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  1. Bail for Nigeria's former chief of defence set at $10m
  2. Killer of South African anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani to be freed
  3. Renowned cartoonist to sue over his sacking from top Kenyan paper
  4. Ex-girlfriend of South African rapper Flabba is sentenced to 12 years for his murder
  5. Mass slaughter of rhinos increases for the sixth year in a row
  6. A judge finds a South African woman guilty of snatching a baby in 1997
  7. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 10 March 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams, Lucy Fleming and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's it from us today.

    To keep up-to-date with news from across the continent, listen to the Africa Today Podcast and check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words :

    Quote Message: When the labourer is praised, his cutlass begins to cut more keenly from Sent by Charles “Neva Giveup” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
    Sent by Charles “Neva Giveup” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

    Click here to send your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo of Karura forest in Nairobi, taken by the BBC’s Charlotte Attwood whilst out jogging this morning.   

    Karura forest in Nairobi, Kenya

    She says an online petition has been launched, using the hashtag #savekaruraforest, as campaigners say it is under threat because of the growth of the Kenyan capital. 

  2. Burundi denies rebels were buried in mass graves

    The prosecutor-general in Burundi has said he has found no evidence to back up claims by human rights groups that Burundian soldiers killed dozens of people around Bujumbura in December and buried them in mass graves. 

    Amnesty International said in January it has found five possible mass graves and a a deliberate effort by the authorities to cover up the extent of the killings by their security forces.

    But Valentin Bagorikunda said most of the 79 rebels killed in fighting in December were unidentified and were buried in established cemeteries.

    In his report, released today, he added that the only mass grave that was found was in Mutakura, containing bodies of people killed by “insurgents” - a grave not mentioned in the reports issued by rights groups.

    satelite image
    Image caption: A satellite image shows disturbed earth at a site where witnesses say there is a mass grave
  3. WhatsApp series: Young and Connected: Chapters four and five

    Young and Connected is BBC Africa's first ever WhatsApp series – reporting on the recent rise in youth groups who are trying to push leaders to be more accountable and deal with everyday issues. 

    The BBC's Maud Jullien has been reporting on the Lucha movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been badly hit by years of conflict. 

    Chapter four looks at what Lucha does:

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC's WhatsApp series: Young and connected, chapter four

    And chapter five investigates the dangers the Lucha activists face:

    Video content

    Video caption: Young and Connected: The BBC's first WhatsApp series chapter five

    To subscribe to the rest of the Whatsapp series, you can add +44 7734778817 to your phone contacts. Send a message to the number saying "SIGN UP" to receive the videos in English, or "SOUSCRIRE" to the same number for the French editions.   

  4. Sierra Leone water sachet clampdown

    Umaru Fofana

    BBC Africa, Freetown

    The authorities in Sierra Leone have ordered about 80 companies to immediately stop producing sachets of water and withdraw those already on the market. 

    The Standards Bureau and the Water Regulatory Commission say the firms fall below basic standards and their products are unclean. 

    A statement from the commission says they must not resume production until they have been reassessed and certified to do so.  

  5. Anger in South Africa over parole for hero's killer

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Limpho Hani pictured here in 1993 during a vigil for her husband in Soweto, South Africa
    Image caption: Limpho Hani pictured here in 1993 during a vigil for her husband in Soweto

    There has been an angry reaction in South Africa to the parole granted to Janusz Walus, the killer of anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani (see 09:41 post).

    “It’s a very sad day for South Africa,” his widow Limpho Hani said.

    Talking to local 702 radio, she hit out at Janse van Nieuwenhuizen, the Pretoria High Court judge who presided over the case, calling her “nothing but a racist”.

    “I am not upset, but I am highly irritated that this white woman can tell me how to feel. 

    “She comes with a white superiority complex to tell me I should forgive, I should move on. It is not her husband that was murdered.” 

    The South African Communist Party (SACP), which Mr Hani led at the time of his death, has also criticised the ruling. 

    “We received the judgment with great disappointment, but in a way the signs that it will come out this way were there because the judge kept asking questions which suggested that she will make an order such as the one she made today,” SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said. 

    Lawyers representing Walus argued that he should be released on parole for the purposes of reconciliation. 

    Roelof du Plessis said forgiveness from the Hani family, the SACP and all South Africans was vital so that the country could move on. 

