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Summary

  1. Malawi football match played despite stampede deaths
  2. South African trade union defends prison wardens over 'erotic dance'
  3. DR Congo court convicts soldiers over Kasai killings
  4. Ugandan pastor summoned to court for burning Bibles
  5. Missing Kenyan policeman found alive
  6. African tourists boosting tourism on the continent
  7. Nigeria marks 50 years since Biafran war began
  8. Zambia's President Edgar Lungu defends emergency threat
  9. ICC condemns South Africa's failure to arrest Bashir
  10. Over 70 die in road crash in CAR

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Paul Bakibinga

All times stated are UK

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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:

There is only one Sahara. "

An Algerian proverb sent by Nader Boulberhane in Zhuhai, China

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of two men riding on a motorcycle in Ghana's capital city of Accra.

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Tanzanian women using graffiti to tell their stories

Tulanana Bohela

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

These women call themselves "wanawake xpress" a group of graffiti artists.

They were trained for seven weeks by a male graffiti group called Wachata before showcasing their work at a bus stop in Tanzania's commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

Graffiti on boards
BBC
Graffiti on public walls is not allowed in Tanzania so they brought their own boards.
Tanzanian woman in front of her Art
BBC
It has enabled women to own conversations about women.
Wanawake xpress"  women
BBC
"Wanawake Xpress" ladies after seven weeks of training.
Tanzanian woman spraying grafitti
BBC
They are now using the art to tell their own stories

Zambia's near 'state of emergency'

Zambian Elected incumbent President Edgar Lungu (C) is escorted as he arrives to swear in as President at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on September 13, 2016 in Lusaka
AFP
President Edgar Lungu declared a 'threatened' state of emergency

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu has been defending his decision to invoke emergency powers, saying he was bringing sanity to the country.

However this has caused confusion. Has he or hasn't he declared a state of emergency?

Zambian lawyer Makebi Zulu clarified the situation when he spoke to BBC's Focus on Africa programme:

It is not a state of emergency. What has happened in the country is that there has been a spate of incidents that border on acts of terror. Many public installations have been sabotaged, some vandalised and there's been a disruption of services to the general populace.

Following that, the President declared a 'threatened' state of emergency. Under Article 31 [of the Constitution] where the president sees that there are certain acts or there are prevailing circumstances that may lead to a state of emergency, he will take certain steps to stop it culminating into a state of emergency."

Minister Zulu went on to say that the president had simply raised "threat levels", the highest of which is a state of emergency.

The heightened state of alert now means that police now have powers to stop and search without a warrant.

He added that within seven days of the president's declaration, the state of alertness will be debated in parliament as to whether it is necessary.

DR Congo court convicts soldiers over Kasai killings

map
BBC

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo city of Mbuji Mayi has found seven government soldiers guilty of killing members of a militia group in the central Kasai region, the Reuters news agency reports.

A video of the incident which appeared in February showed soldiers shooting people, some of them young women, at point blank range provoking international condemnation.

Two army majors were sentenced to 20 years, two others received death sentences.

Three others were sentenced to 15 years for murder and improperly disposing of weapons. Defence lawyer Jimmy Bashile told Reuters that the soldiers would appeal against their convictions.

More than 3,000 people have been killed and 1.3 million displaced since the start of an insurrection last August by the Kamuina Nsapu militia, which demands that the government withdraws its forces from the Kasai.

At least 52 mass graves have been found in the region.

The Congolese government has denied that there's a systemic use of excessive force, saying that the prosecutions show its justice system has the ability to deal with crimes committed in the conflict.

The UN and Human Rights Watch voted last month to establish an international investigation.

Read:DR Congo's Kasai conflict: Voodoo rebels take on Kabila

Libya's PM congratulates Benghazi on 'Liberation'

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

Libya's Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj has congratulated the people of the eastern city of Benghazi following the city being declared "fully liberated" earlier this week from extremist groups.

This follows three years of skirmishes and clashes between a self styled army and local Islamist militias.

Here is his statement in part:

I extend my sincere congratulations to the Libyan people, especially our people in Benghazi, for the return of normal life to the glorious city and for the end of years of suffering, and thus ended a difficult phase to begin the stage of building and reconstruction.

We look forward to the next phase of building the united democratic civil state, with the unified army and sovereign , and that security and stability will prevail throughout Libya."

President of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj delivers the opening speech of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland
AFP

Sadio Mane to return in days

Senegal international and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is set to return to training within 10 days after recovering from a knee injury.

Mane, 25, needed surgery and missed the final eight games of last season after picking up the injury during a 3-1 win over Everton on 1 April.

