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  1. Juliani releases song to mark Kenyan lawyer's brutal killing
  2. DR Congo prime minister's inauguration disrupted by whistle-blowers
  3. Ex-opposition spokesman in Ethiopia guilty of "encouraging terrorism"
  4. Suspected militant Islamists 'kill and abduct' Kenyans
  5. Uganda bans Dutch film for 'glorifying homosexuality'
  6. Four suspects detained in South Africa over actor's murder
  7. Mutiny in Ivory Coast ends
  8. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 16 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. 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:

    Quote Message: Don't consider yourself rich if you have one million bags of salt across the river. " from An Nzema proverb sent by Mieza Nyamekekyi in Asonti, Ghana
    An Nzema proverb sent by Mieza Nyamekekyi in Asonti, Ghana

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

    And we leave you with this picture of two men playing a game of draughts in Tanzania's city of Iringa:

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  2. Amnesty: 'Conviction for Facebook post is shameful'

    Yonatan Tesfaye
    Image caption: Yonatan Tesfaye faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison

    Rights body Amnesty international has called the conviction of an Ethiopian opposition politician for his Facebook posts "a shameful affront to people’s right to express themselves". 

    Yonatan Tesfaye was found guilty earlier today of “encouraging terrorism” over posts he wrote two years ago, accusing the government of using "force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion" to end protests in the restive Oromia region.  

    Amnesty's Michelle Kagari accused Ethiopian authorities of misusing anti-terrorism laws: 

    Quote Message: Today’s verdict is a miscarriage of justice. It is yet another example of how the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation is used to target and destroy people who criticize the government.
    Quote Message: All Yonatan did was express himself online. This is not a crime, yet he now faces up to 20 years in jail under this draconian and deeply-flawed law. "

    Yonatan, a former spokesman of the opposition Semayawi (Blue) Party, was arrested in December 2015. He will be sentenced on 25 May.

    See earlier post for more details

  3. Nigerians flee 'attacks by herdsmen'

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Scores of people have been streaming into camps in Nigeria's north-eastern Taraba state to escape attacks by suspected herdsmen, locals say. 

    Police say at least three people were killed in the attacks at the weekend, while eyewitness put the number of dead at 12, including a one-week-old baby.  

    The displaced people are taking shelter in church halls in Bali town, and say they are facing shortages of food and water. 

    They are calling for the urgent deployment of security in the area as well relief assistance. 

  4. UN warns of escalating violence in CAR

    James Copnall

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    An armed anti-Balaka militiaman (C) gestures as he walks by houses allegedly destroyed by former Seleka militiamen in Bouca, some 300 kilometers north of Bangui, on April 25, 2014.
    Image caption: CAR has been hit by religious and ethnic violence

    UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has expressed grave concern about what he calls the expanding attacks by armed groups against the civilian population in several parts of the Central African Republic (CAR). 

    This weekend, numerous civilians were killed when armed men attacked a UN base and a Muslim neighbourhood in Bangassou in the south of the country. 

    The attack was apparently carried out by elements of the anti-Balaka forces - the largely Christian militia groups that sprang up to confront the largely Muslim Seleka forces during the recent civil war. 

    Earlier this month, the UN says 56 civilians were killed in clashes between an anti-Balaka group and another force allied to the ex-Seleka forces. That took place in Alindao and in surrounding villages.

    Mr Hussein said he was particularly disturbed by an increase in targeted killings of civilianssince the fighting between rival groups began in November 2016. 

    The UN says that apart from the two major incidents in Bangassou and Alindao, it has documented the deaths of more than 120 civilians between March and May. 

  5. Kenya's Juliani calls for police reforms in new song

    One of Kenya's top musician, Juliani, has released a song calling for police reforms, and accountability. 

    The song's release is intended to mark last year's killing of human rights lawyer Willy Kimani who was brutally murdered along with a client and a driver. 

     Four police officers have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the killings, which caused outrage in Kenya.      

    Mr Kimani was a lawyer with the International Justice Mission in Kenya, and was representing a client who had a complaint against the police. 

    The three were abducted in June last year and their tortured bodies were found dumped in a river.   

