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Summary

  1. Burundi clamps down on drumming "to maintain traditions"
  2. Chickens illegally imported from Kenya were burnt
  3. Egyptian TV presenter sentenced to three years in jail
  4. Zimbabwean woman in court bid to abolish bride price
  5. Libya armed group rejects UK extradition request
  6. Fire on fishing vessel in Mozambique kills five
  7. "Big void" identified in Great Pyramid
  8. New law in force in Nigerian state to end cattle wars
  9. Two Kenya Airways crew held on suspicion of "carrying drugs"

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

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That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

Wisdom is not for one person."

A proverb sent by Kyokwijuka Desmond Misri in western Uganda

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

And we leave you with window cleaners working in Nouakchott, Mauritania:

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Burundi outlaws unofficial drumming

Robert Misigaro

BBC Africa

Burundi's government has banned drumming at unofficial events - including cultural ceremonies and weddings - in an attempt to preserve the purity of the age-old practice that is internationally recognised.

All groups seeking to perform "cultural shows" must now register with the ministry of culture and are not allowed to perform outside of official ceremonies without permission, a decree signed by President Pierre Nkurunziza says.

It also bans women from playing drums.

"It is strictly forbidden to those of the female sex to beat drums. They can however carry out female folk dances accompanying the drums," AFP news agency quotes the decree as saying.

This is an attempt to stop the new trend of Burundian women drumming. Traditionally, women never played the drum. It is seen as a symbol of women - the carving represents her body, the belly her vagina and the protruding sticks her breasts.

Burundian drummers in Kigali on April 24, 2017
AFP

The decree also says that any group which wishes to perform abroad would first require the ministry's permission.

Burundi's ritual dance of the royal drums is recognised by the UN cultural agency, Unesco, as being an "intangible cultural heritage of humanity".

Unesco says many of the drummers are currently recruited from guards of drum sanctuaries.

The rituals are said to awaken the spirits of the ancestors and drive out evil spirits.

Watch a drumming ceremony:

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Jah Prayzah attacked because of 'money row'

Mourners forced renowned Zimbabwean singer Jah Prayzah to flee the funeral of his ex-security chief Crispin Nyemba on Tuesday because they were angry that he allegedly had failed to pay his former employee a salary for three months and had not contributed towards his burial, Nyemba's family has said, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

However, Jah Prayzah’s manager, Keane Mushapaidze, denied that Cris was owed money.

“After we decided to part ways we settled his dues and if he had issues he would have raised them with us or his lawyer. It’s just that some overzealous people want to tarnish JP’s image,” he was quoted by The Herald as saying.

This is how the newspaper covered the story today:

Screengrab of Herald newspaper
The Herald

“Cris told me, his wife and the whole family that he was owed three months salary by Jah Prayzah, long before he died," family spokesman Tamburai Nyemba was quoted as saying.

"Cris subsequently left the band to start his own security company. We are not after JP’s money and we never asked him for anything. It is only Cris’s friends who were angered by the musician’s actions during the funeral.” he added.

A crowd of mainly bouncers threw stones at Jah Prayzah - the lead member of the band, Third Generation - at Nyemba's funeral in the capital, Harare, on Tuesday, forcing him to retreat.

“The bouncers must have been angered by the musician’s attitude after they noticed that he chose to remain in his car during the funeral wake in Warren Park and never bothered to contribute towards the funeral yet he owed my late brother money,” Mr Nyemba said, The Herald reported.

Jah Prayzah - who dresses up in military regalia - is famous across Africa, including in Tanzania where he collaborated with Diamond Platinumz on the hit song "Watora Mari".

Jah Prayzah told Bulawayo24 that he had a good relationship with his former bouncer.

"To be frank with you, the people who attacked me are not even from Chris' family. It's an overzealous group who had their own agenda. I went to Chris' home on Sunday and I was well received, there were no issues," he was quoted as saying.

Liberia rigging 'started before votes were cast'

Liberian opposition presidential candidate Charles Brumskine has told the BBC that ballots in last month's election had no serial numbers, "creating a space for massive fraud" and "negating any possibility of accountability". .

In an interview with BBC Focus on Africa radio, Mr Brumskine said he also had evidence that after the elections, ballot box covers were removed and fake votes were added.Furthermore, the company which printed ballots was awarded the contract, against the decision of the electoral commission, he said.

Ballot box
Getty Images
One of the accusations is that the secured ballot box covers were removed

Mr Brumskine, the leader of the Liberal Party, came third in the election.

The run-off election is due to be contested by former football star George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai.

‘No deaths’ in Eritrea unrest

Tesfalem Araia

BBC Tigrinya service

Eritrea’s information minister has once again denied reports that people died during protests on Tuesday in the capital, Asmara.

Security forces had responded by firing shots to disperse protesters, unverified video footage widely circulated on social media showed.

