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Summary

  1. South Sudan's rival politicians order troops to stop fighting
  2. SABC ordered to lift ban on showing footage of violent protests
  3. Ethiopia social media shutdown during exams
  4. South Africans arrested for 'planning attacks on Jewish and US sites'
  5. Journalist shot in Lesotho
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Monday 11 July 2016
  8. Find Africa Live every day at www.bbc.com/africalive

Live Reporting

By Uwa Nnachi and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday'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:

One sees all sorts of knives on the day an elephant dies."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Sammy-King Bass in Calabar, Nigeria.

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

And we leave you with this image of Morocco's cable-stayed "Mohammed VI Bridge", which is 950 metres long with two 200 metre high towers.  

Africa's longest cable-stayed bridge
AFP

Machar orders troops to stop fighting

South Sudanese Refugees arrive at a refugee permanent settlement on June 4, 2016, Adjumani District in Uganda.
AFP
South Sudan has been in turmoil since independence in 2011

South Sudan's Vice-President Riek Machar has called on troops loyal to him to stop fighting - about two hours after President Salva Kiir unilaterally declared a ceasefire. 

"I inform all troops who have been fighting and have been defending themselves that they should observe the ceasefire and stay in position," Mr Machar said on Eye Radio Juba. 

About 200 people have been killed since Friday when fighting broke out in Juba, the capital, between troops loyal to Mr Kiir and Mr Machar. 

Your views on Ethiopia blocking social media sites

Logo of Facebook and WhatsApp
AFP

Our Facebook readers are sharply divided over the Ethiopian government's decision to ban social media sites so that students are not "distracted" during university entrance examinations.  

Here are a sample of their views: 

Exams authorities should secure the questions - it's not impossible. Normal exam conditions don't allow phones and other inappropriate gadgets in the the exam halls. Don't seek to reinvent the wheel."

Andy Alang, Cameroon

This is excessive government action. He who wants to be distracted will be distracted one way or another."

Jerry Nduka, Nigeria

This is a lazy way of solving a human problem. Are they going to block other social media platforms?

Maximus Ametorgoh, Ghana

I don't think this is government using excessive power,as long as the sites are reopen just after the exams. The government has the right to make sure that there is sanity and trust in the ethics of the exams not just for the country but for the entire world. Anything that seeks the general good of the country is worth such actions."

Sahr Nouwah, Liberia

Call to investigate shooting of Lesotho journalist

Lesotho's authorities must launch a prompt and impartial investigation into the shooting of Lesotho Times editor Lloyd Mutungamiri, rights group Amnesty International has said in a statement. 

It added that Saturday's attack on Mr Mutunganmiri, who was critically wounded, was "deplorable". 

Amnesty said the authorities should bring to justice those responsible for the attack and ensure ensure that journalists can work freely in the mountain kingdom. 

The rights group added: 

His shooting is particularly disturbing because it comes amidst increased harassment and intimidation against the newspaper for its investigative journalism work.”

 Mr Mutungamiri's wife said she had heard several gunshots and screams outside their home in the capital, Maseru, on Saturday the New Zimbabwe news site reported.

She added that when the shooting stopped, she ran out and found her husband slumped in the car bleeding profusely, it adds

Mr Mutungamiri was charged with defamation in September 2014 for reporting on alleged police corruption, but the case as never brought to court, Amnesty said. 

Lesotho's capital Maseru
AFP
Lesotho's capital Maseru

Diplomat recalls abduction in Nigeria

 A Sierra Leonean diplomat who was kidnapped in northern Nigeria has spoken for the first since he was freed on 5 July. 

Alfred Nelson-Williams, Sierra Leone's Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, said his life had been "constantly threatened" by gunmen who held him for five days, AFP news agency reports. 

The diplomat, addressing reporters in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, said he had  been stopped at a checkpoint by men wielding AK-47 rifles and dressed in military fatigues while travelling from Nigeria's capital, Abuja, to the northern city of Kaduna. 

Maj Gen Nelson-Williams, who is the former head of Sierra Leone's army, said he realised the checkpoint was fake when the gunmen demanded a contact "to which they would relay their demands", AFP reports. 

He gave the name of Sierra Leone's High Commissioner, Haja Afsatu Kabbah. 