    Julian's Swahili song, Machozi ya jana (Tears from yesterday) is a rallying cry for accountability. 

    The lyrics include: 

    They took you away

    We are no-longer together 

    Rest in peace 

    You are no longer with us 

    They took you away from us

    But we will meet again 

    Tears from yesterday

    View more on twitter
  6. Whistle-blowing disrupts DR Congo ceremony

    BBC World Service

    A file photo taken on April 4, 2017 shows newly appointed Congolese Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala in Kinshasa.
    Image caption: The new prime minister is in for a rough ride

     A ceremony in the Democratic Republic of Congo's parliament to swear in a new cabinet has been disrupted by opposition lawmakers who started blowing whistles. 

    They say Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala's government is illegitimate, as it does not respect a power-sharing agreement signed at the end of last year. 

    An opposition motion to not swear in the cabinet was rejected by the parliament, which is still under the control of President Joseph Kabila's coalition, the Alliance for the Presidential Majority. 

    The opposition accuse Mr Kabila of trying to stay in power by any means necessary. 

    His final mandate ended last year, but he has said he will stay in power until elections can be held. 

  7. Kenya's government slashes maize price

    David Wafula

    BBC Africa

    The Kenya government has finally succumbed to pressure from the public and opposition leaders by reducing the price of the staple food, corn meal, popularly known as Ugali,  by almost 50%. 

    Prices for the maize flour had risen to almost over $2 (£1.5) per two kilograms, forcing many Kenyans to gang up against the government and start what has called the  Unga Revolution, threatening the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    View more on twitter

    On Friday, a cargo ship full of white maize docked in the coastal city of Mombasa, sparking a political furore about where the consignment originated from only three days after the government issued a directive to import maize duty free.

    Initially government officials said the maize was imported from Mexico, allegations denied by the Mexican envoy in Nairobi. 

    The agriculture minister then said the maize was not imported by the government, but by public and private millers.

    Opposition leaders alleged that the government had artificially created a shortage of maize to inflate prices while at the same time getting an opportunity to import maize and enrich themselves.

    Government officials denied the allegation. 

    Mr Kenyatta said the decision to delay the importation of maize and milk was aimed at protecting local farmers.

    With only two months to the general election, the opposition had used the shortage of maize flour as one its main campaign agendas. 

  8. Nigerians top Caine Prize shortlist

    Five writers - including three Nigerians - have been shortlisted for the annual Caine Prize award given to an African writer. 

    The stories must be published in English and be between 3,000 and 10,000 words. 

    The nominees are: 

    • Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for Who Will Greet You At Home 

    • Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) for Bush Baby 

    • Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan) for The Story of the Girl whose Birds Flew Away 

    • Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) for God’s Children Are Little Broken Things 

    • Magogodi Makhene (South Africa) for The Virus 

    Nii Ayikwei Parkes, the chairperson of the judging panel, said:   

    Quote Message: There seemed to be a theme of transition in many of the stories. Whether it's an ancient myth brought to life in a contemporary setting, a cyber attack-triggered wave of migration and colonisation, an insatiable quest for motherhood, an entertaining surreal ride that hints at unspeakable trauma, or the loss of a parent in the midst of a personal identity crisis, these writers juxtapose future, past and present to ask important questions about the world we live in.
    Quote Message: Although they range in tone from the satirical to the surreal, all five stories on this year's shortlist are unrelentingly haunting. It has been a wonderful journey so far and we look forward to selecting a winner.

    The winner will be announced on 3 July and awarded $12,000 (£10,000).  

  9. Zimbabwe legend reveals widespread use of juju

    Does the use of juju, voodoo or witchcraft help teams to win football matches?

    It is a question that has been around as long as football has been played on the continent.

    Stories abound of charms, amulets, and even animals buried in the vicinity of stadiums in order to bring success on the pitch.

    In Zimbabwe, there have been claims and counter-claims but the use of juju has largely remained shrouded in secrecy.

    Until now.

    Memory Mucherahohwa

    One of Zimbabwe's most revered players has lifted the lid on the practice during his time at the country's biggest football club, Dynamos.

