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  1. Kenya's leader hits out at corruption, saying Kenyans are experienced at stealing
  2. South African campus shuts after buildings torched in protests
  3. UN calls for war crimes probe in Libya
  4. Somali president says 180 Kenyan soldiers died in el-Ade attack
  5. Five African presidents in Burundi peace push
  6. UN chief Ban Ki-moon visits South Sudan
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive
  8. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 25 February 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's it from today. To keep up-to-date with news from across the continent, listen to the BBC Africa podcast or check the BBC News website.  

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: Haste carries no blessing from A Swahili proverb sent by Mirja H Lappalainen in Praia, Cape Verde
    A Swahili proverb sent by Mirja H Lappalainen in Praia, Cape Verde

    Click here to send your African proverbs.  

    And we leave you with this bird's eye view of the Jamia mosque in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, taken by the BBC's Issa Abdull.

    Jamia mosque, Kenya's capital, Nairobi,
  2. Listen to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie read a short story

    Now fancy a bed-time story? Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, one of Africa's most celebrated authors, read her short story Olikoye specially for BBC Africa.

    Sit back, relax and have a listen:

    Video content

    Video caption: The Nigerian author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun reads her short story Olikoye
  3. BBC reporter hits the road in Ghana

    BBC Africa's Akwasi Sarpong has been having quite a day after his flight to Ghana's northern city of Tamale was cancelled due to bad weather:

    View more on twitter

    But the bus lengthy bus journey, while less comfortable, seems to be providing more in the way of adventure. 

    He's been taking in the "colour, witty salesmanship, purring bus engines & tropical heat" of the bus station in the capital, Accra:

    View more on twitter

    He also found one vendor with a very unusual sales technique: 

    View more on twitter

    For now, Akwasi (L) and producer Sule Lansah (R) are trying to get a bit of rest ahead of a long night's travel. Goodnight guys! 

    View more on twitter
  4. Tunis jail term for 100-year-old tree felling

    A patisserie owner in an upmarket Tunis suburb has been given a three-month jail sentence Thursday for chopping down a 100-year-old eucalyptus tree that was in front of his shop without permission, Tunisian media is reporting.

    View more on twitter

    Court sources told the AFP news agency the man was convicted in a Carthage court for causing "damage to the property of others" and also ordered to pay a fine of 1,000 dinars ($500, £358).

    He cut down the ancient tree on Monday, angering locals who started a petition to demand the authorities take action, CarthageFM said.

  5. Ghana's Mahama defends record in state address

    John Mahama

    Ghana's President John Mahama has defended his government's record in his last state of the nation address before general elections in November. 

    Mr Mahama said that Ghana has added power generation capacity more quickly in the past year than ever before, though many on social media were unimpressed with this assertion after nearly four years of chronic power outages. 

    The problem has been so notorious during his presidency that Mr Mahama has been given the nickname "Mr Dumsor", using the phrase used in the local Twi language for the power outages.

    Dinner by candlelight in Accra

    The president also promised that there would be responsible spending ahead of the elections, following criticism that Ghana's deficit got out of control in 2012 because of excessive spending on government salaries. 

  6. Should social media be regulated?

    There was an angry reaction from some Nigerians to a recent draft social media bill that said anyone who "propagates false information" could face a jail sentence. 

    But is there a case for regulating social media? This month's BBC Africa Debate is tackling the issue. Listen to ‪#‎BBCAfricaDebate‬, on the BBC World Service, today at 19:00 GMT.

    BBC Africa Debate audience in Lagos, Nigeria
  7. Kidnapped foreign sailors 'freed in Nigeria'

    Oil militants in the Niger Delta have freed five foreign hostages seized last month off the coast of Nigeria, the AFP news agency reports, quoting a maritime consultancy firm and the Russian foreign ministry.

    No details were given about the release of the hostages - two Filipinos, two Russians and one Georgian - or if a ransom was paid. 

    But Dirk Steffen, director of maritime security at the Denmark-based Risk Intelligence firm, did clarify some initial reports about those involved in the hijacking off Nigeria’s coast on 29 January. 

    "The kidnappers were from the southern Niger Delta. They were not Biafran separatists,” he said.

    At the time activists who back the creation of a breakaway state of Biafra had denied involvement. 

  8. Calais 'Jungle' eviction gets go-ahead

    The French government's plan to clear part of the Calais migrant camp known as the "Jungle", has been approved by a court in Lille.

    Those living in the camp, mainly from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa, hope to cross the Channel to reach Britain.  

    Authorities say around 1,000 migrants will be affected by the eviction plan for the southern part of the camp.

    Aid agencies say the number of people involved is much higher.

    Local officials said public areas such as places of worship or schools would not be cleared and said it would be a "humanitarian operation".

