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Summary

  1. Funeral for lynched Ghana soldier Maxwell Mahama
  2. Zambia opposition leader flown to high security prison
  3. He sends defiant message from prison
  4. Three UN peacekeepers killed in Mali
  5. Animal traffickers in Ivory Coast guilty of illegally selling baby chimps
  6. Somali president wants revenge for al-Shabab attack
  7. South Africa declares a disaster after wildfires
  8. Friday 9 June 2017

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer 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 this week. Keep up to date with what's happening on the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

Drop the honeycomb then the bees will leave you alone."

A Chilunda proverb sent by Smart Makondu in Kalumbila, Zambia

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

And we leave you with this picture of a model waiting backstage ahead of Africa Fashion Week in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos. It's one of our favourite pictures from the week.

Models waits backstage to enter the catwalk at the Africa Fashion Week in Lagos on June 3, 2017.
AFP

UK election: Two more successes for people of African heritage

Earlier we highlighted 10 British MPs of African heritage who were all elected in Thursday's general election in the UK.

There are two more who have been brought to our attention:

  • Kemi Badenoch who has spent some of her life in Nigeria won the Saffron Walden seat for the Conservative party with 61.8% of the vote
  • Bim Afolami whose father is from Nigeria won the Hitchin and Harpenden seat for the Conservative party with 53.1% of the vote
Kemi Badenoch "over the moon" at Saffron Walden win

Somali soldiers fight over food aid 'leaving 14 dead'

A fight between soldiers over food aid in Somalia has led to the deaths of at least 14 people in Baidoa, the AP news agency reports.

It says, quoting a policeman, that the fight started when some soldiers tried to steal some of the aid and other soldiers tried to stop them.

Twenty people were also injured, AP reports.

Somalia is facing a severe shortage and Baidoa has attracted thousands of people hoping to receive assistance.

The Resident Presidents eye a new capital city

Olushambles and Kibarkingmad, our satirical presidents, have taken inspiration from Zambia and decided to create a new capital city.

Priority number one is a presidential palace, followed closely by three golf courses:

Botswana tops Africa investment list

An employee of the Blue Star diamond company cuts and polishes diamonds in Gaborone office in Botswana on October 4, 2016
Getty Images
Diamonds are one of the thriving industries in Botswana

Investment firm Quantum Global has ranked Botswana the best place to invest in Africa in its latest report.

It said Botswana has done well across the board, including credit rating and how easy it is to do business.

Somalia was ranked the hardest place in Africa to do business:

Quantum Global chart
Quantum Global

Mother of murdered army major 'wants to meet his killers'

Picture on coffin
BBC

The mother of a Ghanaian army major killed by a mob has said she wants to meet his killers, reports Adom Online.

It quotes her as saying this during her son's funeral earlier today:

I need an answer to my question - why? Give me an opportunity to face these murderers so they can see and understand what they have done to a mother.

Let me tell them what they do not know about my son, Adam. Let me show them his two innocent children. Tell them they have taken Barbara’s sunshine away.”

We reported earlier that Major Maxwell Mahama was given a state funeral after he was stoned to death by people who mistook him for an armed robber.

Northern Nigeria governor says he will defend Igbos with 'last drop of blood'

One of Nigeria's most influential Muslim leaders has said that he is ready to sacrifice his "last drop of blood" to defend Igbos in the north of the country, the Premium Times newspaper reports.

Emir of Katsina Abdulmumini Kabir's comments come after some activists in the north released a message earlier this week calling on Igbos, traditionally from the south-east of the country, to leave the region.

The emir called those behind the message "enemies of peace".

‘’You are my sons and daughters like any other person, Katsina is your home, so, feel free to go anywhere,’’ Mr Kabir told a group of Igbo leaders at his palace.

View more on twitter

On Wednesday, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, ordered the arrest of the activists.

Government expected to rescue Kenya Airways

Michael Kaloki

Nairobi

Kenya Airways plane
AFP

A plan to rescue debt ridden Kenya Airways is expected to rushed through the parliament in Nairobi next week, before it closes ahead of elections.

The state is expected to swap loans it is owed for shares in Kenya Airways, which is roughly $1.4bn (£1.1m) in debt.

A major part of the airline's debt is the $243m worth of unpaid loans owed to the state.

The government will swap this outstanding debt for shares in Kenya Airways as part of a restructuring plan that aims to help the airline move back into profit.

The government hopes to get approval for the deal from MPs before the parliament's term ends next week - ahead of the general election in August.

The state currently owns nearly 30% of Kenya Airways while Air France KLM has a stake of nearly 27%.

Kenya Airways almost went into bankruptcy with an over ambitious plan to expand its fleet and buy several new aircraft at a time when passenger numbers were falling.