    Memory Mucherahohwa has revealed a world of bizarre rituals, spells and charms to enhance the team's fortunes on the field.

    In his autobiography, Soul of Seven Million Dreams, the 49-year-old former Zimbabwe international said belief in juju was so deep that it got in the way of technical strategy and negatively affected performances.

    Read more about what Mucherahohwa has to say

  10. Ethiopia convicts Blue Party official

    View more on twitter

    A court in Ethiopia has found a former opposition spokesman guilty of "encouraging terrorism" with a series of anti-government Facebook posts. 

    Yonatan Tesfaye of the Blue Party was arrested in December 2015 after writing on the social media platform that the government had used "force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion", AFP news agency reports.

    Mr Yonatan maintained his innocence throughout his trial, but Judge Belayhun Awol ruled that his comments "exceeded freedom of expression" and amounted to encouraging terrorism, it adds.   

    "I think the government's intent and what it seeks is this: to restrict others from speaking freely," Mr Yonatan's lawyer Shebru Belete Birru told AFP after the verdict.  

    He now faces a possible sentence of between 10 and 20 years under Ethiopia's  anti-terrorism laws. 

    More than 650 people, including 63 policemen, have died in a wave of anti-government protests that began in Ethiopia in November 2015, accordin to official figures. 

    The country, a key ally of Western powers, has been ruled by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition since 1991.   

    Read: What is behind the protests? 

  11. Ivory Coast's mutinous soldiers 'paid'

    Ivory Coast's government has started paying soldiers who took part in a four-day mutiny to demand back pay and bonuses, a spokesman for the mutineers has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

    "Some of them are getting messages from their banks. The transfers are being made. It's 5 million CFA francs ($8,400; £6,500) that's arrived," Sergeant Seydou Kone is quoted as saying. 

    The mutinous soldiers were ex-rebels who had helped President Alassane Ouattara take office in 2011 after his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in elections. 

    Read: Why are troops up in arms? 

    Mutinous soldiers
  12. What's it like to be kidnapped?

    After a spate of kidnappings in the area around Lagos, the governor has introduced the death penalty for the crime.

    The motive is almost always ransom, but what's it like for the victims?

    We find out from three men who were abducted.

    Video journalist: Stephanie Hegarty

    Video content

    Video caption: What's it like to be kidnapped? We hear from three victims
  13. Investigations continue over SA actor's murder

    Police in South Africa's Gauteng province say the four suspects arrested in connection with the murder of popular DJ and actor Mandla Hlatshwayo have not yet been "positively linked" to the crime, a local radio station has tweeted:  

    View more on twitter

    See earlier post for more details

  14. Museveni calls for end to torture

    Yoweri Museveni

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has called on the security forces to stop torturing suspected criminals, if they had been doing it.  

    In a letter to top government officials, including the internal affairs minister, he said that using torture might coerce an innocent person to admit guilt and it was not a foolproof way to obtain evidence that can be used in a court: 

    Quote Message: Even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (fingerprints, photographs, DNA tests, eye-witnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted.

    Mr Museveni said that even though torture was acceptable in "traditional societies" it was now "unnecessary". 

    He said that Uganda had dealt with far worse security challenges than the threat posed by gunmen on motorcycles, known as boda bodas:

    Quote Message: We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets...
    Quote Message: These are hardened criminals by default who think that... they can kill and escape accountability. However, we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable."
  15. South Sudan army gets a new name

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has issued several decrees, renaming and restructuring the military, the privately owned Radio Tamazuj reports. 

    It says the name Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has been dropped for South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF).

    View more on twitter

    The new structure complies with the resolutions agreed at a conference of the SPLA in June 2016, the report says. 

  16. Ivory Coast mutiny ends

    Tamasin Ford

    BBC Africa, Abidjan

    Mutinous soldier in Ivory Coast on 15 May2017
    Image caption: Mutinous soldier seized the second city, Bouake

    Soldiers in Ivory Coast have accepted a new government offer to end a mutiny that has gripped the world's biggest cocoa producer for four days.

    Since Friday, soldiers have been shooting inside their barracks, spilling onto the streets, setting up road blocks and terrifying residents in major cities around the country. 

