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Live Reporting

Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Tuesday after the Easter weekend

    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 our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Courtesy is not slavery." from A Swahili proverb sent by George Okumu Omollo, Mombasa, Kenya
    A Swahili proverb sent by George Okumu Omollo, Mombasa, Kenya

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

    And we leave you with this picture of a market in Mali's capital, Bamako, from the EverdayAfrica Instagram account.

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  2. Survivors of capsized boat off Libya coast were at sea for 'three days'

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    I have been speaking on telephone with two survivors of a boat that capsized off the coast of Libya's capital Tripoli, in which 90 people are feared to have drowned. 

    Mohamed Amine, who said he is from Mali, told me:

    Quote Message: We were at sea in the boat for three days… we were rescued after after it was capsized."
    Survivor Mohammed Amine
    Image caption: Mohamed and the other survivors are being held at the Maitiga detention centre

    Ahmed from Ivory Coast who told me that he is 12 years old, told me that his mother was among those who drowned, "I am not good…the boat broke, and my mother died." 

    He said he was OK but feels hurt. 

    When I asked if anyone has been mean to him where he is being held, he said that no-one had mistreated him so far. 

  3. Genocide is not UK's official view of what's happening in South Sudan

    We've been reporting about the comments by UK Development Minister Priti Patel that what's happening in South Sudan amounts to a genocide (see earlier post), but it seems that is not the official view of the British government.

    The Foreign Office issued a statement that isn't directly critical of Ms Patel but does take a different line, talking about "a risk of genocide".

    It says:

    Quote Message: The UK is deeply concerned about the violence, blocking of humanitarian access and forced relocation of populations along ethnic lines in South Sudan.
    Quote Message: The UN has alerted the international community to the risk of genocide and this is something we are monitoring closely."
  4. Egypt lawyer gets 10-year sentence plus social media ban over Facebook posts

    The human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the jail term given to an Egyptian lawyer for criticising the government on Facebook.

    It called the conviction of Mohamed Ramadan a "blatant assault on freedom", and proof that anti-terror legislation was being used to silence critics.

    Ramadan was convicted, under a 2015 law, of using Facebook to harm unity and create instability.

    The government says the law is needed to fight terrorism.

    It is unclear exactly what Ramadan, who is based in Alexandria and has represented alleged victims of torture, posted online last year.

    Read more here.

    Egyptian policeman
  5. Peace 'absent' in South Sudan over Easter

    A joint pre-Easter statement from the US, UK, Norway and Canada on events in South Sudan paints a gloomy picture ahead of this Easter weekend.

    Quote Message: As South Sudanese across the country look forward to the Easter holiday, traditionally a time of reconciliation and redemption, they are confronted by an escalation in the conflict and an unprecedented expansion in hunger and malnutrition. Peace is painfully absent during this holy season."

    The statement is critical of both President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and lists a number of incidents in recent weeks suggesting the conflict is not going away.

    Earlier, Britain's Development Minister Priti Patel described what is going on in South Sudan as genocide (see this post).

    South Sudanese refugees
    Image caption: Three million people have been displaced by the fighting in South Sudan since December 2013
  6. DR Congo's expensive passport

    An investigation by Reuters news agency says that most of the $185 ( £147) Congolse pay for their passport goes to a foreign firm instead of the Democratic Republic of Congo's government:

    A new passport that captured biometric information was launched in 2015. 

    Reuters says that the cost of the passport makes it the word's most expensive. A UK passport costs half as much and a US passport $110:

    View more on twitter

    Th report says it reached out to the government for a comment but it did not get one.

  7. Resuce mission for missing migrants

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    A boat with nearly 120 migrants has capsized off the coast of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, according to the head of the coast guard there.  

    Over 90 people are feared drowned, but a search and rescue operation is still under way, the BBC has been told.  

    Libya’s perilous sea journey to southern Europe has long been a popular transit route used by economic migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

    The spokesman for Tripoli’s coast guard, Ayoub Kassem, said he believes everyone on board the capsized boat is from sub-Saharan Africa.  

    Only 23 out of an estimated 120 people were rescued at sea after the boat fell apart off Tripoli’s coastline earlier today.  

    The survivors have been transferred to a detention centre for migrants in Maitiga airport, according to a senior security source there. 

    The survivors said those who are believed to have drowned include women and children.  

