

Details of an incident that led to a woman gangster being shot dead by police on Wednesday in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, have been published by privately-owned Daily Nation newspaper. 

Claire Mwaninki, as local media are calling her, was part of a gang of four that had been on a robbing spree before being confronted by police and killed in a shootout alongside another gang member. 

According to the police she married to a wanted gangster.

The capital's police boss Japheth Koome said many criminal gangs have female members.

"The women are used to transport guns, gather information while some even take part in robberies,” Mr Koome said, adding that they also take food to male suspects in hiding.

He said the involvement of females in crime is a challenge to the security as officers are not allowed to search handbags, the Daily Nation reports. 

View more on twitter

Shooting 'heard overnight' in Ivory Coast second city

The Reuters news agency is publishing more details about the shooting heard overnight in Ivory Coast's second city Bouake (see earlier entry).

Soldiers there were reportedly protesting about a deal that was struck between their representatives and President Alassane Ouattara. They dropped the demands for further bonus payments.

In January, mutineers took control of Bouake over their pay and treatment.

An unnamed leader of the mutineers in Bouake told Reuters that: "There was shooting all night because people are not happy with what their colleagues did in Abidjan."

Mutineer soldiers stand in front of the deputy-prefect (sous-prefet) residence upon arrival of the Ivorian Defence minister
AFP
Trouble first broke out in Bouake in January

South Africans angered by abuse against women

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News

Police in South Africa have confirmed that a 27-year-old man has been arrested and is expected in court in connection with the death of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena, who was reported missing two weeks ago. 

This comes after a burnt body was identified as hers.

There has been an outpouring of anger and grief in South Africa, mostly by women who took to sharing their stories of abuse at the hands of their partners.   

The hashtag #Menaretrash has been trending on Twitter overnight with mostly women calling for an end to violence against them. 

#RIPKarabo has also been trending. 

South Africa has a very high number of reported rapes - more than 40,000 a year.

View more on twitter

Ivory Coast mutineers drop demands

Thousands of Ivory Coast soldiers who mutinied at the start of this year have agreed to drop their demands for further payments from the government . 

A spokesman for the group apologised to President Alassane Ouattara at a televised ceremony in Abidjan, signalling an end to the protest. 

The mutineers, mainly demobilised former rebels, forced the government into paying bonuses of about $8,000 (£6,200) each. 

They had been due to receive further payments this month. 

Some mutineers in Ivory Coast's second city Bouake criticised the deal, saying they had not been consulted.   

The Reuters news agency is reporting that soldiers are shooting in the air this morning in protest.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara
AFP
A spokesman for the mutineers apologised to President Alassane Ouattara

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