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  1. Ethiopian PM accuses exiles of orchestrating Olympiad's protest
  2. South African police fire stun grenades at protesting students
  3. Senegalese prisoners mutiny over 'double standards'
  4. Detained Congolese war crimes accused 'ends' hunger strike
  5. Elite Nigerian police squad carries out 'mock executions'
  6. Egypt's state TV 'sacks news boss for airing wrong presidential interview'
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 21 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the BBC Africa Livepage 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:

    Quote Message: You are beautiful but learn to work for you cannot eat your beauty." from A Congolese proverb sent by Rech Lony Both, Kampala, Uganda.
    A Congolese proverb sent by Rech Lony Both, Kampala, Uganda.

    Click here to send your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this image by Ethiopian photographer Girma Berta who has won a Getty Instagram Images grant for his work documenting underrepresented communities around the world.

    View more on instagram
  2. Ethiopia PM blames US-based activists for protests

    Marathoner Feyisa Lilesa
    Image caption: Marathoner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above his head as he finished the race

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has blamed US-based members of the rebel Oromo Liberation Front of being behind marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa's pro-Oromia protest at the Rio Olympics, the  Foreign Policy magazine reports

    Feyisa crossed his arms above his head as he finished the men's race where he won a silver medal. 

    He said that Feyisa was put up to carry out the stunt: 

    Quote Message: “This is not the capacity of the man himself. It’s something which has been orchestrated by someone else from outside.”

    Mr Hailemariam said that US-based opposition groups organised the protest to fuel secessionist sentiments in Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea, the magazine reports. 

    Ethiopia's Amhara and Oromia have seen huge anti-government protests in recent months. 

    Mr Hailemariam also rejected a push by US congressman Chris Smith, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, for the appointment of a special rapporteur to visit Ethiopia to assess the human rights situation in the country:

    Quote Message: It’s not because there is something to be hidden but it’s because we have a sovereignty that needs to be kept.”

    Read:What is behind Ethiopia's wave of protests?

  3. Fifa clears Sierra Leone FA of misuse of funds


    Fifa has said there has been no "misuse of the funds" it has given to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).

    SLFA president Isha Johansen was detained and questioned by Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) this month over the issue.

    In a letter to the SLFA that the BBC has seen, the world football governing body wrote:

    Quote Message: "Fifa has no reason to suspect there has been misuse of funds that Fifa has provided to the SLFA."

    Fifa also warned local authorities against interfering in SLFA business.

    "In addition, over the course of the last three years, Fifa has noticed several activities of third parties that could be considered as interference (in) the running of the SLFA."

    Read the full BBC story here

  4. Violence rocks Johannesburg

    Students run for cover as police fire stun grenades and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse them, during their protest for free education in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.

    At least two students have been injured in South Africa's main city of Johannesburg after police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up protests over a planned increase in tuition fees, university and student representatives have said.

    A wounded student is evacuated by fellow students during protest over higher tuition fees in Johannesburg on September 21, 2016.

    Heavy shots rang out as police dispersed the University of Witwatersrand students from the streets, and traffic in parts of the city centre was disrupted as students fled, many running back to the campus as a police helicopter hovered above, Reuters news agency reports.   

    A student from Wits University reacts in front of anti riot police force during the 3rd day of #feemustfall demonstration, against fee increases at universities across the country were announced, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 21 September 2016
    A student from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is detained by South African police forces following clashes during a protest against the university fee increase on September 21, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa

    The police denied firing rubber bullets and said the students were injured when they fell while running away, Reuters reports.   

    A South African police officer looks on during clashes with students from the University of the Witwatersrand during a protest agaisnt university fee increases on September 21, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini is quoted as saying that an officer was wounded in the neck by a stone thrown by students. 

    He added:

    Quote Message: The students threw stones at the police and the police fired stun grenades."
    A stun grenade thrown by South African police forces ricochet on a student taking part in a protest in Johannesburg on September 21, 2016.

    The students are demanding free education, rejecting government plans to increase fees by up to eight percent. 