  6. How South Africans and Nigerians perceive each other

    Men in hats

    South African President Jacob Zuma is back in South Africa after a brief state visit to Nigeria.

    He said he wants to take "relations between our two countries to a much higher level".

    Those relations between the two countries have been fraught of late. 

    So we to know the specifics of what South Africans thought of Nigerians and vice versa.

    South African Milton Nkosi and Nigerian Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani independently both picked out one stereotype - that South African women love Nigerian men. 

    Read how a Nigerian and South African perceive each other on the BBC News website.

  7. West Ham's Alex Song recalled by new Cameroon boss

    Alex Song

    West Ham midfielder Alex Song has been recalled by Cameroon for their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football qualifier against South Africa on 26 March.

    Song has not played for his national team since Cameroon's poor 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil where he lashed out at Croatia's Mario Mandzukic off the ball during their Group A defeat in Manaus.

    Song's inclusion in new coach Hugo Broos' first squad is a surprise after the 28-year-old announced his international retirement last year.

    Broos has named two newcomers in the squad with Sochaux forward Karl Toko, 23, and Anatole Abang of the New York Red Bulls included.

    For more on the development, read the BBC Sport story

  8. The next Einstein found in Sierra Leone

    An organisation which tries to find the next great scientific mind in Africa think they have found it in Sierra Leone.

    Aeronautical engineer Moses Bangura wowed the judges of Africa's Next Einstein competition with his ideas on delivering healthcare by drones:

    View more on twitter
  9. The making of Algerian football star Riyad Mahrez

    Riyad Mahrez

    Leicester City football club is unexpectedly at the top of the English Premier League.

    Behind their success is a relatively unknown player Riyad Mahrez.

    The winger, who also plays for the Algeria national team, scored the winning goal against Watford at the weekend. 

    The 25-year-old signed from the French side Le Havre for £400,000 ($572,000) - considered pocket money in the Premier League

    His coaches and teammates told the BBC's Steve Crossman that his journey to the top of the Premier League has been far from straightforward. 

  10. Nigeria former chief of defence granted bail

    Habiba Adamu

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Nigeria’s former chief of defence Alex Badeh, accused of stealing $20m (£14m) from the air force and buying a mansion, has been granted bail by a high court in the capital, Abuja. 

    Justice Okon Ebang said the retired air chief marshal should deposit 2bn naira ($10m, £7m) and also produce two guarantors, who own property in Abuja, to deposit $5,000 each as conditions of his bail. 

    ACM Badeh denies the 10 charges of fraud, criminal breach of trust and money laundering. 

    He was among the military chiefs sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari several weeks after he came to office last year as he was unhappy at how they had handled the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in the north.

    Alex Badeh
    Image caption: Alex Badeh served as chief of defence for two years
  11. Nigerian oil workers 'call off strike'

    Oil worker
    Image caption: Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer

    Unions representing workers at Nigeria's state oil giant NNPC have called off their strike after meeting Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum.

    They discussed concerns about plans to split the NNPC into 30 companies into the early hours of this morning.

    They agreed that the restructuring would continue but that the unions would be involved in the process.

    The union's Saleh Abdullahi told the BBC's Ibrahim Isa that they went on strike because the minister had told the media about the changes before telling the workforce.

    "There is possible loss of jobs. Because of that fear we had to sit down and discuss this," he said.

  12. Call for joint inquiry into killing of Italian student in Cairo

    A poster calling for information on Giulio Regeni after his disappearance
    Image caption: After Mr Regeni disappeared his friends and family made this poster to search for him

    The European Parliament has called on Egypt to provide a "swift, transparent and impartial" joint investigation into the death of an Italian student in Cairo more than a month ago. 

    Members of parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution saying it condemned the torture and assassination of Giulio Regeni. 

    He was in Egypt researching the country's trade union movement, which is viewed with suspicion by the authorities. 

    His body was found in February, dumped at a roadside, showing signs of torture. Egypt has denied any involvement by its security services. 

    MEPs also noted "with grave concern" that the case was "not an isolated incident, but that it occurred within a context of torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years", the AFP news agency reports.

  13. Elephant returns to Somalia after 20 years

    This is the first elephant in Somalia to be seen in 20 years:


    The 30-year-old elephant took three weeks to march hundreds of kilometres to reach Somalia from Tana River in the northern part of Kenya's coastal region. 