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Some of those who participated in the protests were rounded by the security forces and are being detained at several police stations in the city, sources say.

Among them were some children, who have been released today.

The protests were staged by students who were angered by government interference in the affairs of the community-funded Muslim school Diae Al Islam.

New footage, which has not been verified, seems to show shooting at the school – though it is not clear which day this week it was filmed.

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The situation at the school is reportedly calm today – and it has reopened.

The government is trying to regulate all faith-based schools in the country, including those run by the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

It wants to introduce its own curriculum and limit religious teaching, which has upset all the faith groups.

Eritrea's population is estimated at more than 5 million - of which approximately half are Christian and the other half Muslim.

Anti-government demonstrations in Eritrea are extremely rare because of restrictions imposed by President Isaias Afwerki's government, which has been in power for 26 years.

No national elections have ever been held in the country, which gained de facto independence in 1991.

'Nigerian soldiers killed my husband'

One woman remembers how a late-night visit from the Nigerian army tore her family apart.

'Nigerian soldiers killed my husband'

Video producers: Strika Entertainment and Stephanie Hegarty

Libya armed group rejects UK extradition request

The Libyan armed group that is holding the brother of a suicide bomber who killed 22 people in the UK earlier this year has refused a British request for his extradition.

Hashem Abedi is in the hands of the Raada Brigade, which operates in Tripoli.

The group said the Libyan judiciary would handle the case.

It has detained Hashem Abedi since his brother, Salman, bombed a pop concert in the UK city Manchester in May.

British police investigating the attack said today that they had asked for Hashem Abedi's extradition.

Hashem Abedi is seen next to the logo of Libya's Special Deterrence Forces in a handout photo dated May 25
Libya's interior ministry
This photo of Hashem Abedi was released in May

Paris exhibition celebrates Malian photographer Sidibé

Mayeni Jones

BBC Focus on Africa

People on beach
Malick Sidibé

The first ever major retrospective of the work of Malian photographer Malick Sidibé has opened in Paris.

Sidibé, who died last year, won numerous international prizes for his work, including the prestigious Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He is best known for his black and white photos of Bamako’s night life in post-independence Mali.

People dancing
Malick Sidibé
People dance at a party
Malick Sidibé
Men in flares
Malick Sidibé

But he was also an accomplished studio photographer, and his portraits of the country’s trendy youth in the 60s and 70s have become iconic.

Boy poses for the camera wearing flares
Malick Sidibé

The retrospective is the biggest exhibition of his work ever put together, with 270 pictures, including rare archive pictures and a series of pictures of Malian youth in the 60s, enjoying their Sunday afternoon by the edge of the Niger river.

Boys on river bed
Malick Sidibé

Watch my report from the exhibition on Focus on Africa TV on BBC World at 17:30 GMT.

Egyptian jailed for 'promoting single mothers'

An Egyptian television presenter has been sentenced to three years in jail after she appeared to cast single mothers in a positive light.

On her show, Doaa Salah discussed ways of becoming pregnant outside a conventional husband and wife relationship.

The Middle East Monitor says she appeared on her show, Al-Nahar TV,dressed as a pregnant woman.

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She asked her female audience if they'd considered sex before marriage.

She also suggested a woman could marry briefly just to have children, and then divorce.

The presenter was charged with outraging public decency.

In socially conservative Egypt, sex before marriage is widely regarded as unacceptable.

Deadly fire on fishing vessel in Mozambique

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

A huge fire on a privately owned fishing vessel in Mozambique's port city of Quelimane killed four members of its crew on Wednesday, the emergency services said.

A fifth person was rescued, and is being treated in hospital after suffering first-degree burns.

Quelimane fire brigade chief Manuel Cumaio said that firemen battled for about 10 hours to extinguish the blaze, believed to have been caused by a short circuit.

Ethiopia 'Red Terror' suspect in court plea

Anna Holligan

BBC News, The Hague

A man accused of being responsible for unleashing a "Red Terror" on Ethiopia has delivered an impassioned speech in a Dutch court where he is being tried for alleged war crimes.

Eshetu Alemu - a confessed member of the feared Derg, the military dictatorship which ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987 - addressed a group of victims sitting behind him, imploring them: "Please save me from this. Yes it happened, but it was not me. I was not there."

An Ethiopian soldier stands inside the Martyrs Memorial to the "Red Terror" at the Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24 February 2004.
af
Eshetu Alemu is accused of ordering the execution of 75 people during Ethiopia's "Red Terror"

The 63-year-old told the judges at the district court in The Hague that he believed they were going to give him a life sentence.

"I am not guilty," he said, adding: "I do not want to live anymore."

Earlier today five victims shared their experience of losing relatives.

One woman, Sebeu Ademe, described her "handsome, charismatic" brother who disappeared.