    See earlier post for more details

  5. SA 'to invest millions in high-speed internet'

    South Africa plans to invest 2.5bn rand (£139m; $189m) on broadband networks across the country over the next three years, Bloomberg newsagency reports.

    The government wants the entire country to have access to high-speed internet within the next four years.

    “There is still a shortfall in our funding, but we hope to start rolling out broadband as soon as possible,” Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele told Bloomberg.

    “We are sure additional money will come in as we start building.”

    The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says South Africans have raised concerns about pricey and unreliable web access.

    Telkom, in which government holds a 40% direct stake, is expected to take a lead on the project but Mr Cwele says the government wants carriers to collaborate on the infrastructure roll-out.

    Telkom's competitors include MTN and Vodacom.

    "We need to start sharing and not have this monopoly way of thinking. Companies need to start focusing on competing in terms of services, rather than infrastructure," the minister is quoted as saying.

    A formal announcement about the project's lead provider has been delayed while a court decides on a disagreement between the government and communications regulator Icasa over whether the radio spectrum, used to transmit and receive data, should be auctioned off.

    People using tablets
    Image caption: Broadband across Africa has improved over the years but its still lags behind global standards, experts say
  6. Oil exports start from sized LIbyan site

    Sidra oil terminal in Libya (file image from January 2016)
    Image caption: Oil production has been badly hit by the conflict

    A Libyan company has exported the first barrels from oil terminals seized by a military force earlier this month.

    The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has sent 776,000 barrels from Ras Lanuf to Italy, Libyan port officials said.

    Forces loyal to Gen Khalifa Haftar took Ras Lanuf and two other terminals from a rival militia group allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

    Gen Haftar, who is allied to a rival government in the east, gave control of the ports to the NOC.

    This is the first shipment of oil from Ras Lanuf since 2014, and the money generated by a resumption of lucrative oil exports is much needed in the conflict-hit country.

    Read the full BBC story here

  7. Map shows main migrant routes

    We have been reporting about a capsized migrant boat off Egypt's coast. The boat was carrying 600 passengers with at least 29 reported dead. 

    UN figures say up to 3,211 have died trying to make the Mediterranean crossing so far this year:    

    Our graphics team has shared this map detailing the main Mediterranean routes used and how many migrants have crossed so far this year:    

    Map shows main migrant routes
  8. 'Mourning' in CAR on World Peace Day

    A European peacekeeper fist-tamping a boy in CAR
    Image caption: International troops have been trying to end instability in CAR

    A civil society coalition in the Central African Republic (CAR) says there's no reason to celebrate World Peace Day, which is being marked today.

    Gervais Lakosso, co-ordinator for the Civil Society Task Force, told the BBC that people in CAR were still suffering from conflict:

    Quote Message: We recently lost several fellow countrymen... We can't say 21 September is World Peace Day in the Central African Republic. It's rather a day of mourning.
    Quote Message: We are left to our own device by the very individuals elected to govern the country and by those who supposedly came into this country to stand for the people."

    CAR is emerging from a four-year civil conflict fought along religious and ethnic lines.

    Despite the presence of a UN peace mission, Minusca, insecurity remains a major concern for the recently elected president. 

    There are still periodic clashes between factions of armed groups outside of the capital, Bangui.

    Recently, six people died and many others were wounded in fighting. 

    UN peacekeepers intervened to stop further violence between two rebel groups in the northern towns of Kaga Bandoro and Ndomete. 

    Minusca said its buildings were looted and an aid worker was among those injured. 

  9. Eto'o dropped over racism comments


    Turkish club Antalyaspor have dropped Samuel Eto'o from their squad until further notice in a row over the striker's comments on social media.

    Former Cameroon captain Eto'o, 35, posted, in Turkish, on his Instagram account:

    Quote Message: "Perhaps some people do not feel respect for me because I am black."

    Eto'o later made a second post denying the criticism was aimed at Antalyaspor chairman Ali Safak Ozturk.

    Ozturk had criticised Eto'o for his performances earlier in the season.

