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  1. At least 40 dead after South Sudan fighting
  2. Ethiopia gets UN Security Council seat
  3. Nigeria's president unsure about naira float
  4. Big reduction in new HIV infections in Uganda
  5. Helium discovered in Tanzania
  6. Sadio Mane becomes 'most expensive African player'
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 28 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

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

A reminder of today's wise words:

A white tooth has a bloody root."

Sent by Waromkudu Patrick Javuru, Nebbi, Uganda

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

And we leave you with this charcoal drawing by Nairobi artist Swift Graffiti:

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A writer reflects on how to measure human grief

The winner of this year's Caine Prize for African Writing will be announced next week.

Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah is among the five shortlisted authors. 

Her short story, What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, follows a mathematician called Nneoma who asks if there is any way to calculate the size of human grief.

We're featuring the shortlisted stories here on the Africa Live Page and today the BBC's Kim Chakanetsa reads an excerpt from What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky:

Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah is one of five finalists for the Caine Prize

Challenging the patriarchy in Morocco

US first lady Michelle Obama is in Morocco on the latest leg of her African tour to promote girls' education. 

Michelle Obama in Morocco

She told a group of young Moroccans:                 

Girls' education is important to all of us... You know, those 62 million girls who are not being educated around the world impact my life in the United States of America. Because if we are empowering and providing the skills and the resources to half of our population, then we're not realising our full potential as a society, as mankind."

People talking to Michelle Obama

One participant told her:

I've been growing up in a very patriarchal community... And in this we don't have a lot of chances and opportunities for women. But in my family, my mother made sure we went to school, no matter what people in my community think."

Could Eritrea come in from the cold?

Mary Harper

Eritrea is sometimes treated as a pariah state - described as "The North Korea of Africa", "A giant slave camp", "Africa's fastest emptying country", "The cursed land" and "Africa's most secretive and repressive state".  

But the BBC's Mary Harper found that bizarrely, Western diplomats in Eritrea often have very different view.

One went as far as describing Eritrea to her as a "perfect development partner" due to what was described as its relatively low levels of corruption, strong work ethic and lack of religious extremism in a region where many countries have been affected by Islamist violence.  

Read more on her analysis of if the country could ever come in from the cold on the BBC News website.

Tanzanian president Magufuli 'only eats his wife's food'

John Magufuli
Getty Images

A profile of Tanzania's president John Magufuli in the Financial Times includes a curious rumour about him.

After a few hundred words portraying the man as a no-nonsense boss who "sacks people on the spot" it said "naturally, Mr Magufuli has made enemies".

The Financial Times suggests this build up of opposition has manifested itself in his culinary preferences:

"In State House, as a precaution, he is said to eat only food prepared by his wife."

We have not verified this, nor does the Financial Times say how they have heard this rumour.

Ethiopia elected to UN Security Council

The UN has been electing non-permanent members of the Security Council and Ethiopia has been chosen to take the place vacated by Angola at the end of the year.

Ethiopia's ministry of foreign affairs has tweeted:

View more on twitter

It seemed inevitable that Ethiopia would be elected as it was unopposed and backed by the African Union.

Bolivia and Sweden were also elected.

Egypt and Senegal have the other two seats reserved for Africa and they will be stepping down at the end of 2017 when their two-year term comes to an end.

The UN Security Council has five permanent members - US, UK, Russia, China and France -  and 10 non-permanent members.

South African tennis player gets death threats after losing Wimbledon match

South African tennis player Kevin Anderson has received death threats on social media and been accused of match fixing after a first round loss to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan at Wimbledon on Monday.

He gave his reaction to BBC Sport:

Seems to be a common trend for a lot of tennis players on social media, when a match doesn’t go your way people who have bet on the match tend to take to social media and say very inappropriate things.

Tennis is a big sport when it comes to betting. As a sport we are trying incredibly hard to keep it clean and I think we do a very good job with that. But [there’s a] backlash and being on the receiving end of people frankly with nothing better to do than to take to social media and write unwanted comments, not just to myself but to any tennis player.”

Kevin Anderson

Brexit impact on Africa, speculation continues

It is of course true that we don't now how things will pan out when it comes to Britain's departure from the European Union.

Plans appear to be on hold until the British Conservative Party chooses its new leader.