 "I give all glory to God for my release as he was in control," Maj Gen Nelson-Williams is quoted as saying.

He said two arrests had been made, but he did not say who the abductors were, AFP reports. 

Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Samura Kamara said no ransom had been paid and he was thankful "this was not a terrorist activity". 

South Sudan soldiers ordered back to barracks

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

A wreckage of a Sudan People"s Liberation Movement armored personnel carriers (APC) is seen abandoned after it was destroyed in renewed fighting in Juba, South Sudan, July 11, 2016.
Reuters

While South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has declared a cessation of hostilities, his army chief of staff has ordered his troops back to barracks. 

Any soldiers who does not go back - and continues to loiter or loot, as the army spokesman put it - will be arrested. 

So from the president's side, the message is this - the fighting is over, for now at least. 

Vice-President Riek Machar and his spokespeople have not yet responded. 

One thing is clear though - the conflict which broke out on Friday has killed many civilians and soldiers - and left the peace agreement in tatters.

See earlier post for more details

SABC to challenge ruling

South Africa's public broadcaster, the SABC, says it will challenge the ruling by the country's media regulator ordering it to lift the ban on footage of violent protests.

The SABC will take legal advice with a view to challenging the ruling of the country's media regulator in the courts, board chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe is quoted on the broadcaster's news website as saying

The SABC's management has been strongly criticised by some of its journalists for imposing the ban, saying it amounted to censorship. 

Earlier, SABC covered the ruling of the media regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa     

View more on twitter

Ruling against SABC welcomed

A media campaign group in South Africa has welcomed a ruling ordering public broadcaster SABC to lift its ban on showing visuals of violent protests in the country.

"It's great news for a Monday afternoon. It will be nice to see if the SABC board chair has the humility to apologise over the decision," Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird told the local News24 site.

"Importantly, it at least confirms what we had said all along, that the SABC's decision was blatant censorship. It was anti-democratic, offensive and it was undermining the SABC and our constitution," he added. 

 South Africa's media regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa), gave SABC one week to reverse its decision  

See our earlier post for more details

Burnt book in South Africa
AFP
SABC said it did not want to incite violence

'Hope fighters listen' in South Sudan

There's been swift reaction from a South Sudanese peace campaigner to the unilateral ceasefire declared by the government:  

View more on twitter

South Sudan information minister on ceasefire

The ceasefire in South Sudan was announced on state television by Minister of Information Michael Makuei on behalf of President Sava Kiir, as this tweet shows:  

View more on twitter

BreakingKiir announces ceasfire

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has declared a unilateral ceasefire to end fighting between his forces and those loyal to Vice-President Riek Machar, in the capital, Juba a media group has tweeted:  

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Taking the pulse of African-Indian affairs

Mr Modi entertained by drummers
AFP

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been on an African charm offensive, visiting four nations in a bid to tie up energy and trade deals and remind the continent of their cultural bond.

Historic ties stretch back to British and Portuguese colonial rule, when a large number of Indians migrated to Africa. But how do things stand now?

Find out by reading this BBC article 

South African swimmer reveals parents fighting cancer

Chad Le Clos
Getty
Chad le Clos won the gold medal for the 200m butterfly at the London Olympics in 2012

South African swimmer and Olympic champion Chad le Clos has revealed that both his parents have cancer.  

Le Clos said his mother, Geraldine, had undergone a double mastectomy in recent weeks after her breast cancer returned.

He added that his father, Bert, has prostate cancer and has lost 30kg in weight in the past six months.

"Having my mum and dad healthy would mean so much more than winning a gold medal," said Le Clos.

He won gold in 2012 in the 200m butterfly at the London Olympics and is set to defend his title in Rio in August.

He tweeted confirmation of the news:

Read more on this story here: 

South Sudan: What is behind the fighting?

About 200 people have been killed in four days of fighting in South Sudan between government forces and those loyal to Vice-President Riek Machar. 

But what is behind the fighting?          

France digitises recording of Mandela trial

French President Francois Hollande, right, gives an audio recording of Nelson Mandela to South Africa"s President Jacob Zuma before their press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, July 11, 2016
AP

French President Francois Hollande has given his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma the digitised recordings of the Rivonia Trial which led to anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela being sentenced to life in prison. 