    Read the BBC News story for more

    A migrant from Sudan tries to warm up in the migrant camp in Calais known as "the Jungle", France
    Image caption: A migrant from Sudan tries to warm himself today in "the Jungle"

    'The Jungle' in numbers:

    • Total camp population is disputed - Calais officials say it houses 3,700, while Help Refugees puts it at 5,497
    • Figures for the southern half (facing immediate eviction threat) are estimated at either 800-1,000 or 3,455
    • There are 205 women and 651 children (423 unaccompanied), says Help Refugees
    • Local government's long-term aim is to have no more than 2,000 migrants living in Calais, says its chief, Fabienne Buccio
  9. Egypt jails Coptic Christian teenagers for insulting Islam

    A Coptic Christian church in Egypt
    Image caption: Egypt's Christians have long complained of discrimination in the predominantly Muslim country

    An Egyptian court has sentenced three Coptic Christian teenagers to five years in prison for insulting Islam after they appeared in a video apparently mocking Muslim prayers.

    A fourth defendant was sent to a juvenile detention centre by the court in Beni Mazar in the central province of Minya.

    The teenagers argued they were mocking beheadings by the Islamic State group.

    The video was published online last April - shortly after IS jihadists beheaded dozens of Egyptian Christians in Libya.

    The student's teacher, who filmed the video, was sentenced to three years in prison in a separate trial.

    Read the BBC News story for more

  10. Meet the 'birdman of Soweto'

    This is Soweto’s first bird guide - not a profession one would usually associates with the South African township famous for its pivotal role in the anti-apartheid struggle:

    Raymond Rampolokeng

    The BBC's Christian Parkinson met Raymond Rampolokeng, nicknamed the "birdman of Soweto", who is teaching local youngsters the importance of birds and maintaining the green spaces where they live:

    Video content

    Video caption: Meet the 'birdman of Soweto'
  11. Nigeria's 1985 Golden Eaglets rewarded after 30-year wait

    The Nigeria squad that won the first Fifa Under-16 World championship have been rewarded after a 30-year wait.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has made good on a promise to reward the players after the 1985 tournament, when he was the military head of state.

    Following Mr Buhari's return to power, this time via the ballot box, he announced a 2m naira ($10,000; £7,000) reward for each of the players and $7,500 for the officials.

    Nduka Ugbade, captain of the team who beat West Germany 2-0 in the final in Beijing, told BBC Sport: "I have finally received my money.

    "I am extremely delighted that our president has fulfilled his promise."

    Under-16 World Championship winner Akpoborie
    Image caption: Under-16 World Championship winner Akpoborie went on to play 13 times for the senior Nigeria team

    Read the full BBC Sport story

  12. South African students 'must not burn university buildings'

    A student walks through the remains of the Science Center at the University of the North-West University in Mafikeng, South Afric
    Image caption: A student walks through the remains of a science centre at North-West University

    South Africa’s president has strongly condemned violence during recent student protests:

    Quote Message: The burning of university buildings at a time when we are prioritising the education of our youth is inexplicable and can never be condoned"
    Quote Message: No amount of anger should drive students to burn their own university and deny themselves and others education. Grievances should be handled in a peaceful manner" from President Jacob Zuma
    President Jacob Zuma

    North-West University is the latest institution to be hit by violence (see 11:24 post) - and it closed today after several buildings were torched in yesterday's clashes.

    University spokesman Koos Degenaar said the trouble started after some students disrupted the inauguration of a new student council, the AP news agency reports.

    Defying a court order, a suspended student leader - part of a dissolved student council calling for the removal of Afrikaans as a teaching language - entered the university and addressed his supporters, it says

    Private security officers reportedly tried to disperse the crowd using rubber bullets and tear gas as students threw stones at them.

    The suspended student leader, Benz Mabengwane, has denied that the students started the fires.

    Students leaving a North-West Univerity's campus
    Image caption: Students have been leaving the Mafikeng campus today
  13. Ghana's Fifa delegates dress to impress

    Confidence in global football administration is not too high at the moment, with the world governing body Fifa engulfed by claims of widespread corruption and several highly influential figures facing criminal prosecutions. 

    But Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwesi Nyantakyi has offered a novel approach to improving the image of his country's football authorities. 

    He told BBC Africa Sport's Piers Edwards that the GFA has taken extra effort to make the right impression at this week's elections in Zurich, by providing delegates with two different coloured suits: 

    "We have two colours. There's a blue colour and then a black colour. And this is to show the different level of professionalisation that Ghana football has attained."

    View more on twitter

    Fifa presidential election: Key questions answered

  14. UN: 10,000 Somali refugees repatriated this year

    Issa Abdull

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Somali refugees in Dadaab waiting to return home

    The UN refugee agency has said more than 10,000 Somali refugees living at the Dadaab camp in northern Kenya have been repatriated since the first phase of voluntary repatriation started almost a year ago

    Dadaab, near the border with Somalia, is the largest refugee camp in Africa.

