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Summary

  1. Son of Guinea's first president charged with forced labour
  2. Cannes-bound film about lesbians banned in Kenya
  3. Nigerian army say they repelled attack from Islamist militants
  4. Libyan military leader returns to Benghazi
  5. Burundi human rights campaigner jailed for 32 years
  6. Moroccan Nestlé ads showed women baking to win a husband
  7. Nigerian 'Baby factory' shut
  8. Weapons 'stolen from UAE training ground in Somalia'

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from BBC Africa Live for this week. 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:

If beards signified intelligence, the goat would have been a genius."

Sent by Nandom Wuyep in Jos, Nigeria

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

And we leave you with one of our favourite photos taken in Africa this week, taken in Kenya's capital, Nairobi:

Children draw a zebra with spray paint on a wall in a slum in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, as part of an initiative to promote human and animal rights.
AFP

Why some Africans avoid immunisation

Many Africans would rather avoid vaccinations because of myths such as the belief that vaccinations lead to female sterilisation.

There is no evidence to support this and many other claims.

Watch Emmanuelle Lhoni bust a few more vaccination myths:

Busting Africa's immunisation myths

Angolan ex-president stands down from party

Jose Eduardo do Santos and Joao Lourenco
Getty Images
Dos Santos, left, is handing over power to President Lourenço

Angola's ex-president José Eduardo dos Santos is standing down as the leader of the ruling party, Lusa news agency reports.

The Portuguese press reports that a statement from the governing MPLA says the party has agreed that the current president João Lourenço will take over from Mr Dos Santos in September.

Mr Dos Santos did not stand for election in August, after 38 years in power.

But when he stood down he retained his position as the leader of the MPLA.

Since Mr Lourenço took over as president, he sacked Mr Dos Santos's son as the head of the sovereign wealth fund, sacked his daughter as the head of the state oil firm and terminated multiple government contracts with Mr Dos Santos's other children.

The Tunisian who bakes bread for France's president

A woman smells a freshly baked baguette
AFP
A jury of around 15 people taste dozens of baguettes before choosing a winner

A French-Tunisian baker, who has won the right to supply the French presidential palace with baguettes for a year, says kneading is the secret behind his prize-winning loaves.

"A lot of people go too quickly with the kneading," Mahmoud M'seddi told the BBC.

He is the latest winner of the annual best baguette in Paris competition.

Mr M'seddi makes his first visit to the Elysée Palace on Friday and will now start hand-delivering his baguettes.

He is the fourth North African in the last six years to win the award.

But Mr M'seddi said this was either coincidence, or maybe because a lot of the traditional bakeries in the Paris region are owned by North Africans.

He says he gets up early to ensure his loaves are properly fermented, which he believes is a vital part of the process of making baguettes. "A lot of people don't leave the time for the dough to ferment," he said.

"You have to give it the time, so the fermentation happens naturally. I either get up really early, or sometimes I leave it overnight."

The 27-year-old will also receive a cash prize of nearly £5,000 from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo during a bread festival in May.

Ethiopian PM wants reduced term limits

BBC World Service

Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech
AFP

The recently appointed Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, says he is taking steps to introduce a two-term limit for the post he occupies.

The constitution currently allows for unlimited terms.

This is the latest in a number of reforms promised by Mr Abiy, although a state of emergency remains in place.

His predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn, resigned unexpectedly in February following three years of opposition protests.

Mr Abiy comes from the country's biggest ethnic group, the Oromo, which has long complained of marginalisation.

'Mo Salah is so important to Muslim children like mine'

Rabiya Limbada

BBC World Service

Rabiya Limbada with her children Muhammad and Hanaa
BBC

"Mohamed Salah! Go Mo, go!"

The shouts echo around my house as Mohamed Salah scores a sublime opening goal against Roma in the UEFA Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night.

My children, Hanaa, aged eight, and Muhammad, six, beam from ear to ear as we all watch Salah lay face down on the ground, in his trademark goal celebration.