He is set to miss Liverpool's opening pre-season friendlies.

"He will continue to be monitored and assessed by the club's medical staff to ensure he returns in the best shape," said a Liverpool statement.

Mane scored 13 goals in 27 Premier League games after signing from Southampton for $44 (£34m) in June 2016.

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Sadio Mane
Getty Images
Sadio Mane joined Liverpool on a five-year deal in June 2016

Court drops charges against suspects accused of lynching Ghananain soldier

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

A magistrate court in Ghana has discharged 13 suspects linked to the murder of a military commander in May in the central region of Denkyira Obuasi, after the state failed to establish a substantive case against them.

According to the prosecutor the suspects will be used as witnesses against 19 others who are still facing charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was attacked and lynched while he was out jogging.

Residents say they mistook him for an armed robber after he was found carrying a weapon while dressed in plain clothes.

The act was condemned nationwide and the military commander was given a state burial.

Following the incident, the police arrested 32 suspects, 13 others are still at large.

Soldiers take part in a military procession for Major Maxwell Adam Mahama's state funeral on June 9, 2017 in Accra
AFP
A military procession at the funeral of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama

ICC rebukes South Africa on Bashir

Andrew Harding

BBC News, Johannesburg

The International Criminal Court has ruled that South Africa’s government acted unlawfully when it failed to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al- Bashir when he visited the country in 2015.

Mr Bashir is the first person ever to be charged by the court with genocide and has a warrant of arrest against him.

In a sense, the court was merely stating the obvious. Few people seriously expected South Africa’s lawyers to win the legal argument, and they were duly brushed aside today.

The country is a signed up member of the ICC and knows the rules.

But in Africa, this is as much about the politics as the law.

The continent was once a big supporter of the ICC, but now South Africa, and several other countries, are getting cold feet, convinced the court is unfairly targeting Africans, and arguing that building up local institutions would be a better way forward.

Today the ICC put its foot down. But fairly gently. It could have referred South Africa to the United Nations Security Council. It chose not to.

Presiden Bashir
AFP
South African government acted unlawfully by failing to arrest President Bashir

'Diabetes taking its toll on Africa'

The cost of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60bn (£46bn) annually, as growing cases of obesity leads to a rapid increase of the disease, AFP news agency reports quoting a report by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

According to the research in 2015, the total cost of diabetes was nearly $20bn or 1% of sub-Saharan Africa's total economic production.

This included the cost of medicines, hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death.

Rifat Atun from Harvard University, who is the lead author of the report, says "in its current state, sub-Saharan Africa is not at all prepared for the increasing burden of diabetes caused by rapid, ongoing societal transitions,"

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.5 million deaths in 2012 were directly caused by diabetes.

Malawi football match played despite stampede deaths

Packed stadium
BBC
The 40,000 stadium was packed

A planned football match between two top clubs in Malawi went ahead despite eight people being killed and dozens others injured in a stampede as they tried to enter the stadium.

The BBC's Frank Kandu says the 40,000 capacity Bingu National Stadium in the capital, Lilongwe was packed for the match, in which Nyasa Big Bullets beat Silver Strikers.

President Peter Mutharika who had said he was "shocked" by the incident did not attend the match which was part of the independence day celebrations.

He was instead represented by Sports Minister Henry Mussah.

Police boss Lexan Kachama told Reuters that seven children and one adult were killed in the stampede and he expected the number to rise.

Missing Kenyan policeman found alive

One of two Kenyan policemen who went missing yesterday after gunmen from Islamist militants group al-Shabab attacked a police post and a school in Pandanguo area in Lamu county has been found alive, the Daily Nation reports.

He was among 19 policemen who were stationed at the police post when militants attacked in a dawn raid and engaged them in a day-long gunfight.

According to a police statement three police officers were killed during the clashes.

One of the residents told the Daily Nation that security services recovered a police vehicle that the militants had commandeered.

He said that foodstuff and drugs that had been stolen at a local hospital were found in the vehicle.

Another resident told the newspaper that the attackers were youthful and spoke Kiswahili, one of Kenya's official languages and widely-spoken in the coastal area.

Reports yesterday said that over 200 militants took part in the attack.

Read:Who are Somalia's al-Shabab?

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Lungu 'bringing sanity to Zambia'

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has defended his announcement last night, to move towards declaring a state of emergency, saying he was bringing sanity to the country.

He vowed to operate within the constitution.

But his political opponents see things very differently. They point to the suspension of opposition MPs, to a media clampdown, and to the arrest of the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilehma, who is now in prison, facing treason charges for a traffic incident involving the President’s motorcade.