    Libya’s Red Crescent is working with the coastguard in an on-going search and rescue operation, but the prospects of finding more survivors appears small.

    People being helped off a boat
    Image caption: Rescue missions are often carried out in the Mediterranean like this one in February
  8. UK minister: South Sudan killings amount to genocide

    The killings and atrocities going on in South Sudan amount to a genocide, Britain's Development Minister Priti Patel has said.

    She was speaking to journalists in Uganda after travelling from a visit to South Sudan.

    She said:

    Quote Message: It's tribal, it's absolutely tribal, so on that basis it's genocide."

    The civil war, which broke out in December 2013, has taken on an increasingly ethnic dimension.

    UN adviser on the prevention of genocide Adama Dieng has in the past said the situation in the country has the "potential for genocide".

    More than three million people have been uprooted by the fighting.

    Recent fighting in the towns of Wau and Pajok creating more refugees.

    South Sudan's Information Minister Michael Makuei called Mr Patel's comments as "unfortunate and misleading", the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

    South Sudanese families displaced by fighting queue for vaccination in Lamwo after fleeing fighting in Pajok
    Image caption: Fighting in the South Sudan town of Pajok led to thousands more people fleeing to Uganda
  9. Zambia police deny blocking Hichilema's lawyers

    Zambian police have denied claims by the main opposition UPND party that its detained leader Hakainde Hichilema has been denied meeting his lawyers, the Reuters news agency reports. 

    Police spokeswoman Esther Mwaata-Katongo said: "We have not blocked lawyers and Mr Hichilema's members of the family from visiting him because that is his constitutional right."

    Mr Hichilema's lawyer Jack Mwiimbu  told Reuters that he had seen his client on Wednesday but had since been prevented from visiting him:  

    Quote Message: There are instructions for him not to be seen by anybody without authority from police headquarters. We have therefore started processing court papers. We want the court to compel the police to allow us to see our client."
    View more on twitter

    Mr Hichilema has been charged with treason for allegedly endangering the life of President Edga Lungu. 

  10. Ugandan activist Nyanzi refusing psychiatric tests

    One of the lawyers for detained Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi has confirmed to the Reuters news agency that she has refused to undergo psychiatric tests.

    Ms Nyanzi is being held on charges of cyber harassment for referring to President Yoweri Museveni as "a pair of buttocks". 

    She denies the charges.

    On Tuesday, her supporters wrote on her Facebook page that when they went to visit Ms Nyanzi in prison she "fervently protested [to the tests] and clearly stated that if the state is to go ahead and unlawfully carry out these tests, the Ugandan government must allow her to have legal representation, a family member as well as her personal doctor present during the examination".

    Her lawyer Nicholas Opiyo told Reuters that the authorities "just want to de-legitimise Stella, characterise her as a fool, a mad person ... and confine her to a mental hospital".

    Stella Nyanzi
    Image caption: Ms Nyanzi appeared in court on Monday
  11. BreakingAt least 97 migrants 'missing off Libyan coast'

    Dozens of migrants have gone missing after their boat went down off the coast of Libya, the coastguard there says.

    Survivors have said that among those who have not been found are 15 women and five children, according to a naval official quoted by the AFP news agency.

  12. The joy of a Christian-Muslim wedding among Egypt's Nubians

    The attacks this week on Coptic churches in northern Egypt underline the dangers faced by the country's Christian minority. 

    But among the Nubians - an ancient nation that lives along the upper reaches of the Nile - Muslims and Christians mostly live in harmony. 

    The BBC's Nicola Kelly attended a Muslim-Christian wedding celebrated discreetly after nightfall.

    The groom Akram told her: "We're the first people to marry outside of our religion here. That's very difficult, especially for my parents." 

    For seven years, the couple were banned from seeing each other by both sets of parents.

    "We agreed to get married at night, so as not to bring shame on either of the families," Akram says.

    Read more here.

    The bride to be
    Image caption: The bride Sally met Akram seven years ago in Aswan
  13. Morocco 'dismantles' IS cell

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Moroccan authorities say they have dismantled an extremist cell with links to the so-called Islamic State (IS). 

    The group was operating in the popular tourist city of Fez in the north of the country and the nearby town of Moulay Yacoub.  

    Moroccan security services have been engaged in a crackdown on suspected extremist cells in the country in recent years and they have made several arrests in the past. 