The rise of Liverpool's Egyptian King hasn't gone unnoticed in homes like mine across the country, if not the world.

At the top of his game, Mohamed Salah is uniting communities.

He will pray on the pitch, he will sport his beard with pride and he will play some of the best football you have seen this year.

Do you have any idea how powerful that is to children like mine? He's a role model of our time.

Somalia floods are 'ticking time-bomb' for disease

BBC World Service

Aid agencies say nearly half a million people have been affected by heavy flooding in Somalia.

The Norwegian Refugee Council described the situation as a "ticking time-bomb" for the outbreak of diseases like cholera and malaria.

Many of those affected have been displaced by conflict and a four-year drought.

They live in flimsy shelters that cannot withstand rain.

Their latrines have been destroyed or filled with flood water.

In Hiran region, more than 1,000 people were displaced when a river burst its banks earlier this month.

A map showing the location of Hiran in relation to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.
BBC

Katongo: Zambia must do more for crash families

Katongo
BBC

Christopher Katongo, who captained Zambia to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, says his country should do more to recognise the players and officials who died in 1993 in a plane crash off the coast of Gabon.

The exact cause of the fatal crash on the night of 27 into 28 April has never been fully established.

All 25 members of the Chipolopolo squad, including coaches, as well as five crew members died as they were travelling for a World Cup qualifier against Senegal in Dakar.

Katongo says:

I know the government is doing something - there's a heroes stadium - but these people died in battle and we need to remember them in a way that the families will feel appreciated."

Catholic bishops 'tell Buhari to resign'

Buhari
Getty Images
Mr Buhari has been coming under

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign, according to the Punch newspaper.

It is in response to 16 Catholics being killed earlier this week by people the bishops suspect are Fulani herdsmen.The victims included two Catholic priests.

A reported reprisal attack killed 27 people and destroyed two mosques.

The statement, part-published in Punch, suggests that authorities are deliberately ignoring attacks:

How can the Federal Government stand back while its security agencies deliberately turn a blind eye to the cries and wailings of helpless and harmless citizens who remain sitting ducks in their homes, farms, highway and now, even in sacred places of worship?

Clashes between herdsmen and farmers are increasingly common as the struggle over grazing rights and access to water becomes more acute.

In an unusual step, earlier this week the president was summoned to parliament to explain what he intends to do to tackle these attacks.

Guinea 'will co-operate' with billionaire corruption probe

Vincent Bolloré
Reuters

Guinea will collaborate with the French authorities in the investigation into French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, the country's justice minister has told Reuters news agency.

Investigators are looking into allegations that the Havas advertising agency - a subsidiary of the Bolloré group - undercharged Guinean President Alpha Condé and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé for communications advice during elections in 2009 and 2010.

In return, the Bolloré Africa Logistics company was allegedly given licences to operate container ports in Conakry and Lomé.

In a statement, the company called the accusations "unfounded".

'Dozens drown fleeing DR Congo violence'

Ubangi River
Getty Images
People were fleeing fighting by crossing the Ubangi river when their boats capsized

Forty people drowned when their boats capsized in a storm as they fled fighting in north-western Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official has told AFP news agency.

They were trying to escape fighting involving Congolese troops and people Jean Bakatoye, vice-governor of South Ubangi province, described to AFP as "outlaws".

He said that an army position came under attack on Sunday, and on Monday, army reinforcements arrived, prompting villagers to panic, fearing a wider conflict.

They tried to cross the Ubangi River, which acts as part of the border with the Republic of Congo, when their boats capsized.

Nigerian senator's PhD exposed as fake

Yetunde Olugbenga

BBC Yoruba Service

Senator Foster Ogola
Foster Ogola/Facebook
Senator Foster Ogola insists that he earned his doctorate

Nigeria's university commission has dismissed a senator's PhD certificate as invalid, saying the institution where he claims to have earned it is in fact an "illegal university".

Senator Foster Ogola of Bayelsa West district in the Niger Delta region said he completed his doctoral studies at Gospel Missionary Foundation, a theological university, in 2012.