The growing fear is that President Lungu is pushing the nation towards dictatorship – a charge he rejected today.

I know people think I’m targeting political players... I’m just bringing sanity to our country, so law and order... people’s property is not destroyed in [the] manner that we have seen."

The President sought to reassure investors, saying he and his government would stick to the law at all times.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu reacts after participating in a discussion at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa May 4, 2017
Reuters
President Edgar Lungu " I’m just bringing sanity to our country".

Emmanuel Emenike leaves Turkey for Greece

Former Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike has joined Greek champions Olympiakos from Turkish club Fenerbahce.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal and cost around $2.8m ( £2.1m)

After struggling with injuries and a lack of first-team football last season, Olympiakos provides him with a platform that includes the European Champions League next season.

"I know there are big expectations from the fans and club, but I am ready," Emenike told BBC Sport.

"I've joined the most succesful club in Greek football and I want give my best for the team,"

Emenike, who retired from international football in 2015, made 93 appearances in all competitions during his time at Fenerbahce scoring 25 goals

Read full story

Emmanuel Emenike
Getty Images

ICC rules South Africa should have arrested Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled that South Africa erred by not arresting Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir when he visited the country in 2015.

It said that Mr Bashir did not enjoy diplomatic immunity and therefore should have been arrested and handed over to the court's prosecutor for his alleged role in the conflict in Darfur.

President Jacob Zuma's government has been arguing that the ICC demands were incompatible with South African law which accords diplomatic immunity to heads of states.

The ruling African National Congress is currently pushing for the withdrawal of South Africa from the ICC, a move that has been criticised by human rights groups.

(see earlier report)

ICC logo
ICC

Malawi stampede: Seven children killed

Malawi's police boss Lexan Kachama says that seven children and one adult were killed in the stampede at the Bingu National Stadium in the capital, Lilongwe.

He added that he expects the number of those killed in the tragedy to rise, the Reuters news agency reports.

Mr Kachama said that people who had gathered outside the stadium ahead of a football match between two of the top sides in the country had tried to force their way into the stadium.

An eyewitness however told Reuters that the stampede occurred because "police lost control" and used teargas to disperse the crowds that were fighting to find seats in the 40,000 capacity stadium.

BreakingEight killed in Malawi stadium stampede

At least eight people have been killed and 40 others injured following a stampede at a football stadium at Malawi's Bingu National Stadium in the capital, Lilongwe.

Thousands of people had gathered at the 40,000 capacity stadium ahead of a match between the country’s top sides Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers as part of independence day celebrations.

The BBC's Frank Kandu reports that the stadium gates were to be opened at 06:30am local time to allow for a steady flow of fans for the free match but they were opened three hours later.

Fans then tried force their way in leading to a stampede.

President Peter Mutharika said he was shocked and said he will be visiting the bereaved families:

“I want to begin by offering my condolences to the families affected by the tragedy following deaths of our brothers and sisters this morning.

“I will be visiting the people at the morgue after this service and my government will do all it can to assist the bereaved families.

The authorities have launched investigations.

Cosafa Cup: 'New' Zambia to face Zimbabwe in final

Zambia clinched a place in the Cosafa Cup final with a 4-2 win over Tanzania in South Africa.

Justin Shonga scored twice for Zambia.

They will now play Zimbabwe in Sunday's final after they edged past Lesotho 4-3 in the other semi-final of the southern African regional championship.

Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda said it was a major achievement:

"We came with a new team and for them to get to the final is a major achievement ".

Zambia were among the top six seeds and only entered at the quarter-final stage and will be much fresher for the deciding game as they seek a record fifth success.

Read full story

Justin Shonga
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Wedson Nyirenda's Zambia will face neighbours Zimbabwe in the 2017 Cosafa Cup final

NGO's tell Tanzania government to stop threatening them

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

A group of 18 international rights organisations has told the Tanzanian government to stop threatening local civil society organisations which champion gay rights and the right for teenage mothers to return to school.

Last week, the government threatened to deregister any organisation which continued to campaign for schoolgirls who get pregnant to be allowed to return to school after giving birth.

In the latest criticism of President John Magufuli's crackdown on dissent, the group has called on the government to let organisations operate without any fear of reprisals.

Signed by organisations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, the joint statement has expressed solidarity with 25 local organisations which last week jointly supported the re-entry to school for teenage mothers

They have also challenged President Magufuli's administration to focus more on educating citizens without any form of discrimination.

Last month, Mr Magufuli stated that, as long as he is a president, no pregnant student will be allowed to go back to school.