Her lawyer passed two faded photos to the judges.

She expressed gratitude to the Dutch state for bringing the case to trial and said she was "lucky" because at least she could see justice done.

Another victim talked about being kept in a "dark room" and seeing 82 people strangled to death, their bodies piled into a mass grave, and the next day their captors wearing the victims wedding rings and clothes.

Eshetu Alemu denies four war crimes charges, including the murder of 75 people in a church, torture, arbitrary detention and imprisonment without trial.

The trial's expected to last three weeks.

Shock as Tanzania burns 6,400 chickens

Chickens are seen 14 March 2006 on a poultry farm in Maradi, southeast of Niger.
AFP
Demand for chicken is huge in Africa

An animal rights group in Tanzania has criticised the burning of more than 6,400 live chickens illegally smuggled from Kenya to curb the outbreak of diseases such as bird flu.

The chickens were burnt by officials of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, and members of the security forces after they were seized at the Namanga border post on Monday night.

Tanzania Animal Welfare Society executive director Thomas Kahema said there were more effective ways to tackle the problem, and it would have been better to return the chckens to Kenya than to burn them, Tanzania's Citizen newspaper reports, adding that there has also been criticism on social media.

“The decision has distorted image of the country to our neighbour," Mr Kahema is quoted as saying.

Businesswoman Mary Matia, 23, brought the chickens, worth more than $5,000 (£3,800), from Kenya and watched with sadness and disbelief as they were burnt, the BBC's Balthazar Nduwayezu reports from Namanga town.

Tanzania banned chicken imports about a decade ago following the outbreak of bird flu in the region.

Veterinary inspector Charles Murira told the BBC:

Why did we burn them? Because they came in without any permits."

The chickens were mostly smuggled at night, endangering the health of Tanzanians, veterinarian Medard Tarimo was quoted by The Citizen as saying.

An outbreak of avian flu in Uganda earlier this year led to the deaths of thousands of domestic and wild birds.

'Big void' identified in Great Pyramid

Scientists say they have discovered a previously unknown giant cavity within the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

They say the void stretched for about 30 metres and several metres in height but its purpose is unknown.

The structure is located above the Grand Gallery of the 4,000-year-old pyramid:

Pyramid
BBC

The discovery was made using a technique that can sense density changes inside large rock structures.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Kenya Airways crew arrested for 'drug-smuggling'

Two Kenya Airways cabin crew have been arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle drugs out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital, Nairobi, a Kenya Airways press statement says.

The two are thought to have been arrested before their flight took off for Benin's main city, Cotonou, but Kenya Airways has not confirmed this.

The airline said it was working with the authorities "to get to the bottom of the matter" and it "does not condone any illegal activities by staff members".

Kenya Airways
AFP

Africa's 'forgotten child killer'

Medical staff treat a child for breathing problems using physical therapy on March 17, 2016 during tests to diagnose pneumonia for children until age five in a health centre in the Attecoube neighborhood in Abidjan.
AFP
Aid workers are campaigning for cheaper vaccines to tackle pneumonia

Nearly a million children a year are dying from pneumonia, even though it can be treated with antibiotics costing less than half-a-dollar, the air organisation, Save the Children says in a new report.

Describing the disease as "the forgotten child killer", it says that pneumonia is responsible for the deaths of more children under five than any other disease and sub-Saharan Africa is making the slowest progress in reducing fatalities.

Nigeria, DR Congo, Ethiopia and Angola have the world's highest number of deaths of children under five from pneumonia, along with India and Pakistan.

The vast majority are under two, many with their immune systems so weakened by malnutrition that they cannot fight back, the report adds.

Save the Children is calling for a summit of world leaders to address the pneumonia problem.

It also wants cheaper vaccines, greater access to drugs and life-saving oxygen, and for more than 160 million children around the world to be immunised against the disease.

Acknowledging teens' views 'boosts their worth'

Research in Ghana and the US suggests youngsters will grow up more confident if parents take their views into account.

It adds that children whose views aren't listened to can suffer depression.

The journal, Child Development, has published results of the study.

Its author, Kristine Marbell-Pierre, said it was not typical in Ghana for children to be consulted:

"This type of parenting is considered Western in its approach, and there have been questions about its benefit in non-Western, more hierarchical cultures that place greater emphasis on respect for and obedience to elders by children."

BBC Newsday has spoken to a family in Ghana about what age children should start making decisions for themselves.

The father, George Adaai, says his children can do so when they are living on their own and are financially independent.

His two teenage daughters have a different view - the 14-year-old wants to start at 22 and the 13-year-old at 20:

New report says teenagers should be seen and heard.