He said his PhD was on the topic of Christian leadership.

However no research paper or thesis by the senator exists online.

But Senator Ogola insists his degree is not fake, telling the BBC:

The university does not exist today. [But] it had been graduating students for several years every year... If the university is not accredited that does not make my degree fake."

He says the dispute over his qualification is a politically motivated attempt to discredit him and stop him from running for office again.

The Gospel Missionary Foundation is among a number of universities due to be closed down by the National Universities Commission of Nigeria.

Five suicide bombers died in Maiduguri attack

Ishaq Khalid

BBC Africa, Abuja

Five suicide bombers died in the attack by suspected Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria, according to Nigeria’s National Emergency Agency.

At least five more people were killed, they added.

We reported earlier that the attack began at the start of the call to prayer on Thursday night.

During the attack, residents fled as the Nigerian military engaged Boko Haram insurgents in fierce gun battle.

Some say they saw bullets flying. There were bomb explosions as well.

The security forces were able to repell the Boko Haram fighters. Reports say military helicopters are now flying over the city of Maiduguri for surveillance.

Map showing the location of Maiduguri in Nigeria
BBC

Will Ethiopians take to Pizza Hut?

The American food chain Pizza Hut has opened two outlets in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, becoming the first major international fast food franchise to set up in the country.

But will Ethiopians take to Western fast foods? The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza reports.

Uganda's oldest captive chimp dies

Uganda's oldest chimpanzee Zakayo eats its birthday present at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) at Entebbe Zoo which is celebrating its 53rd Birthday on October 27, 2016.
AFP
Zakayo, pictured in 2016, has died of a stomach bug aged 54

Conservationists in Uganda will hold a vigil later for the country's oldest captive chimpanzee.

The 54-year-old male, called Zakayo, succumbed to a stomach bug on Thursday.

Born in the wild, he was found abandoned in western Uganda and kept as a pet until the age of 13.

That's when he was handed in to Entebbe Zoo, now called the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, becoming its dominant male.

Staff said Zakayo had brought up the zoo's chimpanzee family, including nurturing two further dominant males.

They've urged supporters to join them in celebrating the life of a "legend".

Burundi activist 'sentenced in absentia'

Reports say that a Burundian campaigner jailed for 32 years for taking part in protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza was sentenced in absentia.

Neither Germain Rukuki nor his defence team are believed to have been present during the sentencing on Thursday.

Rights groups have described the punishment given to Germain Rukuki as one of the heaviest pronounced against a human rights campaigner in Burundi.

View more on twitter

The court convicted him of involvement in an "insurrection movement" to depose the government, participating in the assassination of security forces, and defacing public and private property.

Campaign groups say Mr Rukuki has not had regular access to his family or lawyer since he was arrested by intelligence agents in July last year and placed in detention.

Human rights organisations warn that this case follows a pattern of government crackdowns against journalists and activists since 2015.

That was when President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial decision to run for a third term in office sparked a political crisis. The situation has left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced another 400,000.

Son of Guinea's first president charged with forced labour

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The son of Guinea's first President Ahmed Sékou Touré has been accused of enslaving a young woman for 16 years at his home in the US, before she managed to escape with the help of neighbours.

Mohamed Touré and his wife Denise Cros-Touré, who are both 57, reportedly brought the girl from Guinea to Texas when she was five years old.

Once in the US, they allegedly forced her to do housework, look after their children and subjected her to emotional and physical abuse, the US Department of Justice said in a press release.

The couple have been charged with forced labour. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.

An investigator for the prosecution says the alleged victim was forced to sleep on the floor for years, and was taken to see a medical professional only once.

The investigator adds that the alleged victim was often shouted at or kicked out of the house without money, identification, or the ability to communicate in English.

One one occasion, the Washington Post reports that she was discovered sleeping on a bench by a police officer, who described her as “wearing dirty unkempt clothing and was very visibly scared and nervous,” in a police report.