    The former rebels, now embedded in the army and who fought for years to get President Alassane Ouattara to power, were angry at the scrapping of a deal to give them back pay and bonuses. 

    The government tabled a new deal last night, which they rejected. Then today the government finally gave in, giving them exactly what they want - around $8,000 each today (£6,000) and then another $3,000 at the end of June.

  17. Lupita meets Boyega

    Kenya's Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has shared a picture she took with British actor John Boyega. 

    Lupita congratulated Boyega for his role as the main character in the play Woyzeck. 

    View more on instagram

    The play, being shown in London, is based on the true story of a military barber who stabbed to death his mistress in a fit of jealousy and was sentenced to death in 1821.

    Read: Our dreams are valid

  18. Deadly attack by militants in Kenya

    Robert Kiptoo

    BBC Africa

    Al-Qaeda linked al-shabab recruits walk down a street on March 5, 2012 in the Deniile district of the Somalian capital, Mogadishu, following their graduation.
    Image caption: Al-Shabab is an al-Qaeda affiliate headquartered in Somalia

    Two people, including a local provincial administration officer, have been killed following an attack by suspected al-Shabab militants in Mandera county in northern Kenya. 

    Kenyan authorities say two other Kenyans, serving as local police reservists, were abducted by the attackers who fled to Somalia.

    Police say more security personnel have been deployed to the area and the attackers are being pursued. 

    Media linked to al-Shabab said the group's fighters had carried out the raid.  

    It occurred in the border town of Omar Jillo, where a dusk-to-dawn curfew is in force.

    The incident happened only a week after two other people were killed in another suspected al-Shabab attack in Elwak, another town on Kenya-Somalia border.

    Since the deployment of more security personnel, attacks in the region have fallen sharply.

    Read: Who are al-Shabab?

  19. Ugandan activist says she will not be 'silenced'

    Stella Nyanzi
    Image caption: Stella Nyanzi pleaded not guilty to the cyber harassment charge

    Controversial Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi, who was released last week on bail after being held for a month on cyber harassment charges, has said she feels like a fugitive in her own country but will not be intimidated into silence.  

    In a Facebook post Ms Nyanzi said she cannot move freely and does not have access to her home because "security goons still await for me there". 

    She says that her children had to be moved from their home for their safety, "What liberty is this if a mother cannot live with her children?" she asks.

    Ms Nyanzi was charged with calling President Yoweri Museveni "a pair of buttocks", but this has not stopped her from taking another dig at him and his government:

    Quote Message: Our nation is now a prison. Perhaps I was safer and freer behind bars in Luzira. Uganda is a dangerous place to live in, particularly for those of us who reject the illegitimate leadership of the despotic leopard, its foolish leopardess and the future reign of the promiscuous leopard-cub...
    Quote Message: I refuse to stop poking the leopards' anuses. I am going to continue poke-poking all the leopards' anuses until either Uganda is free from the leopards or my death. This fugitive is not shutting up!"

    The court reportedly denied the state prosecutor's request to bar Ms Nyanzi from "engaging in adverse derogatory comments about the first family" as part of the bail conditions.  

  20. 'Four arrested' over South African TV star's murder

    Mandla Hlatshwayo
    Image caption: Mandla Hlatshwayo was a selfless man, friends and colleagues say

    Police in South Africa say they have arrested four suspects in connection with the murder of Mandla Hlatshwayo, a popular DJ  and former actor in a local TV series, Generations, TimesLive reports quoting police boss Khomotso Phahlane. 

    Mr Phahlane said the suspects are also linked to the murder of another man killed in the same incident on Sunday night.

    "The suspects were found in possession of one firearm and drugs. They are believed to be linked to the murder of two people at a tavern in Soweto," he was quoted as sayingadded. 

    Mandla Hlatshwayo and his friend were shot after confronting a group of men who had robbed women of their mobile phones in a pub in Soweto.

    Jozi FM head Mpho Mhlongo, who confirmed the star's death, noted that Mr Hlatshwayo's father was also killed some years ago during a robbery.  

    South Africans have been using #RIPMandla to share their condolences after news of his death broke on Monday morning.   

    The suspects will appear in court soon, the report says.