His statement reiterates the country's education law which forbids teenage mothers from returning to school.

Jacinta 15 excluded from school after being found pregnant.
Human Rights Watch
Fifteen -year -old Tanzanian schoolgirl excluded from school for being pregnant

South Africa trade union defends 'erotic' show for prisoners

A South African trade union has defended prison officers for organising an erotic dance show for prison inmates last month as part of annual Youth Day celebrations, AFP news agency is reporting.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) trade union, in a statement, says that the performers were not strippers as they were "not half naked as alleged".

Pictures of the entertainers dressed in black lingerie and knee-high boots dancing with prisoners in orange gear, at the high-security Johannesburg Correctional Centre jail, went viral.

A member of group is reported to have told the Sowetan newspaper that they were not strippers but professional street dancers called Sexy Lingerie and Boys group.

Authorities suspended 13 prison staff over the incident.

The PSA statement says that an innocent dance had been turned into something ugly:

Social media took an innocent entertainment program of the youth day celebrations at the prison and turned it into something ugly...

The dancers were clothed in appropriate, suitable dancing attire (tights) and not half naked as alleged."

Entertainment for inmates
Durban CrimeN All
A cuddle for an inmate
Two women wearing very little entertain an inmate
Durban Crime N all
These pictures went viral in South Africa last month

The trade union has to challenge the prison officers's suspension, AFP reports.

'We fought for Biafra'

Veterans of the Biafran War, which began 50 years ago this week, remember what it was like to fight on the front line and explain why they still support independence from Nigeria.

They say they don't want a return to the conflict but a referendum to allow the people to determine their future:

Biafran War veterans remember the conflict 50 years on

South African Zulu dancers arrived at wrong school

A group of South African dancers, The Lions of Zululand, took a UK school by surprise when they turned up at the wrong address.

The group gave two performances to pupils at St Anne's in Welton, East Yorkshire but should have been at a school in London.

Teachers and pupils at the school were happy to be treated to an unplanned and enjoyable performance:

A South African group of Zulu dancers arrived at the wrong venue.

Burkinabe architect becomes first African to design London's Serpentine Pavilion

Renowned architect Francis Kéré has become the first African to design the prestigious Serpentine Pavilion in London.

He explains why a desert tree from his home country Burkina Faso was the inspiration for his design:

Serpentine Pavilion 2017: Francis Kéré's design 'inspired by a tree'

African tourists boosting tourism on the continent

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

Tourism in Africa is experiencing significant growth, adding jobs to economies and money to national coffers, according to a new report.

There has been a tremendous leap in intra-African travel with Africans holidaying in other African countries.

The annual Economic Development Report on Africa from the UN's Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD, shows that international visitor numbers to Africa have more than doubled since the late 1990s and are still growing.

But one of the most intriguing facts to emerge from this year's report is that African tourism is being driven by Africans themselves - two out of three international visitors to sub-Saharan countries come from within Africa itself.

Currently, tourism accounts for nearly nine percent of the continent's economy - but analysts say it could be much more, if governments liberalised air transport and further relaxed visa regulation.

Buffalos and elephants graze on a plain at the Tsavo West National Park, near Voi, around 350 kilometres southeast of Nairobi on February 16, 2017
AFP
More Africans driving tourism demand in Africa

'Bible burning' Ugandan pastor summoned by court

A controversial Ugandan pastor, Aloysius Bugingo, has been summoned by a court in the capital, Kampala to defend himself against allegations that he burned copies of the Bible, the privately-owned Monitor newspaper and NBS TV are reporting.

Wameli Anthony Yeboah, the lawyer representing one of the complainants who took Pastor Bugingo to court said in court that the action abused objects of worship:

It is criminal for him to burn Bibles because it goes against the constitution which guarantees freedom of worship and he is abusing the objects of worship which include Bibles, Qurans, rosaries and any other items people may choose to use during worship.”

Pastor Bugingo has in the past denied allegations of burning bibles.

However his own television station Salt TV has aired recordings of him calling for certain copies of the Bible to be destroyed.

This is how some Ugandan TV stations have tweeted their reports:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

What next in Zambia?

A day before Zambia's President Edgar Lungu initiated a process that could see the southern African nation under a state of emergency law, he told reporters that he would take "unprecedented measures to deal with a recent spate of arson attacks. So if I become a dictator for once bear with me," Mail and Guardian reports.

According to his office, he signed an executive order last night that kicks off a process that would see the emergency law imposed.

The measure comes after fire gutted Lusaka's City market on Tuesday, an incident that the government blamed on arsonists.