Al-Qaeda-linked group claims deadly UN base attack

An al-Qaeda-linked group have said they were behind an attack on a United Nations camp that killed three Guinean peacekeepers in Mali, reports AFP news agency.

The Group to Support Islam and Muslims, a fusion of three Malian jihadist groups with previous al-Qaeda links, posted a statement on its Telegram channel saying it had targeted the UN base "with a set of mortar shells," AFP adds.

We reported earlier that the peacekeepers were killed in the attack on their camp in Kidal, in northern Mali.

SA opposition leader lodges criminal charges against finance minister

South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters party has lodged criminal charges against the country's Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and the state rail company over an allegedly corrupt deal.

View more on twitter

This follows the leaking of thousands of emails, regarding the relationship between the government and the wealthy Gupta family.

Some of the messages allegedly detail the Guptas benefiting from a contract with the rail company by acting as an intermediary, the Reuters news agency reports.

The emails have been dismissed as "fake news" by a Gupta family spokesman.

When submitting the criminal charges EFF leader Julius Malema said: "We’re not here because we’re opposed to [President] Zuma… we’re here because we’re protecting the poor African masses.

“We want to protect the South African purse, which Zuma and his friends have turned into a personal purse.”

View more on youtube

#RIPMajorMahama trends in Ghana as people mourn lynched soldier

The hashtag #RIPMajorMahama has been trending all day in Ghana following the funeral of Major Maxwell Mahama who was killed by a mob last month.

They mistook him for an armed robber while he was out jogging.

This morning, he was given a state funeral:

Coffin
BBC
Portrait
BBC

The president led the tributes on Twitter:

View more on twitter

And others joined in:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

South African geologist becomes a rock star

Tshiamo Legoale
British Council

A 27-year-old South African geologist has won an international competition for the person who can explain science in the most engaging way.

Tshiamo Legoale was in the international final of the FameLab competition last night in Cheltenham, UK.

Each scientist competing had to deliver a three-minute presentation and was judged for content, clarity and charisma.

She started off her semi-final speech dancing and singing Kanye West's Lyrics "I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger".

And she speaks about phytomining - growing plants near gold waste to extract the metal.

Watch her here in the semi-final, 46 minutes in:

View more on youtube

We appreciate a geology based pun on the live page.

So we noted that in Ms Legoale's her Twitter bio she describes herself as "rock loving", leaving the reader to assume she's talking about the music.

Can Kenya's tea industry survive?

Kenya's tea industry is in crisis.

The country’s largest producer of black tea has seen production fall by over a third this year because of the drought.

The rain has now come but is it too little too late?

Anne Soy reports.

Can Kenya's tea industry survive?

Ethiopia rights group highlights extrajudicial killings

There were 19 extrajudicial killings in Ethiopia between October 2016 and last month, the Addis Standard reports quoting research by an independent Ethiopian human rights organisation.

The Human Rights Council (HRCO) looked into what has been going on since the state of emergency was declared in October last year.

Its findings were released at the end of last month but they were largely missed because of the internet blackout that ended on Thursday, says the Addis Standard.

HRCO found that 15 of the 19 killed were from the Oromia region - the epicentre of the unrest which led to the imposition of the state of emergency.

It also found that more than 20,000 people have been detained since last October.

The government says it introduced the state of emergency to help quell the unrest.

Protester raising her fists
Reuters
The protests were over the alleged social and political marginalisation of some groups

Hichilema 'is not afraid to die in prison'

Zambia's opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, has managed to send a message on Facebook to his supporters from the maximum security prison where he was moved earlier today.

Mr Hichilema is facing treason charges in the country's High Court.

It's not clear how he got the message out.

He said:

We do not know when we are going to be released or if at all we will be released, but that is not bothering us, all we know is that what we are fighting for is worth for us to die if that is what it means.

And we are not worried about death either, because there are a million others who will carry on with the fight for a proper democracy to work in Zambia."

Mr Hichilema was detained in April after a convoy he was travelling allegedly got in the way of a presidential motorcade.

He is being accused of trying to usurp the powers of the presidency.

Rights groups and diplomats have expressed concern about the opposition leader's incarceration.

The church is also speaking out. In a strongly worded statement from the Conference of Catholic Bishops, it warned that Zambia was slipping towards a "dictatorship".

Hakainde Hichilema
AFP
Mr Hichilema was arrested in April

How can Africa's electricity problem be solved?

Half a billion people in Africa currently live without electricity.