The audio recordings of the 1963-1964 court case - the most significant political trial in South Africa's history - were restored by France's National Audiovisual Institute as their quality had been deteriorating, AFP news agency reports. 

Mr Zuma received the digitised recordings during a state visit to France, saying they would "safeguard an invaluable part of South African history for generations to come". 

Mr Mandela was released in 1990 after 27 years in prison.

He served one term as South Africa's first black president from 1994 to 1999 and died in 2013 aged 92.  

Read: Six things you did not know about Mandela

South Sudan's government to announce ceasefire

At least 3000 displaced women, men and children gather to seek shelter in Juba, South Sudan at the UN compound in Tomping area, Monday, July 11, 2016
AP
At least 3,000 people have taken shelter at a UN compound in Juba

A spokesman for South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has told BBC Arabic that his office will announce a ceasefire shortly. 

 About 200 people have been killed since Friday in fighting in the capital, Juba, between troops loyal to Mr Kiir and his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar. 

Read: Five obstacles to peace

Al-Shabab seizes Somali port

Ibrahim Aden

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

Al-Shabab fighters
AP
Al-Shabab is affiliated to al-Qaeda

Somalia's militant Islamist group al-Shabab has taken control of the port city of Merka after government forces withdrew without giving reasons. 

Residents said its fighters are now in the centre of Merka, which lies about 110km south-west of the capital, Mogadishu.

SABC ordered to lift ban on coverage of protests

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Torched school
AFP
Protesters have frequently destroyed schools and other public buildings

South Africa’s national broadcaster SABC has been ordered by the country's media regulator to lift its ban on broadcasting visuals of violent protests.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa made its ruling after civil society lodged a complaint against SABC, accusing it of censorship similar to that seen during minority rule. 

Communication Minister Faith Muthambi had defended the ban, saying it would go "a long way to discourage attention-seeking anarchists". 

The ban was imposed after more than 20 schools were torched in South Africa's Limpopo province in May during protests over the demarcation of new municipal boundaries ahead of crucial local government elections next month.

Read: Is South Africa’s public broadcaster using apartheid tactics?

India to 'finance cancer hospital' in Kenya

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans to finance a cancer hospital in Kenya, The Star Kenya reports.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, Mr Modi said the plans would also include supplying medical equipment and medicine to hospitals across Kenya.

"I understand healthcare is a key priority for President Uhuru Kenyatta," he added.

Mr Kenyatta said Kenya was working towards building a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant with India's support.

The Kenyan President Kenyatta and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi
AFP
The Kenyan President Kenyatta and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi hope for closer ties.

SA terror suspects in court

Twin brothers have been accused in court in South Africa of planning to blow up a US mission and Jewish institutions in the country, the BBC bureau in Johannesburg reports. 

Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie were each charged with three counts related to terrorism when they appeared briefly in court today, initially covering their heads with hooded jackets.. 

The 23-year-old twins will remain in custody until their next court appearance.

They have not yet pleaded to the charges. 

The provisional charge sheets say they may be linked to the militant Islamic State group, and were planning to cause explosions at a US mission and Jewish institutions.

The alleged conspiracy to commit the crimes took place on three occasions between 2015 and 2016, the charge sheet says.

The elite police unit, Hawks, said they attempted to travel to Syria last year, and had been under surveillance for some time.

They were arrested, along with two others, during a raid of homes in Azaadvile and Newclare, two suburbs  near Johannesburg, the main city. 

The elite police unit, Hawks, said it had confiscated a number of items, including computers and mobile phones, during the raids.

See earlier post for more details

What lies behind South Sudan's conflict?

South Sudanese policemen and soldiers are seen along a street following renewed fighting in South Sudan"s capital Juba, July 10, 2016.
Reuters

More than  200 people are reported to have been killed in South Sudan since a new round of fighting broke out between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar. 

Mr Machar returned to Juba in April to take his seat in a new unity government to end conflict which erupted in 2013.

So why has the fighting resumed? 

It seems a disagreement at a checkpoint between rival soldiers led to a shootout in which five soldiers died. This quickly escalated into serious fighting. Tensions have been high since April, when Mr Machar returned to Juba under a peace deal following a two-year civil war. He took about 1,300 bodyguards with him and they were supposed to start joint patrols with forces loyal to President Kiir. But a lack of trust between the two sides means the patrols have not begun.