    However, the exercise has not been without its challenges as some people want to return but their homes are still in areas occupied by al-Shabab militants.

    Officials say over the next year, they hope to help 50,000 refugees to go return home as more people decide to take advantage of the scheme. 

    Dadaab was set up in 1991 to house families fleeing conflict in Somalia. Some people have been living at the site for more than 20 years 

    Somali refugees in Dadaab waiting to return
  15. Gorillas sing and hum as they munch

    A new study shows that gorillas sing and hum as they eat.

    Primate expert Eva Luef recorded gorillas making sounds in the Democratic Republic of Congo - you can listen to them below in this clip from the BBC's Newshour programme - and find out why she thinks male silverbacks use them to indicate when their families should feed:

    Video content

    Video caption: A new study shows that gorillas sing and hum as they eat
  16. French former ministers quizzed over Ivorian base bombing

    Tamasin Ford

    BBC Africa, Abidjan

    A French soldier amidst the ruins of a French base in Bouake - 2004
    Image caption: Nine French peacekeepers and a US civilian were killed in the base bombing

    Three former French ministers have been called before a judge over why mercenaries believed to be behind the bombing of a French military base in Ivory Coast in 2004 were never questioned.

    This will be welcome news to the families of the nine French soldiers and one American killed that day.

    It’s the start of a legal process that may never go to trial but, if found guilty, former Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin, former Defence Minister Michelle Alliot-Marie and former Foreign Minister Michel Barnier face three years in jail and a €45,000 ($50,000; $36,000) fine.

    It stems from the attack on a school in Bouake, the rebel stronghold during Ivory Coast’s first civil war, where French troops had their base.

    Eight Belarusian mercenaries, including the two pilots of the planes, were later arrested in Togo, but rather than questioning them, French authorities let them go.

    Instead they accused former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo of masterminding the attack, which he has always denied.

    But the French carried out massive reprisals, bombing the Ivorian air force and the city of Abidjan, killing dozens of civilians. 

    Twelve years on, families of the victims are hoping they may find out exactly who ordered the mercenaries to bomb the base.

  17. Africa's football bosses meet to dicuss Fifa's future

    Piers Edwards

    BBC Africa sport, Zurich

    The Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee is meeting all 54 of its member associations right now in Zurich.

    One of the key issues being debated are proposed reforms to football's world governing body, Fifa, which includes changes to the structure of the organisation, increased transparency and greater representation of women. 

    However, the BBC has learnt that there is some resistance to the reforms from certain African football federations.

    Acting Fifa President Issa Hayatou (C) and Suketu Patel (2-R) arrive for the Confederation of African Football (CAF
    Image caption: Issa Hayatou, seen here arriving at the meeting, is head of Caf as well as acting Fifa president

    Caf will also be making the case to its members to vote for its preferred candidate, Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa. 

  18. Uganda's Besigye speaks out over detention and elections

    The Ugandan opposition leader Kiiza Besigye has been speaking to the BBC in his first interview since being taken into police custody and his subsequent house arrest.

    His troubles stem from his intention to lead a protest march against President Yoweri Museveni's election victory.

    Mr Besigye said he felt disappointed that the international community hadn't intervened on his behalf. 

    Listen to the full interview with BBC Newshour's Tim Franks below:

    Video content

    Video caption: Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye speaks out from under house arrest.
  19. South Sudan president 'committed to peace deal'

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has assured UN chief Ban Ki-moon of his commitment to implementing a peace agreement to bring the country's civil war to an end. 

    Mr Ban held a closed-door meeting with the president, who told him that humanitarian agencies were being given free access to deliver food to areas in need, UN radio reports. 

    Mr Ban is currently addressing diplomats at the UN mission headquarters. 

    At least 18 people were killed in fighting inside a UN camp last week, where nearly 50,000 people who have fled the violence are currently sheltering.

  20. Will Niger face a run-off vote?

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Niamey

    Electoral officials in Niger

    With about 70% of Niger's presidential elections results released, incumbent President Muhamadou Issoufou, from the PNDS party, is in the lead with 46.16%.

    Detained opposition candidate of the Moden Lumana party, Hama Amadou, is trailing with 16.53 % while Seyni Oumarou of the MNSD party is in third position with 11.44%.

    Mr Amdou is in prison awaiting trial on allegations of baby-trafficking, which he denies.

    Electoral commission President Bube Ibrahim told me this morning that the final results are expected to be announced today.

    If no candidate scores more than 50%, a second round of voting has to be conducted between the two leading candidates – and this would take place on 20 March.

    The unprecedented delay in announcing the Sunday polls results has caused anxiety in the country with opposition parties and some civil society organisations alleging it is a ploy to rig the election in favour of the ruling party.

    The opposition alliance has already dismissed the results.

    Niger election: Can a prisoner beat the president?