And in the absence of a clear plan analysts have filled the vacuum on what they think the consequences are.

Alex de Waal has made the latest contribution to the debate about about Brexit and Africa in Foreign Policy magazine.

And, according to him, it's not good news:

The rule of thumb for EU policy toward Africa is a three-way divide: one-third Britain, one-third France, and one-third everyone else.

For the next two years - or as long as Brexit takes - few Europeans will listen to what British diplomats and aid officials have to say about how the money is spent in Africa."

He says this is of concern as the UK has been providing leadership in some key areas including Somalia.

He also sees Brexit as a "body blow to multi-lateralism" which has served the continent well.

David Cameron as Somalia conference
The UK has taken a lead role in helping sort out some of the problems in Somalia

Big fall in new HIV infections in Uganda

There's been close to a 50% drop in new HIV infections in Uganda over the last four years, according to figures announced today.

The Uganda Observer has been tweeting some of the statistics that the outgoing country director of UNAids Musa Bugundu has been speaking about in the capital, Kampala.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

"I am positive that by next year, there should be no baby born with HIV,” Mr Bugundu is quoted as saying by the Chimp Reports website.

No evidence of wrong-doing by Clinton over Benghazi attack

The final report into the deadly attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi in Libya in 2012 has found no new evidence of wrong-doing by US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

The lengthy Republican investigation has consistently put the blame on Mrs Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time. 

Democrats have called it a witch-hunt. 

Four Americans were killed in the attack, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. 

The report says the military acted too slowly, despite orders from President Barack Obama and the Defence Secretary Leon Panetta. 

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton was questioned in 2015 over her alleged failures relating to the Benghazi attack

Ethiopia bidding for a UN Security Council seat

Voting is now going on in New York for non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Africa has three seats and this year Ethiopia is aiming to replace Angola, whose term will finish in December.

Ethiopia's foreign ministry is tweeting pictures from the vote:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ethiopia is unopposed and received unanimous backing from the African Union during the last AU heads of state summit, the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza reports from Addis Ababa.

It has promised to champion the continent's cause at the security council.

Egypt and Senegal hold the other African seats and will give them up at the end of next year.

What is helium used for?

Helium-filled balloons
Helium is not just used in party balloons

We've reported on the large helium discovery in Tanzania which will go some way towards addressing the global shortage.

But apart from party balloons what is it used for?

The fact that it doesn't react with anything and that it has the lowest boiling point of any element makes it very useful:

  • It is used in the space industry to keep satellite instruments cool, to clean out rocket engines and was used to cool the liquid oxygen and hydrogen that powered the Apollo space vehicles
  • Helium is used as a cooling medium for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners
  • Helium is often used to fill weather balloons and airships because of its low density
  • A mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen is used by deep-sea divers and others working under pressurised conditions.
  • Helium-neon gas lasers are used to scan barcodes at supermarket checkouts

Read more: Helium discovery a 'game-changer'

US drone 'crashes in al-Shabab area in Somalia'

Abdullahi Yusuf Osman

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

A suspected US drone has crashed in southern Somalia, reports Shabelle Media Network.

It says the surveillance aircraft came down on Tuesday morning at Baladul-Amin, an area held by Islamist militant group al-Shabab in Lower Shabelle region.

Reports say al-Shabab militants went to the crash scene and took the remains of the plane.

More than 40 die in South Sudan fighting

The South Sudanese government says more than 40 people died in the recent fighting in the town of Wau, but admits that the total could rise. 

Information Minister Michael Makuei said the bodies of 39 civilians had been found, as well as four policemen. 

There was heavy fighting in and around Wau, which is in the north of the country, on Saturday. 

The army spokesmen said his troops had fought against an armed group, as well as what he called tribal fighters. 

Aid workers say they are helping around 26,000 people, but it is thought that there are many others who are currently out of reach of help. 

The UN Mission in South Sudan has come under heavy criticism from aid agencies which say it refused to open the gates for thousands who were fleeing the fighting.  

But it has dismissed those allegations saying it allowed civilians in on Sunday as a last resort. 

The ICRC tweeted pictures of some of those needing medical attention being flown from Wau: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Jack Daniels recipe 'came from an African slave'

The distillers of Jack Daniels whiskey have acknowledged for the first time that the recipe came from an African slave, the Daily Telegraph reports.