Will it become a new civil war?

There are concerns that what we are seeing is a repeat of what happened in December 2013. The two-year civil war started then after clashes between rival soldiers in Juba and degenerated into nationwide ethnic conflict in which thousands died. So far, Mr Kiir and Mr Machar have called for calm.

What can the international community do?

The international community played a major role in the creation of South Sudan and has tried to exercise some influence since independence in 2011. The UN and US have called for an immediate end to fighting, a call echoed by the East African regional group, Igad, which brokered the recent peace deal. Igad foreign ministers are in emergency talks in Kenya to consider ways to end the conflict. 

Sudan's leader phones Kiir and Machar

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has telephoned South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar, urging them reign in their forces to end fighting, Sudan's Radio Dabanga reports. 

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011, and has been hit by unrest since then.  

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (L) stands beside South Sudan's President Salva Kiir during a welcoming ceremony at Juba airport on October 22, 2013
AFP
Mr Kiir (R) became South Sudan's first president after Mr Bashir (L) agreed to its independence

Read: South Sudan's men of dishonour

How Kenyan cartoonist sees South Sudanese conflict

Kenya's The Star newspaper has dedicated it's Monday editorial cartoon to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

Over the past few days hundred of people have been killed in clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing Vice-President  Riek Machar.

EDITORIAL CARTOON: #SouthSudan #SalvaKirr and #RiekMachar have no interest in keeping peace via @ndula_victor

EDITORIAL CARTOON: #SouthSudan #SalvaKirr and #RiekMachar have no interest in keeping peace via @ndula_victor

Ugandan troops 'sent to Sudan border'

The BBC Focus on Africa radio editor has tweeted that Uganda's military has been deployed to prevent the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan from spreading to its territory:   

View more on twitter

South Sudan journalist 'killed'

A journalist who worked in the office of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has been killed in the fighting in the capital, Juba, a media group has tweeted:  

View more on twitter

Atlabara officials die in South Sudan unrest

Two officials from South Sudan Premier League football champions Atlabara have been killed in the renewed fighting in South Sudan.

William Batista, the secretary general of the club, and Leko Nelson, the team manager, were killed over the weekend.

South Sudan FA President Chabur Goc broke the sad news on Sunday evening.

Read more on the story here:

South Sudan champions Atlabara
other
Atlabara are South Sudan champions

The practice of 'national service' in Eritrea

When young Eritreans finish their education, they enter national service. Some go to the military, most into civilian jobs. 

They have no idea when they'll be released. A United Nations Commission of Inquiry recently described this as enslavement, a crime against humanity. 

Eritrea says it's no such thing, that it's an essential part of developing the country and keeping enemies at bay. 

National service is one reason why so many Eritreans flee their country - last year, more people left Eritrea for Europe than from any other African country. 

BBC World Service Africa Editor Mary Harper gained rare access to Eritrea. This is her report from the capital, Asmara.  

Young Eritreans have to enter 'national service', which often lasts for years

South Sudan troops 'shell camp for homeless'

A journalist has been tweeting that government troops in South Sudan have shelled a camp where people have been taking refuge since violence broke out in the capital, Juba:  

View more on twitter

Killings in South Sudan dominate Chinese media coverage

Kerry Allen

BBC Monitoring

The news that two Chinese peacekeepers have been killed and six more have been injured in South Sudan is headline news in China's media today. 

Reference News, a leading newspaper specialising in international affairs, has highlighted on its front page that tensions existed on the eve of South Sudan's fifth anniversary of independence. 

Reference newspaper front page
Reference News

National broadcaster CCTV also aired footage, showing China's involvement in the peacekeeping mission.

 China deployed hundreds of troops to South Sudan in 2015.   

It shows on-site footage of the attacks filmed from within its battalion.

Television footage of UN peacekeepers
CCTV

Thousands have also been talking about the fighting online. On the popular Sina Weibo microblog, over 6,000 users have posted using the hastag#ChinesePeacekeepingSoldierSacrificed.

Many have been posting a candle emoji to commemorate those who have died in the fighting. 