    Read the full BBC Sport story here

  10. 'Toxic' situation in DR Congo

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Police and protesters in DR Congo
    Image caption: Police have been accused of using excessive force against protesters

    The US special envoy for the Great Lakes region says the recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo - in which nearly 40 people are reported to have been killed during protests in the capital Kinshasa - was completely avoidable. 

    Tom Perriello told the BBC the authorities' failure to organise elections had created a "toxic reservoir of distrust". 

    He said this would make it more difficult to negotiate a deal between the government and the opposition, who accuse President Joseph Kabila of planning to cling on to power beyond the end of his mandate in December.

    Read: Could Kabila face a mass uprising?

  11. Kenyan president's controversial lunch bill

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta ( left, black shirt) having lunch with local politicians
    Image caption: Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta ( left, black shirt) having lunch with local politicians

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta made a surprise visit on Monday to an eatery in a famous public market in the capital Nairobi where he ate the country's delicacy, nyama choma (roast meat). 

    Nothing out of the ordinary here because Kenya's politicians are known to make publicity stunts when they want to show that they relate to ordinary Kenyans. 

    In this case Mr Kenyatta was having nyama choma days after using the food as a metaphor to castigate opposition leader Raila Odinga, telling him that he can continue to salivate as the governing coalition continues to enjoy ruling the country. 

    The enjoying part is the eating of the roast meat. 

    Pictures of the lunch have been widely shared on social media with new interpretations of the metaphor being offered:

    View more on twitter

    And the press has stoked further interest in the story by revealing that Mr Kenyatta spent 21,000 Kenyan shillings ($200; £160) on the lunch. 

    Today, the privately-owned Daily Nation newspaper splashed a full page explainer of this rare occurrence. The paper sent a reporter to retrace the details of the visit and to interview the butcher who served the president. 

    “He asked for nyama choma, ugali, kachumbari and managu (vegetables). He later asked for an uncut green pepper and bottle of 300ml Coke soda and water,” the butcher told the paper.

    The reporter also managed to obtain an exclusive shot of the receipt which was used to add crucial details to the story. 

    However, not everyone is impressed with the amount of coverage the story has received: 

    View more on twitter
  12. 'About 600' people on capsized boat

    The boat which capsized off Egypt's coast, leaving 29 migrants dead, was carrying about 600 passengers, of which about 150 have been rescued, state media reports.

    A health ministry official quoted by the AFP news agency said that Sudanese and "other African nationals" were among the dead.  

    The boat capsized off the coast of Kafr al-Sheikh, officials added.


    The head of the European Union's border agency recently warned that increasing numbers of Europe-bound migrants are using Egypt as a departure point.

    Officials said the boat was probably going to Italy, but this has not been confirmed.

  13. Nigerian police deny torturing suspects

    Nigeria's police have dismissed allegations that its elite anti-robbery squad tortured suspects in detention by carrying out hangings and mock executions. 

    The allegations - made by leading rights group Amnesty International - were misleading and intended to run down the police force, spokesman Don Awunah told the BBC. 

    See earlier post for more details

  14. Botswana president 'tells Mugabe to resign'

    Botswana President Ian Khama has called on his 92-year-old Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe, to step aside without delay, the Reuters news agency reports. 

    He told Reuters the country needed new leadership to deal with the political and economic challenges it is facing:

    Quote Message: It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he's not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament."

    Mr Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from the UK in 1980. 

    Mr Khama blamed the Zimbabwean leader for stalling the region's economic fortunes.

    He said the uncertainty in Zimbabwe was driving many people out of the country with some of them going to Botswana, which now hosts about 100,000 Zimbabweans. 

    Mr Khama says he will leave office in 2018 after serving two five-years terms, and criticised leaders who hold on to power:

    Quote Message: "My opinion has always been that 10 years leading any kind of organisation - not just a country or a government, any organisation - is pretty much the maximum."
    Botswana President Ian Khama (L) walks alongside Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (R)
    Image caption: Mr Khama (L) blames Mr Mugabe (R) for stalling the region's economic fortunes

    Zimbabweans have held several protests against Mr Mugabe's rule in recent months. 