The BBC's Matthew Davies looks at the various efforts currently going on to change this:

South Sudan told to stop blocking foreign journalists

World Food Program (WFP) workers stack humanitarian aid parcels that will be distributed to South Sudanese refugees, on May 20, 2017, at Al-Obeid airport in Sudan"s North Kordofan state.
AFP
The famine in South Sudan is of international interest, says FCAEA

The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA) has asked the South Sudan government to stop blocking international journalists from working in the country.

At least 20 foreign journalists have been refused permission to enter South Sudan, Elijah Alier from the country's Media Authority told the AFP news agency earlier this week.

Mr Alier was quoted in local media accusing the blocked journalists of disseminating “unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories” that incite violence and hate.

The FCAEA denied that, saying: "The affected journalists are experienced professionals".

"The blocking of these international journalists has coincided with a deterioration in security in the country, as well as the declaration of famine and the largest refugee crisis in Africa, all issues of global concern," the statement said.

According to AFP, foreign journalists who want to visit the country have to be cleared by the Media Authority before being granted a visa.

Three peacekeepers killed in northern Mali attack

Three UN peacekeepers have been killed in an attack in Kidal in the north of Mali north, the UN has told AFP news agency.

On Thursday the UN camp "came under heavy rocket/mortar fire" and "a little later a position nearby was attacked" outside their base, the UN mission Minusma said in a statement.

Minusma began work in 2013, providing security and assisting Malian troops struggling to keep the country safe.

While no-one appears to have said they are being the attack yet, the Kidal camp has been targeted constantly by jihadists, with dozens of peacekeepers killed.

Jihadists killed two peacekeepers on 23 May near Aguelhok, close to the border with Algeria, while a Liberian peacekeeper was killed earlier in May close to Timbuktu.

Both attacks were claimed by a powerful jihadist alliance, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a fusion of three Malian jihadist groups with previous al-Qaeda links.

UN vehicle in Kidal, Mali
AFP
The peacekeepers' camp in Kidal has come under constant attack

Chimp traders convicted in Ivory Coast

David Shukman

Science editor, BBC News

In a major blow against wildlife crime, two animal dealers selling baby chimpanzees have been convicted following a BBC investigation.

The two men were sentenced to six months in prison in the first case of wildlife trafficking ever brought in Ivory Coast in West Africa.

The case has been hailed as a significant step in the struggle to save endangered animals from smugglers.

Baby chimp
BBC
This baby chimp, Nemley junior, was rescued in a police operation in Abidjan

A lawyer for the Ivory Coast government said that the judgement “sends a signal” that the country is now taking the issue of animal trafficking seriously.

Ibrahima and Mohamed Traore had been arrested while trying to sell an infant chimp to a BBC reporter posing as the representative of a wealthy Asian buyer.

Since they have remained in prison since their capture last December, they have already served their sentences and are therefore free.

Read more: Arrests 'big step' in chimp trade battle

Funeral for Ghanaian army major killed by mob

The funeral of a Ghanaian military commander who was killed by a mob is coming to an end, as people are tweeting:

View more on twitter

Capt Maxwell Mahama is trending on Twitter in Ghana:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

He was given a state funeral, attended by President Nana Akufo Addo, as Ghana's Citi Fm tweets:

View more on twitter

He was killed on in May while he was out jogging by a mob who mistook him for an armed robber.

He was stoned to death and his body burnt, according to a military statement.

The president also posthumously promoted the dead soldier from the rank of captain to major.

Zambia's opposition leader moved to high-security prison

Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been moved to a maximum security prison apparently without explanation, the BBC's Karen Allen reports.

He is due to stand trial at the High Court for treason.

His party has been tweeting about the move saying that he was flown to the new prison:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Our correspondent is trying to find out why he was moved.

UN demands DR Congo rights investigation

BBC World Service

Top UN human rights official Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has called for an international investigation into what he called widespread human rights abuses in Kasai in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He had given the Congolese government a deadline to set up a joint probe with the UN, but this has passed.

The UN has documented over 40 mass graves in the last few months, but says the real total could be higher.

There has been heavy fighting in the area between government troops and a militia known as Kamuina Nsapu since August last year.

The UN says it received information that many of the mass graves were dug by government troops.

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

Map showing Kasai
BBC

'I want to teach children to fly'

In Kenya, retired pilot Nick Ng'ethe is helping teenagers who dream of becoming pilots train at a fraction of the cost.

He uses his own simulator to train young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Video journalist: Hassan Lali.

UK election: How did the candidates of African heritage fare?

The BBC News website's Africa desk team have been keeping an eye on 10 candidates in the UK elections who are of African heritage.