They used to say that in the 19th Century Jack Daniel got the recipe from a Lutheran preacher.

But it was in fact the preacher's slave, Nearis Green, who had the recipe.

The newspaper reports that in the 19th Century much of the work in distilleries was done by slaves.

"Many slaves relied on techniques brought from Africa and became experts, often making it clandestinely," it adds.

Jack Daniels whiskey

Two South Africans jailed for racist assault

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

Two men, who pleaded guilty, have been jailed in South Africa for attacking a black petrol pump attendant, reports the Times Live website.

The pair captured on CCTV camera apparently beat-up the worker after he told them that the petrol station had run out of unleaded petrol. 

The videos show Johannes Monyela, 33, being assaulted at a Sasol petrol station in Tzaneen, in Limpopo province. 

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the sentences and said it hopes it will “deter other would-be racists”. The Tzaneen District Court sentenced Hermanus van Dyk‚ 36‚ to two years behind bars and Danie le Roux‚ 29, to 18 months for aggravated assault. 

South Africa has seen a spate of racially charged incidents in recent months – prompting calls for special legislation to fight it.     

Screengrab from Times Live website

What does today's proverb mean?

Every day we start off the BBC Africa Live page with a proverb from a reader.

But today we weren't in agreement about what "a white tooth has a bloody root" actually means.

And it seems that commentators on Facebook aren't in agreement either.

Here are a couple of variations:

The person who acquires a lot of money has sacrificed a lot to earn the white tooth."

Yohannes Bekele from British Columbia, Canada

No matter how innocent one can look they have a dirty truth about them."

Louisa Chaiwila from Livingstone in Zambia

But then a theme started developing:

No pain no gain."

Anyikor Dumbe Disraeli, Delta, Nigeria

Every Glory has a story!"

Adias Jessica, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Success doesn't not come overnight."

Imran Mohamed Ali, Cape Town

So the underlying assumption which seems to be in dispute among our Facebook commenters is whether success comes after hard work or bad behaviour.

Maybe you have a proverb which sheds some light on this?

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

The people against an oil clean-up

Fishing boat
Some in Bodo wonder if there is any point in going back to fishing

The Nigerian government has launched an unprecedented $1bn (£750m) operation to clean up the environmental damage caused by the oil industry, and it will be paid for by the polluters.

What has happened in a once quiet fishing town Bodo in Niger Delta may shed some light on the difficulties ahead.

Shell paid out almost $80m in compensation for two major oil spills in Bodo.

Part of the deal said Shell must clean up the mess, but that surprisingly is not what many people want.

Fisherman Siitu Emmanuel told the BBC's Stephanie Hegarty that he is not in support of Shell doing the clean-up - instead he wants the money that was going to pay for it to be split amongst the community.

And most people in Bodo agree with him, they would rather have money in their pockets than see the environmental problems sorted out.

Read more about how the oil clean-up pledge divides Nigerians on the BBC News website.

Glasses used as a 'veil of protection' by Nigerian artist

Visual artist Ndidi Emefiele grew up in northern Nigeria which she describes as "not a space that allows a woman to prosper". 

She wasn't pleased with what she says was deemed the ideal woman so she created her own strong women on canvas.

And a lot of her creations have one thing in common: They are wearing glasses.

She explains that the glasses are "a shield, a curtain a veil to protect them".

She showed us her current exhibition at the Gallery of African Art in London:

Nigerian artist Emefiele: 'My glasses protect women'

Sadio Mane: 'Africa's most expensive football player'

Liverpool have completed the signing of Sadio Mane for $45m (£34m) from Southampton.

The African football experts here at the BBC are telling us that that makes him the most expensive African football player.

The 24-year-old Senegal striker scored 21 goals in 67 Premier League appearances for Saints after joining for $13m from Salzburg in 2014.

"Today is a big day and I am very happy to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe," he told the club's official website.

"It's a club that has won a lot of trophies and has a big history."

Sadio Mane
Getty Images

Journalist expelled from Egypt

The authorities in Egypt have deported a popular British-Lebanese TV chat show host, hours after her contract was terminated. 

Former BBC journalist Liliane Daoud had presented The Full Picture for five years on the private ON-TV channel. 

She has caused controversy by raising political issues deemed sensitive by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's supporters. 