He said that peace and tranquility in Zambia had been eroded by “unpatriotic citizens”; and that, as a result, he had no choice but to invoke Article 31 of the Constitution.

He said that those who obey the law will not be affected:

Law abiding citizens will not be impacted by this decision in anyway and should therefore continue to go about their daily routines normally.

I will ensure that measures to be undertaken under this proclamation will not inconvenience any law-abiding citizen.”

Under Zambian state of emergency laws, police can prohibit public meetings, close roads, impose curfews and restrict movements, Reuters news agency reports.

The statutory instrument is likely to be passed by parliament to bring in the emergency law.

Already opposition parties are weakened in parliament after 48 members of the main opposition party United Party for National Development (UPND) were suspended last month after boycotting Mr Lungu’s State of the Nation Address.

Over 70 perish in CAR accident

BBC World Service

A truck carrying goods and passengers crashed in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Wednesday killing almost 80 people.

Reports say the vehicle was overloaded and speeding. The truck was packed with traders on their way to a weekly market outside the town of Bambari, in the centre of the country, when it tipped over.

One local resident said he often saw dangerously overloaded vehicles, with people perched on them like birds. He said the authorities did nothing to stop them travelling on the country's neglected roads.

General view of a street in Bambari on April 16, 2014 in the center of the Central African Republic
AFP
The truck was heading for a weekly market outside the town of Bambari,

Is Biafra the answer to Nigeria problems?

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

It is 50 years since Nigeria's brutal civil war calling for the secession of Biafra started. By the time it ended in 1970 over one million people had died. Now a new movement has emerged calling for independence.

Nnamdi Kanu founded the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) in 2014 which is pushing for the secession of Biafra.

At the end of the war in 1970 the Igbo separatist leader General Yakubu Gowon declared there was "no victor, no vanquished" - this became the motto of reunification.

But for many people in the south-east, the reunion has been an uneasy one.

And it's a common perception in the region - that Igbo people are marginalised in a Nigeria that only serves the interests of the two other main ethnic groups - the Hausa and Yoruba.

Now the people of the south-east are left with a choice to either stick with their current leaders - and Nigeria - or choose a much less certain path.

For more read: 'Nigeria treats us like slaves' - but is Biafra the answer?

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Europe migrant crisis: EU blamed for 'soaring' death toll

Amnesty International has blamed "failing EU policies" for the soaring death toll among refugees and migrants in the central Mediterranean.

In a report, it said "cynical deals" with Libya consigned thousands to the risk of drowning, rape and torture.

It said the EU was turning a blind eye to abuses in Libyan detention centres, and was mostly leaving it up to sea rescue charities to save migrants.

More than 2,000 people have died in 2017 trying to get to Europe, it said.

The EU has so far made no public comments on Amnesty's report.

Read full story

Migrants
Reuters
Italy - due to its proximity to Libya - is the main destination for migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea

Zambia edging towards state of emergency

Burning market
DOUGLAS TEMBO
The city market was gutted in a blaze that began at dawn

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu is taking steps that could lead to a state of emergency following Tuesday’s fire at Lusaka city market.

The fire followed other suspected arson attacks on public buildings. Mr Lungu said the latest fire was an attempt to make Zambia ungovernable and that he would not tolerate such “lawlessness”.

However, his spokesperson denied reports that an emergency had been declared.

Critics say it is not clear who is behind the fires and accuse the president of an alarming slide towards authoritarianism. Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema is currently facing treason charges after his convoy refused to give way to the presidential motorcade.

The city market was gutted in a blaze that began at dawn and destroyed property worth millions of kwacha.

Is Zambia's democracy on trial?

ICC to rule on South African failure to arrest Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to issue a ruling today over South Africa’s failure to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to the country two years ago.

President Bashir is charged with genocide in connection with the conflict in Darfur.

President Jacob Zuma’s government has argued that the ICC's demands were in conflict with the country's diplomatic immunity law and that it has launched a move to withdraw from membership of the court - something that rights groups have criticised.

South Africa’s High Court has also ruled that the government had gone about the withdrawal process unconstitutionally, having failed to consult parliament.

Yesterday, the governing African National Congress (ANC) said that it still plans to withdraw the country from the ICC.

This is part of a broader push by some African governments against an institution that they argued was unfairly targeting the continent and its leaders.

President Omar al-Bashir
AFP
President Bashir is charged with genocide in connection with the conflict in Darfur

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

There is only one Sahara. "

An Algerian proverb sent by Nader Boulberhane in Zhuhai, China

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.