Various Twitter posts about the Chinese soldiers
Sina Weibo microblog

Nigeria's police investigate 'hacking to death' of preacher

Police in Nigeria are investigating the killing of a female preacher in the capital, Abuja.

Mrs Olawale Elijah was killed in Kubwa, a suburb of Abuja, whilst on her early morning preaching rounds on Saturday. 

Eyewitnesses say they found her hacked to death and left in a pool of blood in an Abuja street.  

Christian leaders are suggesting that her killing was linked to extremism.

Six suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder.

China condemns South Sudan killings

A Chinese-owned television station has tweeted the government's reaction to the killing of two of its peacekeepers in South Sudan:   

View more on twitter

Modi in talks with Kenyatta

India PM and Kenya's PM waving to local people in India
AFP

India's Prime minister Narendra Modi has been holding talks with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, on the final leg of his African tour. 

The two leaders are discussing boosting ties between African states and India.

Mr Modi  was given a ceremonial guard of honour when he arrived at State House in Kenya's capital.

Apart from Kenya, he has also visited Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

'Guns fall silent' in Juba

A media group in South Sudan's capital, Juba, has tweeted that shooting has died down in the city: 

View more on twitter

US actor calls for intervention in South Sudan

US actor Forest Whitaker has called on the international community to intervene to end the latest outbreak of violence in South Sudan. 

In a tweet, he says:  

View more on twitter

Chinese peacekeeper 'killed' in Juba

A Chinese soldier with the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan's capital, Juba, has been killed, according to a tweet by China's state-owned television station:  

View more on twitter

Guinea Bissau 1-0 France-Afrique

Sunday's Euro 2016 final between hosts France and Portugal was obviously a European affair but it had a distinct African flavour.

Eder, who scored the winning goal for Portugal was born in Guinea-Bissau but brought up in Portugal.

The BBC's Steve Crossman spoke to him after the game:

This is Africa reports, along with Eder, five other Portuguese players were African emigrants or children of emigrants. There were 11 such players in the French team, it adds.

Read more about the match: Portugal 1-0 France

South Africa arrests terror suspects

Police in South Africa say they have taken a "big step forward in the fight against terrorism" by arresting four suspects during night-time raids in two suburbs near the main city, Johannesburg, on Saturday. 

The arrests followed "protracted investigations" by the elite Hawks police unit and intelligence agencies after the four were identified for attempting to travel to Syria - where the militant Islamic State (IS) group is fighting - last year. 

Two of the suspects are due in court today on terrorism-related charges, and the other two on firearms and explosives-related charges, police said in a statement

Hawks head Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza said the arrests do not mean that the terror threat facing South Africa had ended. 

He added:

We will remain on high alert to make sure that we safeguard our citizenry and residents alike. We will defuse any attempts to form any terrorist groups in our country."

Fighting resumes in South Sudan's capital

Fighting has broken out again in South Sudan, just hours after the UN Security Council called for an end to the violence. 

A reporter in the capital, Juba, told the BBC gunfire and large explosions could be heard all over the city; he said heavy artillery was being used. 

Over the past days, hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those supporting Vice-President Riek Machar. 

UN compounds and civilians have also been targeted, something the Security Council said could constitute a war crime. 

The fighting has stopped flights to and from Juba airport. 

An Associated Press journalists is tweeting from the city:

View more on twitter

A UN worker has posted this short video this morning, on the holiday marking independence day (which was on Saturday):

View more on twitter

And other residents are tweeting updates:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Read: We want peace - and ice cream 

Ethiopia 'blocks social media'

The Facebook and WhatsApp applications' icons are displayed on a smartphone on February 20, 2014 in Rome.
AFP
Facebook has been affected by the ban

Ethiopia has blocked social media sites during university entrance examinations to prevent students from being "distracted", a government spokesman has told AFP news agency.

Some end-of-year examination papers were posted online last month forcing the exams to be scrapped. 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber have been inaccessible in the country since Saturday, AFP reports.

"It's blocked. It's a temporary measure until Wednesday. Social media have proven to be a distraction for students," government spokesman Getachew Reda is quoted as saying. 

 Prominent Ethiopian blogger Daniel Berhane condemned the move:

“This is a dangerous precedent. There is no transparency about who took the decision and for how long. This time... fb.me/FZ7KEV7G