Eight undercover policemen raided her flat and put her on a plane to Beirut. 

ON-TV was recently sold by its opposition owner, the mogul Naguib Sawiris, to a pro-government businessman, Ahmad Abu-Hashima.

Brexit is inspiration for Somaliland

The foreign minister of Somaliland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, says Brexit has strengthened Somaliland's independence claim. 

Sa'ad Ali Shireh told the BBC Somali service that the world had accepted the will of the British people, and should do the same for Somaliland. 

The region declared its independence a quarter of a century ago, but this has not been recognised internationally. 

The minister also said he was worried that the fall in value of sterling would hurt Somaliland, because remittances sent back from the UK are a large part of the economy. 

Woman holding a Somaliland flag
Somaliland recently marked 25 years since it declared independence

Liberian girls show Michelle Obama their menstrual pads

US first lady Michelle Obama is in Morocco on the latest leg of her African tour to promote girls' education.

She was in Liberia on Monday, and a diary and images of her visit have been published on the HelloGiggles website.

Mrs Obama wrote: "Despite overwhelming odds, girls all across Liberia are working hard and succeeding in getting their education."

She travelled to a vocational girls school in Kakata, just outside the capital, Monrovia.

Michelle Obama
White House Photo/Amanda Lucidon
Girls welcome Michelle Obama
White House Photo/Amanda Lucidon

Mrs Obama also wrote: "The girls showed me how they make re-useable menstrual pads (or “RUMPs” as they call them)... and we talked about menstrual health and hygiene and how girls shouldn’t be embarrassed about, or ashamed of, their periods."  

A sign saying RUMP
White House Photo/Amanda Lucidon

Protest calls for South African state broadcaster's boss to go

Our reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa, are at a protest outside the state broadcaster's office, the South African Broadcasting Corporation:

View more on twitter

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is the chief operating officer of the broadcaster.

A decision by the SABC not to cover attacks on property during protests has been controversial, reports Business Day

But when our reporters asked this group of demonstrators a few more questions, they became suspicious:

View more on twitter

Zuma is 'not crowd sourcing funds' to pay Nkandla bill

The office of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has warned that requests to help him pay $500,000 (£385,000) for improvements to his private rural residence are bogus.

South Africa's treasury announced the figure yesterday and Mr Zuma now has just over 40 days to come up with the money.

This came after the country's highest court ruled earlier this year that Mr Zuma repay some of the $23m of public funds spent on his house in 2009.

Zuma and his Nkandla home

Some people appear to have taken it upon themselves to help get money for the president.

But in a statement the presidency says it "wishes to alert members of the public to beware of scams on social media where people are asked to deposit money into bank accounts in support of President Jacob Zuma.

"No account has been opened for this purpose and no request has been made for members of the public to contribute," it adds.  

How helium was discovered in Tanzania

Tulanana Bohela

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

A Massai tribesman walks at the foot of the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano above the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania
Getty Images
The discovery was made in the Tanzanian part of the rift valley

We reported earlier that a large amount of helium has been discovered in Tanzania.

The discovery was announced by researchers from Oxford and Durham Universities, working with a Norwegian exploration company.

Up until now, helium has been mostly found accidentally during oil and gas exploration; but this time researchers decided to use oil and gas exploration techniques to do a targeted search for the helium. 

They now are hopeful many other reserves around the world could be found using this technique.

Nigeria's oil production rises after ceasefire, minister says

Habiba Adamu

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria's Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told Bloomberg TV that oil production has risen to 1.9 million barrels a day due to the ongoing ceasefire agreement with militants in the Niger Delta region.

Attacks on the pipelines by militants had reduced the volume of oil produced by the country to 1.3 million barrels per day from 2.2 million. 

Mr Kachikwu did not mention who the deal was done with and the Niger Delta Avengers group appeared to reject a deal.

He added that the ceasefire has allowed repair work to be done.

Reduction in Nigeria’s oil production contributed to the recent global oil price rise.

Ibe Kachikwu
Bloomberg TV
Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu have the interview during a visit to China

Who were the African Brexiteers?

Pictures of three men

People and politicians in the UK - and indeed much of Europe - are still reeling from the aftermath of the British vote to leave the European Union.

There's still uncertainty over exactly under what terms and when the UK will leave.