Liberia election challenge hearing delayed

George Weah, presidential candidate for the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC), speaks to journalists at the party headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia, 25 October 2017.
EPA
Former Fifa World Footballer of the Year George Weah failed to secure an outright majority in the first round

Liberia's Supreme Court has delayed until Friday a hearing on disputed presidential elections, increasing the chances of Tuesday's run-off poll being postponed, AFP news agency reports.

"Procedural reasons" prevented the case from being heard today, a court spokesman told AFP.

The opposition Liberal Party's Charles Brumskine has challenged the outcome of last month's election, saying it was marred by "massive fraud and irregularities".

The electoral commission is expected to defend the way it ran the election.

The run-off election is due to be contested by former football star George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai - the two candidates who obtained the highest number of votes in the 10 October poll.

Mr Brumskine came third. The run-off was called because Mr Weah, who bagged the most votes, failed to secure a majority of more than 50%.

Liberia's president and Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took office after a civil war ended in 2003, is stepping down at the end of her two terms.

Liberians are hoping that, despite the legal row, there will be a peaceful transition of power.

Read: Is war criminal pulling strings from prison?

Niger 'asks US for military drones'

US army conducting training in Diffa, Niger, in March 2017
EPA/US ARMY
These Nigerien soldiers took part in a US training exercise earlier this year

Niger's defence minister has told Reuters news agency that he has asked the US for military drones to fight jihadists.

Asked if Washington had accepted the request, Kalla Mountari replied:

Our enemies will find out. The Americans are not just exchanging information with us. They are waging war when necessary.

We are working hand-in-hand. The clear proof is that the Americans and Nigeriens fell on the battlefield for the peace and security of our country."

The presence of US special forces in Niger became known last month when four of them were killed in an ambush, along with an unspecified number of Nigerien troops.

US President Donald Trump later found himself at the centre of a political storm after a widow of a dead soldier said he could not remember her husband's name when he phoned to offer condolences.

Read more: How did a US soldiers come under attack in Niger?

Archbishop criticises South Africa's ANC

BBC World Service

Thabo Makgoba
Getty Images
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says the interests of the poor are being ignored

One of the most senior Christian clerics in South Africa has criticised the governing African National Congress (ANC), suggesting that its time may be coming to an end.

Thabo Makgoba, who's the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, told a radio discussion programme it was time for South Africans to take their destiny into their own hands.

He said political groups were failing to help the poor and were just holding on to power for themselves and their supporters.

The ANC, which was synonymous with the fight against apartheid, has been accused by many South Africans of mismanagement and corruption.

Next month the party is due to elect a new leader to succeed Jacob Zuma - and to fight an election in 2019.

Nigerian state bans open cattle grazing

Fulani herdsmen
Getty Images
Desert encroachment is one of the reasons which has increased conflict over land

A controversial ban on open cattle grazing comes into force today in south-east Nigeria's Benue state.

It follows violent clashes between cattle herders and local farmers last year over rights to grassland.

Hundreds of people were killed in the violence and whole communities destroyed.

The state government says the new law will affect everyone and all livestock must be kept on ranches.

Fulani herdsmen say they're being targeted and have described the law as a recipe for anarchy.

But the Benue government says its aim is to restore peace.

Anyone who breaks the new law could be jailed for up to five years.

Nigeria has large grassland areas dedicated to grazing, mainly in the north but desert encroachment and the eight-year insurgency by militant Islamist group Boko Haram means there is less grass available.

Cattle herders have since taken their animals southwards to seek greener pastures, increasing tensions over control of land.

Read more: Making sense of Nigeria's Fulani-farmer conflict

Bid to outlaw bride price in Zimbabwe

Couple getting married
AFP
The payment of a bride price is common in many cultures around the world

A female lawyer in Zimbabwe has mounted a legal challenge to abolish lobola, or the bride price, saying it is an outdated practice which reduces women to mere "properties", the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

Priccilar Vengesai believes that if the custom is maintained, the families of both the bride and groom should pay lobola in the interest of gender equality, the newspaper adds.

She has filed papers in Zimbabwe's highest court, the Constitutional Court, asking it to hear her case on the grounds that the practice violates her rights as a citizen.

The newspaper quotes Ms Vengesai as saying that she wants to re-marry, and does not want her experience in a previous marriage to be repeated:

I did not participate in the pegging of the lobola price. I was never given a chance to ask for the justification of the amounts which were paid.

This whole scenario reduced me to a property whereby a price tag was put on me by my uncles and my husband paid.

This demoralised me and automatically subjected me to my husband’s control since I would always feel that I was purchased.

I belong to the Shona tribe and I intend to enter into marriage as soon as this matter is concluded.

Under the Shona culture, lobola must be paid for a woman before the marriage is acceptable in the family and the society.

In scenarios where lobola is not paid, parents and relatives of the bride would not allow the parties to legalise their marriage under the Marriage Act."

Read: Bride pride practices in Africa

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