    And then sat down for a rest:


    Conservationists from Save the Elephant monitored the trek with a tracking collar. They say the journey suggests that the Kenya-Somalia border area is becoming less dangerous. 

    It is thought that elephants had avoided the country because of the sound of guns and grenade during the conflict.

  14. Ethiopia apology over Oromo protests

    Hailemariam Desalegn

    Ethiopia's prime minster has apologised for the death and destruction caused by protests in the Oromia region.

    But Hailemariam Desalegn, addressing parliament in the capital, Addis Ababa, said "anti-peace forces" were responsible for the violence.

    The protests began over government plans to expand the capital's administrative control into the Oromia region, which have since been dropped.    

    Oromia has been hit by months of unrest, in which 200 people have reportedly died - a number disputed by the government.

    The authorities deny that security forces have been involved in a violent crackdown.

    Oromia at a glance:

    • Oromia is Ethiopia's largest region, surrounding the capital, Addis Ababa
    • Oromo are Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group - making up about a third of Ethiopia's 95 million people
    • The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) is Oromia's largest legally registered political party, but holds no seats in parliament

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  15. Schoolgirls decode Soweto's secret hand signals

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Soweto

    If you want to get a bus in Soweto, South Africa, you have to learn another language. 

    A whole set of hand signals tell the bus driver where you want to go.

    We got two schoolgirls from Immaculata Secondary School to decode just a few of them for us.

    If you want to go to the Jabulani area you use this:

    Hand signal

    Whereas for the Zola neighbourhood, you use this:

    hand signal

    To go to central Johannesburg you point up:

    hand signal

    And for the Protea Glen area you use this signal:

    hand signal

    But you don't need to memorise these, instead take the BBC School Report virtual tour of Soweto.

  16. Get Involved: Two African novels make Man Booker long list


    Two novels by African writers have been selected for the Man Booker International Prize 2016 long list.

    A General Theory of Oblivion by Angola’s Jose Eduardo Agualusa and Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila from the Democratic Republic of Congo are among the 13 contenders.

    The £50,000 ($71,000) British prize for a work of fiction available in English translation will be equally divided between the author and its translator. The judges considered 155 books.

    Also on the list is the French author of Senegalese descent Marie NDiaye.

    A shortlist of six books will be announced on 14 April, and the winner on 16 May.

    Book covers

    Tell us on Facebook which other books should also have been on the list.

  17. Kenyan sentenced to death over night club attack

    Abdinoor Aden

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    A Kenyan man accused of being behind a terrorist attack at a night club in Mombasa has been sentenced to death by a court in the coastal city.

    Thabit Yahya had pleaded not guilty to murdering a female guard who was killed in the attack in May 2012.

    Five others were injured after three grenades were thrown at the popular Bella Vista night club frequented by prominent figures.

    The blasts were followed by gunfire and the guard, Mary Cheptirim, prevented the gunmen from entering the club.

    Kenya's anti-terror police unit said that Yahya spent several years in Saudi Arabia, where he was trained in handling weapons and explosives, before returning in 2011.

    Prisoners on death row remain in jail for life as a death sentence has not been carried out in Kenya since 1985.

  18. Mozambique 'bans school uniform mini-skirts'

    A Human Rights Watch researcher has tweeted this headline from Mozambique's main Noticias newspaper:

    View more on twitter

    The paper reports that some secondary schools have made it compulsory for girls to wear long skirts, which has been welcomed by some teachers, parents and pupils.

    One teacher is quoted as saying that skirts had become so short that some students had been in danger of exposing their intimate parts.  

    However, it adds that others are critical of the move because of the expense of paying for a new uniform.

  19. Ouch! Zimbabwe batsmen take each other out

    Batsmen Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza collide while going for a run during the World Twenty20 match between Scotland and Zimbabwe:

    Sibanda needed a bit of treatment, but thankfully he doesn't appear to be seriously hurt.

    But overall it was good news for the Zimbabweans who beat Scotland by 11 runs to go through to face Afghanistan on Saturday.

    If they win that match they are through to the Super 10 stage where they would face South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and the West Indies

    You can get all the highs and low of the match here: Scotland v Zimbabwe