He then returned her to the Touré residence, the newpaper says, suspecting she was just a runaway.

She is said to have finally escaped from the house in Southlake, Texas in August 2016 "with the help of several former neighbors," the Department of Justice statement adds.

The couple's lawyer denied all of the allegations, reports the Washington Post.

Scott Palmer, told newspaper it was "salacious allegations, fabrications, and lies”. He added that the woman was treated like a daughter.

'Seven killed in Cape Town train crash'

Seven people have been killed in a train crash in South Africa, reports AFP news agency.

It says the train ploughed into a Toyota Hilux pickup at a crossing.

The seven victims, all men in their 30s, were reportedly travelling to work shortly before dawn on the outskirts of Cape Town.

The vehicle was a "mangled wreck" on the rail tracks after the accident, AFP reports.

AFP adds that 10 children were killed in a similar accident at the same crossing in 2010. After that accident, the driver of a minibus carrying children was convicted of 10 counts of culpable homicide.

'Lesbian film Rafiki goes against the law'

Kenya's film regulator has revealed its reason for banning a film depicting a love story between two women, saying it is against Kenya's law and moral values.

“Rafiki has homosexual scenes counter to the law, the culture and the moral values of the Kenyan people," the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said in a statement, adding:

It seeks to legitimize lesbian romance.”

LGBTQ rights campaigners in the country have been angered by the decision to ban the film domestically, which will premiere at France's Cannes film festival next month.

In a tweet, Kenya's National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission suggested the regulator initially praised the film not because it respected LGBTQ rights but because it was flattered by its association with the prestigious Cannes film festival.

View more on twitter

Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya, as in most African countries. Gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Last month, a Kenyan court ruled that the forced anal examination of men suspected of being gay was unlawful, after rights groups argued the tests were a form of torture.

Campaigners hope last month's ruling will influence another court case under way to decriminalise gay sex.

Indian runner 'offers Caster Semenya her laywers'

Dutee Chand
AFP

The Indian runner Dutee Chand has offered South African athlete Caster Semenya her legal team after the athletics governing body announced new rules on testosterone levels in female athletes, reports Indian Express.

The changes mean some female runners with naturally high testosterone levels will have to race against men or take medication if they wish to compete.

Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya could be affected.

The 100m and 200m runner Chand went through her own legal battle and won.

Just before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2015 she discovered that her natural levels of the hormone testosterone were normally only found in men.

In late July 2015 she won a case, overthrowing her own ban on competing. The landmark ruling questioned the validity of so-called gender tests around naturally high testosterone levels in female athletes.

Indian Express writes that Chand is now so concerned about what will happen to Semenya that she wrote to her offering legal help from her own team.

She told the Indian Express:

The first time I met Semenya, during the Rio Games, she made me feel like a close friend. She told me not worry about the case and focus on the sport. She gave me tips on handling the barbs thrown at me. I am glad that my battle is over. But hers is not."

Trump: Vote for US World Cup bid or lose our support

US President Donald Trump has threatened political repercussions for anyone wanting to vote for rival Morocco to host the World Cup in 2026.

In a tweet President Trump wrote: "The US has put together a strong bid with the Canada and Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the US bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?"

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Morocco is the only other contender, as this Tweet points out:

View more on twitter

The vote to award the 2026 event takes place on 13 June in Moscow at football's world governing body Fifa's annual congress.

Canada, Mexico, USA and Morocco are blocked from voting given their bids. That leaves 207 eligible national associations, requiring a simple 104 vote majority.

The BBC's sports news correspondent Richard Conway says the three North American countries already have the vast majority of the necessary stadiums and infrastructure already in place.

In contrast, a Morocco-based tournament would require significant investment.

Five mass graves discovered in DR Congo

The United Nations says it has found what it believes to be five mass graves in Ituri province, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The UN's joint office for human rights said more than 260 people had been killed since December. It said 91 of them were women.

The UN said 120 villages had been looted and destroyed in clashes between the Hema and Lendu communities. It said most of the dead were Hema.