  15. Ivorian teachers demand to keep mid-week break

    A school child in class in Ivory Coast
    Image caption: The mid-week break is a long-standing tradition in Ivory Coast

    At the start of this academic year, Ivory Coast banned primary school pupils from taking a mid-week break, a long tradition in the West African country.

    But teachers are not happy about the decision which the authorities argue will boost academic performance.

    Today is the first Wednesday when students are supposed to report for class.

    Teachers' organisations, in particular the Midd union, are threatening to go on strike over the dispute.

    Attempts at mediation by the government have so far failed, reports news website

    Midd secretary-general Mesmin Comoe told that such a measure could not be imposed without the agreement of the unions:

    Quote Message: It's not up to me to decide alone that teachers must now accept Wednesday morning classes. You have to know that this measure will be no good for both teachers and students."

    The mid-week break from classes, either on Wednesday or Thursday, is a tradition in several French speaking countries in Africa.

    It's grounded on the notion that it allows young children to replenish their energy.

    Primary pupils are usually required to go to school on Saturday mornings as well.

  16. South African police battle protesting students

    Police have been battling students in South Africa's main city, Johannesburg, as they protest for a second day against government plans to increase tuition fees by up to eight percent next year. 

    The protests have led to the closure of Johannesburg's prestigious University of Witwatersrand, popularly known as Wits, while the University of Cape Town has suspended classes because of security concerns.

    The protests are being extensively covered on Twitter: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  17. BreakingMigrants drown in Egypt

    At least 29 migrants have drowned after their boat capsized off the Egyptian coast, officials say.   

  18. Didi Akinyelure picks up Komla Dumor award

    Didi Akinyelure

    Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure has received the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award at a ceremony in London.

    You can catch up on the ceremony on BBC Africa's Facebook where it was recorded live.

    Didi is a prime-time news anchor in Nigeria and presents business news for CNBC, which broadcasts across the continent.

    She has started a three-month placement at the BBC in London.

    The award was established to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014.  

    She told the audience that she was “always passionate about telling African stories”.

    And like Komla, she was an “accidental journalist” as she had studied chemical engineering and then went into investment banking before going into journalism.

    She added:

    Quote Message: This [award] solidifies that I made the right decision in changing careers."

    And Didi has her mum to thank for getting the award.

    She had applied for the Komla Dumor Award last year but didn't win - and it was her mother who insisted and pestered her to try again.

  19. Egyptian news chief fired over Sisi interview blunder

    Egyptian state television says it has sacked its head of news, Mostafa Shehata, after an old interview with President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was screened in error, AFP news agency reports. 

    Channel 1 broadcast an interview Gen Sisi gave to American PBS network last year, rather than this year's, it reports, adding that the transmission was cut when staff realised the error. 

    Mr Shehata told AFP his sacking was "illogical" as others had also been involved in the broadcast but put it down to "fate". 

    The blunder was strongly criticised by the anchors of pro-Sisi private television channels which have devoted extensive coverage to his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly. 

    A picture of Egyptian General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is viewed in Tahrir Square on 6 July 2013 in Cairo, Egypt
    Image caption: Gen Sisi took power in a coup in 2013
  20. Kenya's central bank cuts benchmark lending rate

    Nancy Kacungira

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    In an unexpected move, Kenya’s central bank has cut its benchmark lending rate down from 10.5% to 10% - its lowest level in more than a year. 

    Prompted by concerns about the slowdown in credit growth in the private sector, the decision comes just a week after a new law imposed limits on bank lending rates in East Africa’s largest economy. 

    Economists didn’t see it coming. They had  predicted that it would not be adjusted until November, since there had been no substantial change in the economic environment.

     The Monetary Policy committee says the cut is justified by an easing of inflation, a stable currency and low oil prices. 

    The cap is intended to grow private sector investment, but banks have argued that they need high interest income because of lending risks in Africa's emerging markets. 

    Last month, Kenya's government imposed a cap on lending rates at 4% above the Central Bank Rate, which means that banks must now offer loans at a maximum interest rate of 14%. 

    While the cut may be a victory for borrowers with existing loans, there is concern that it will push lenders to stop extending credit to those they identify as higher risk.