They were all MPs in the previous parliament and have all won their seats again:

  • Helen Grant who has a Nigerian father won Maidstone and the Weald for the Conservative party taking 56.4% of the vote
  • Adam Afriyie who has a Ghanain father won Windsor for the Conservative taking 64.4% of the vote
  • Mark Hendrick who is British-Somali won Preston for the Labour party taking 68% of the vote
  • Chuka Umunna who has a Nigerian father won Streatham for the Labour party taking 68.5% of the vote
  • Chi Onwurah who has a Nigerian father won Newcastle Central for the Labour party taking 64.9% of the vote
  • Sam Gyimah both of whose parents are Ghanaian won Surrey East for the Conservative party with 59.6% of the vote
  • Kwasi Kwarteng both of whose parents are Ghanaian won Spelthorne for the Conservative party with 57.3% of the vote
  • Kate Osamor both of whose parents are Nigerian won Edmonton for the Labour party with 71.5% of the vote
  • James Cleverly whose mother is Sierra Leonean won Braintree for the Conservative party with 62.8% of the vote
  • Priti Patel whose parents are Ugandan Asians won Witham for the Conservative party with 64.3% of the vote
Montage of MPs
BBC

South Sudan rebels say they were behind deadly convoy attack

South Sudan's rebels have claimed responsibility for an ambush on a convoy of buses driving towards the capital Juba that killed at least 14 people, a spokesperson told Reuters news agency.

Rebel troops were targeting government troops, Lam Paul Gabriel is quoted as saying.

He added that soldiers were escorting civilians and they were killed in the crossfire.

Mr Lam said its fighters killed 40 people, including at least two colonels, in an attack that included the use of rocket-propelled grenades.

But South Sudanese police spokesman Daniel Justin Boulogne said 14 people had been killed.

South Sudan's Eye Radio has tweeted more information about the people who have died:

#SouthSudan UPDATE: 4 civilians, 10 soldiers including a Colonel, killed on #Nimule-#Juba highway -Police spox

#SouthSudan UPDATE: 4 civilians, 10 soldiers including a Colonel, killed on #Nimule-#Juba highway -Police spox

Firefighter dies in South Africa blaze

A firefighter has died dealing with the wildfires in South Africa's Western Cape province, Eyewitness News reports.

The organisation that he worked for has tweeted the news:

View more on twitter

Enca says that Brad Richards could have suffered 70% burns. It adds that a second firefighter is in hospital being treated for burns.

South Africa has declared a disaster in the Knysna area where the wildfires hit (see earlier story).

Lesotho's prime minister admits election defeat

Lesotho's Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has admitted defeat in a parliamentary election to his opponent Thomas Thabane, Reuters news agency reports.

It adds that a government statement said that King Letsie III has accepted Mr Mosisili's resignation.

The Independent Election Commission announced the result of the election two days ago.

Reuters adds that this eases concerns of political instability in the country.

It is the third election in three years caused by a bitter power struggle.

Thomas Thabane
AFP
Thomas Thabane will be prime minister

Kenya judge wins award but not one to celebrate

Kenya's Daily Nation has picked up on an award won by a Kenyan judge - but this is not one to celebrate.

It reports that Judge Said Juma Chitembwe has been given the Gold Bludgeon by campaign group Women's Link Worldwide for overturning a guilty verdict against a defendant accused of defiling a minor because the 14-year-old wanted to have sex.

Women's Link Worldwide says that under Kenyan law "a person is guilty of 'child defilement' if that person engages in penetrative sex with a person under 18 years of age".

It adds that the behaviour of the minor should not be taken into consideration and argues that the judge's decision is "a dangerous precedent assuming that girls who consent to sex before age 18 should not be afforded special protections provided to children".

'Disaster area' declared in South Africa after fires

Fires burn at Buffelsvermaak farm near Knysna
Reuters

Knysna in South Africa has been declared a "disaster area" amid wildfires, Enca reports.

The government is set to announce the practical implications of that later this morning.

The scenic coastal town has been devastated by wildfires which were fuelled by strong winds and the worst winter storm in 30 years.

Up to 10,000 people have been evacuated and military equipment was being deployed to douse more than 25 fires.

News 24 reports that a mother and toddler caught in the fire have died.

Somali president seeks revenge

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has said that al-Shabab "won't get away with" Thursday's attack on an army base in which at least 38 people died, the Reuters news agency reports.

Al-Shabab said 61 soldiers were killed in the early morning raid about 70km from the north-eastern town of Bosaso, but local security officials have said the death toll was lower.

In a statement, quoted by several news sources, Mr Farmajo said:

This once again proves that the enemy we are facing is dangerous, is bent on causing harm to the peace loving people of this country and must be fought with by all means.

We must show no mercy in dealing with al-Shabab.”

President Farmajo
AFP
President Farmajo has promised to be tough on al-Shabab

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