There have been decades of violence between Hema herders and Lendu farmers, mainly over land.

The Congolese government says it is not aware of any mass graves in the area.

A map showing the location of Ituri province in eastern DR Congo.
BBC

Libyan military leader returns to Benghazi

Khalifa Haftar
Getty Images

The Libyan military strongman, Khalifa Haftar, has returned to the eastern city of Benghazi after a long absence that included urgent medical treatment in Paris.

The 75-year-old militia leader, smiling and dressed in a black suit, greeted generals from his self-styled army after descending from a plane in his first public appearance for weeks.

Mr Haftar, who has support from Egypt, has long been seen as a contender for national power.

He opposes the internationally recognised government in the capital, Tripoli, frustrating UN-led efforts to reunify the country.

Cannes-bound film about lesbians banned in Kenya

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The first Kenyan film set to air at the prestigious Cannes festival in France will not be seen by audiences in Kenya because it has been banned.

Rafiki, which means "friend" in Kiswahili, tells the story of two young women who fall in love. Its director Wanuri Kahiu says it is inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story Jambula Tree by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko.

Kahiu shared the news about the film's domestic ban on Twitter a short while ago:

View more on twitter

The decision to ban the film has been criticised by the film's many supporters on social media, as well as Kenya's National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC).

The body also questioned why the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) chose to ban the film after its head, Ezekiel Mutua, had praised it as "a story about the realities of our time and the challenges our kids are facing":

View more on twitter

Nigerian army in gun battle with Boko Haram

Mayeni Jones

Nigeria correspondent

Maidururi
AFP
Maiduguri residents are so used to attacks that displacement camps have sprung up for people who flee

The army was engaged in a gun battle with members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Maiduguri, northern Nigeria last night.

The city is frequently targeted by Boko Haram militants although early indications are that this may be bigger than recent attacks.

The attack started during the evening call to prayer.

Local residents and media sources in Maiduguri reported hearing gun shots and explosions in the area of Jiddari Polo on the outskirts of the city.

According to AFP news agency, heavily armed Boko Haram fighters attempted to storm a local barracks where other members of the militia are being held.

Residents describe scenes of panic as people try and flee the scene of the attack.

The army said they repelled the attack in a joint effort by the armed forces, local police and civilian militias. As of last night they were pursuing the militants. They encouraged those who fled to return home and report anything suspicious.

It is still not known how many people died in the fight.

Good morning

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

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from BBC Africa Live until 08:00 GMT. In the meantime, 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:

When a monkey becomes old, it is fed by its young ones."

A Bemba proverb sent by Maybin Mwila in Solwezi, Zambia

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

And we leave you with this bird's-eye view of the boats off the coast of Zanzibar:

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Heavy sentence for Burundi rights campaigner

The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has just tweeted that Burundian human rights campaigner Germain Rukuki has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.

They say this is the "heaviest sentence ever handed down [to] a human rights defender in Burundi".

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Mr Rukuki was arrested last year after the authorities accused him of continuing to work for a banned organisation called Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture, where he had been the treasurer.

He was charged with rebellion and "undermining the internal security of the state" in July 2017 and has been detained ever since.

Burundi has cracked down on government critics and rights groups since 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza survived and attempted coup amid unrest over his bid to be re-elected to a third term.

New rules allow mobile users to keep unused data

Social network applications displayed on a smartphone.
AFP

Mobile phone users in South Africa will no longer lose their unused data at the end of the month following intervention from a national watchdog.

Consumers will now be able to roll over their unused data into the next month and can also transfer data to other users in the same network.

Service providers will be required to send notifications to their subscribers telling them when their data falls below 50%, 80% and 100%.

They also lose the right to automatically charge users out-of-bundle rates for extra data - now they can only do so if they have the individual consumer's consent first.

"After the regulations are published, service providers will be given a month comply," the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) said today.

Kenyan mobile payments firm wins $8.6m funding

Mobile phone
Getty Images
Companies solving the problems with mobile payments are attracting investors

Kenyan software company Africa's Talking has raised $8.6m in funding, reports Tech Crunch.