There has also been an increase in reported racist incidents which some are linking to the Brexit vote. 

So it may be surprising to some to find out that there are some Africans in the UK who supported Britain leaving the UK.

Journalist Farai Sevenzo has been speaking to some.

He heard from people who felt the expansion of the EU had drastically reduced the job chances of Africans from the Commonwealth and beyond.  

Even the NHS and care sector, which had relied so much on African professionals, began to favour the new EU arrivals, he was told. 

Helium discovery is a 'game-changer'

We reported earlier that a large amount of the gas helium has been discovered in Tanzania. 

Here are a few more details on the scale of things.

A researcher on the project, Chris Ballentine, is quoted by Popular Science as saying there could be 53 billion cubic feet (BCf) of helium in just one part of the right valley. 

He gives an idea of just how much this is:

This is enough to fill over 1.2 million medical MRI scanners."

MRI scanner
Getty Images
Helium is used in MRI scanners which produce detailed images of the inside of the body

To put this discovery into perspective, global consumption of helium is about 8 BCf per year and the United States Federal Helium Reserve, which is the world's largest supplier, has a current reserve of just 24.2 BCf... This is a game changer for the future security of society's helium needs and similar finds in the future may not be far away."

Kenyan petrol stations blacklisted for selling contaminated fuel


Kenya's Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) have taken away licenses from 36 petrol stations for selling contaminated fuel, reports the Star.  

Impromptu tests found that diesel or super petrol was contaminated with kerosene, while others sold fuel products meant for export, the newspaper adds.

But this was just a small percentage  - 96.1% of those tested were found to be compliant, said an ERC statement.

The ERC launched a self-test kit in 2015 for retailers to test fuel to make sure it is not contaminated when it is delivered.

Editor of Zambia Post newspaper 'beaten up'

We just posted about US comments on the recent closure of The Post newspaper.

Well now Zambian journalist Kennedy Gondwe has told us that the paper's editor Fred M'membe was beaten up and arrested.

He said that the paper had obtained a court order allowing the newspaper owner to have access to the premises that have been locked up by Zambia's tax authority.

But, he adds, police pounced on Mr M'membe and his lawyers who had gone to the offices and tried to have access to them.

Fred M'membe
Fred M'membe has been a government critic for a long time

US speaks out on Zambia Post newspaper closure

The US has weighed into the debate about the closure of one of Zambia's leading independent newspapers The Post, reports the AFP news agency.

It was shut last week over the alleged non-payment of taxes - the tax authority said it owed around $5m (£3.7m).

The paper disputed this and said it was an attempt to muzzle a critical voice ahead of August's general election.

AFP quotes Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield who is on a visit to Zambia.

Freedom of the press is a key component of democracy and it is important for your elections.

I am not arguing that The Post should not pay the fee. What I am arguing is that efforts should be made to work it out so that you can continue to have the benefits of an independent state."

Man holing post newspaper
There have been demonstrations over the newspaper's closure

Helium discovery in Tanzania 'could end world shortage'

Helium balloons
Helium has far more uses than just for balloons

Scientists believe they have discovered a huge new helium deposit in the Rift Valley in Tanzania, reports CBC news.

It adds that the technique used to find the deposit could put an end to the global helium shortage - vital in medicine and the electronics industry.

Physics website Phys Org pointed out in 2010 that Nobel prize winning physicist Robert Richardson estimated that helium could run out by 2035.

The Popular Science site says the gas is important because it is used in MRI machines and used to cool the Large Hadron Collider.

"Researchers have even gotten to a point where they've started speaking out against the use of helium in party balloons," it says.

Nigeria's president questions currency float

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari appears to have questioned the value of allowing the currency, the naira, to float.

Until just over a week ago the official rate was pegged at just under 200 naira to the US dollar, but it was worth much less on the black market and the central bank (CBN) decided to allow the market to determine the rate.

But speaking to business leaders in the capital, Abuja, President Buhari said he did not like the information he's getting from the CBN, Reuters reports.

He added:

How much benefit can we derive from this ruthless devaluation of the naira? I'm not an economist neither a businessman - I fail to appreciate what is the economic explanation."


Wise words

Today’s African proverb:

A white tooth has a bloody root."

Sent by Waromkudu Patrick Javuru, Nebbi, Uganda
Big smile

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news developments on the continent.