Africa's Talking has developed a tool for two interfaces to talk to each other, known as an API.

This is particularly needed in mobile and online payments where different systems are used by customers and businesses.

It adds to the trend, which Quartz spotted last year, of African financial technology companies winning millions of dollars in start-up funding.

Last year a Nigerian start up in the same field, Flutterwave, raised $10m in its first round of funding.

The attraction, Quartz suggests, is that these companies are solving a real market need for financial services.

That, it says, means potentially massive returns.

ANC calls athletics' new gender hormone rules racist

Caster Semenya
Getty Images

South Africa's ruling party, African National Congress (ANC), has called new regulations issued by athletics' governing body IAAF a "blatant racist attempt" against South Africa's Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya.

"These laws target amongst others Caster Semenya who has been over the past decade constantly put under undue pressure" the ANC wrote in a statement.

The new measures, which come into effect in November, state that female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels will have to race against men or change events unless they take medication.

The IAAF believes the measures will stop women with high testosterone levels gaining a competitive advantage.

The party has implored South Africa's government to intervene against new regulations issued by athletics' governing body, IAAF.

"These new regulations infringe on the Human Rights of athletes, targeting mainly those in East Europe, Asia and the African continent," the party wrote. "The racial undertones of this cannot go unnoticed."

Mrs Semenya has been embroiled in a global debate about gender and athletics since winning the 800 meter gold medal at the 2009 World Championships.

She had previously been asked to undertake gender testing by athletics chiefs but the results have never been made public.

'Bishop tells Kenyans to have have more children'

Kenyan news site Tuko reports that a Catholic bishop has called on Kenyans to have more than two children, blaming the media for discouraging people from having large families.

Bishop Norman King'oo Wambua of the eastern county of Bungoma reportedly told believers:

This propaganda of depicting a family as father, mother and two children must stop. It is just meant to discourage parents from having more children. I get disgusted when I see magazines posting photos of only four people as a family.

The cause of poverty in our country is mismanagement of available resources and corruption. The country needs a large population for prosperity, thus the need for parents to have more children."

The average Kenyan household is made up of four people, according to 2014 data from the UN, and the fertility rate is 4.4 live births per woman.

Another huge diamond is found in Botswana

A 327-carat diamond has been found in Botswana, reports Bloomberg financial news.

Botswana's diamond miners seem to be on a roll in terms of finding massive gems.

Bloomberg points out that Lucara, the same mining company that found this one, found a 472-carat stone just two weeks ago.

But this is nothing.

In 2015 the world's second biggest diamond was discovered in Botswana. The 1,111-carat stone was the size of a tennis ball.

Diamond
Reuters

The largest ever diamond was 3,106-carats. It was found in 1905 only nine metres from the surface in South Africa and was extracted using a pocket knife.

Some suggest that the 110 year gap between the two big gems was down to the mining equipment changing.

It is speculated that the old sorting machines were actually breaking the diamonds.

Guinea-Bissau ministers appointed after two-year gap

After more than two years of deadlock, Guinea-Bissau has announced a new government.

A UN official in Bissau has tweeted the documents which list the new ministers and is signed by the president:

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The government has not been able to function because the president sacked the prime minister and the ruling party was not able to agree on a new candidate.

It all started with squabbles over international aid money, according to insiders who spoke to journalist Lorraine Mallinder.

In 2015 donors pledged $1.5bn (£1bn) to Guinea-Bissau.

President José Mario Vaz wanted to use the money for a private agriculture project in his home village but then-Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira resisted, the sources suggested.

A few months later the president sacked Mr Pereira.

However, the ruling party sided with the sacked prime minister and a stalemate ensued, with the two sides unable to agree on a replacement.

Earlier this year the West African regional body, Ecowas, imposed sanctions on the country and finally on 16 April the president named veteran politician Aristides Gomes as the new prime minister.

Nestlé apologises for wife competition

BBC World Service

The Swiss food giant Nestlé has apologised and cancelled a video publicity campaign in Morocco after it came under heavy criticism for being sexist.

The online campaign, entitled "I want to get married", featured five young Moroccan women vying to be chosen by a mother as the ideal bride for her son.

In the first episode, they were asked to make a pudding using a Nestlé product.

It quickly elicited a strongly negative reaction online, with a number of Moroccans condemning it as out-of-date, reactionary and sexist to choose a wife based on her cooking skills.

Historian Samia Errazzouki, who was previously a Morocco-based journalist, tweeted the poster and last installment of the advert:

View more on twitter
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Aid workers kidnapped in South Sudan

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

Ten aid workers have gone missing near the town of Yei in South Sudan.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the group, made up of staff from different agencies, had been on its way to conduct an assessment of humanitarian needs.

The missing individuals are reported to be staff of the UN and other organisations.

A senior UN official in South Sudan Alain Noudehou said their whereabouts and condition were not known.

He demanded their immediate release - a suggestion that they'd been seized - but gave no indication of who would have been behind the disappearance.

Government forces and rebel factions are present around the region where the aid workers went missing - part of the fighting that has continued in South Sudan, despite several peace agreements.

This is the second incident of its kind in the country involving aid workers this month.

A map showing the location of Yei in South Sudan
BBC

Cameroon forces retreat after attacks by separatists

BBC World Service

The Cameroonian military has withdrawn from the north-western town of Belo after it was attacked by anglophone separatists, known as the Ambazonians.

The move follows weeks of military raids in English-speaking parts of Cameroon. Homes have been burned and many people arrested.

On Wednesday, fighters - believed to be separatists - killed the headmaster and teacher of a school and cut off a student's hand.

A BBC correspondent in Cameroon says the school was attacked because it failed to heed the separatists' call to shut down in protest against marginalisation by the francophone majority.

A map showing the location of Belo in Cameroon
BBC

Read more on Cameroon:

Flooding in drought-hit Cape Town

Overnight rains caused minor flooding on Wednesday in the drought-hit city of Cape Town.

"There has been a lot of flooding in urban areas across the metro and a lot of roadways have been affected," Charlotte Powell, spokeswoman for Cape Town's disaster management centre, told Reuters.

The rain started on Wednesday and intermittent showers are expected to end on Saturday.

On Twitter, social media users remarked on the city's flooded roads.

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The region has been suffering from its worst drought in a century.

Cape Town was due to be the first major city in the world to run out of water around March.

Authorities pushed the date back of 'day zero' - the day when taps in homes will run dry - to next year, and residents are expected to limit their daily consumption of water.

Cameroon 'coffin activist' guilty of terrorism

Mancho Bibixy seen in court
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Mancho Bibixy (left) pictured in court

Mancho Bibixy, a broadcaster and activist accused of "threatening Cameroon's sovereignty" for his role in anglophone protests, has been found guilty of terrorism.

He first appeared in a coffin at a protest in the western city of Bamenda in November 2016, which he said symbolised anglophone Cameroonians “who seemed to have died before their real death” and therefore should not fear speaking truth to power.

He was convicted of eight counts all together including rebellion and hostility against the state.

Six other men - Tsi Conrad, The Emile Agwe, Tangwa Maloin Tangwa, Azelecha Martin, Guingah Valentine, Junior Awahro Thomas - were found guilty of the same counts by the military court in the capital Yaoundé yesterday.

All seven have been ordered to pay 579m CFA francs ($1m; £770,000) in damages.

Bibixy made an emotional appeal to the judge, saying:

You have an opportunity to begin solving the Anglophone crisis or add more fuel to the fire.

History will be the final judge."

He and his co-accused are being detained in Yaoundé's Kondengui Central Prison awaiting sentencing.

Their lawyers have told the BBC they will appeal the guilty verdict.

A map showing the location of Cameroon's North-West and South-West regions.
BBC
Cameroon's Anglophone regions are the North-West and South-West