    In this latest operation, the ministry of interior says its forces dismantled a seven-member cell that supported IS by recruiting Moroccan nationals and sending them to fight in Iraq and Syria. 

    They also found weapons, cash and military uniforms during the raid.

    Officials say most of those arrested already have relatives fighting in Iraq and Syria. 

    An official of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) holds a confiscated submachine gun during a press conference in Sale, near the capital Rabat on January 29, 2017.
    Image caption: In January, the Moroccan authorities showed weapons off in January from a raid on another suspected IS cell
  14. Deadly blaze kills 20 in Senegal religious event

    At least 20 people have died after a fire broke out at a makeshift prayer centre during a religious event in Senegal's southern city of Kolda, BBC Afrique reports. 

    It quickly spread around the site hosting the event, burning down tents that were sheltering thousands of people. 

    The death toll is likely to rise as many survivors have been badly burned, the fire brigade said in a statement.

    It is unclear what caused the blaze. 

    Daaka, which means spiritual retreat in a local dialect, is a worship camp organised by the Tijaniah Order - a branch of Sunni Islam - as a way to promote detachment from mundane interests. 

    Crowds of Muslim faithful converge every year on the camp, and fires have regularly disrupted the event in the past, BBC Afrique adds.

    Senegal is a majority Muslim country, with religious festivals celebrated at various times throughout the year. 

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  15. Angolan model graces Elle magazine cover

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    Angolan model Maria Borges has become the second African to grace the cover of Elle magazine, exactly 20 years after Sudanese model Alek Wek. 

    Borges, 24, is a rising star, and has been celebrated for wearing her natural hair at the acclaimed Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. 

    She became the face of L’Oreal Paris in February and has been dubbed as one of the African models breaking barriers

    She told CNN in a recent interview that she is living her dream:

    Quote Message: The empowering message that a girl who started from the bottom can be an international beauty symbol and be living proof that our dreams are valid, and the future ahead of us is bright.”
  16. Zambia opposition leader 'denied lawyer'

    Hakainde Hichilema
    Image caption: Mr Hichilema was charged with treason

    Zambia's detained opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been denied access to a lawyer, the Reuters news agency reports. 

    Mr Hichilema was yesterday charged with treason following an incident at the weekend when a convoy he was travelling in reportedly refused to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade. 

    A statement from his UPND party says his lawyers had been denied from seeing him during visiting hours: 

    Quote Message: When HH's lawyers went to see him earlier in the day, they were told they could only see him during the visiting hours. But when the lawyers went during the visiting hours as advised, they were again told they were not allowed to see their client Mr. Hichilema."

    It adds that Mr Hichilema was being denied his rights:

    Quote Message: The law is very clear that lawyers should have full access to their clients as part of the judicial processes. Even the worst condemned prisoners in Zambia are allowed to meet and confer with their clients and meet close associates such as family members."

    falseWatch:How road rage led to treason charge in Zambia

  17. New honour for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    The celebrated award-winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences - considered one of the highest honours for intellectuals in the US.

    She will be one of 228 new members to be inducted in October.

    Others named alongside her include mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani and astrophysicist Gabriela Gonzalez.

    Adichie is well known for her novels, including Half of a Yellow Sun about the Biafran war and Americanah, which is set in Nigeria and the US and deals with issues around living in the diaspora.

    She has also become prominent for her views on feminism. 

    She recently published Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions and her TED talk on feminism was sampled by Beyonce in her song Flawless released in 2013.

    View more on youtube
  18. Kenya-born Australian senator-elect: 'I'm tough'

    A profile of Lucy Gichuhi, the Kenya-born woman who is set to become a senator for the small Family First party in Australia, says she is a strong opponent of welfare spending which local ABC reports would be handy support for the ruling Labour party's plan to make budget savings. 

    She is expected to become a senator representing South Australia after a court invalided party leader Bob Day's election. 

    Questions have been raised over whether Mrs Gichuhi held dual citizenship at the time of the election - something that would bar her from being in parliament 

    Kenya's High Commissioner to Australia has however said she automatically lost her citizenship when she became an Australian citizen, ABC reports.

    Ms Gichuhi says that she is eligible to assume the seat and has what it takes to serve in the Senate: 

    Quote Message: I was tough enough to land in Australia 19 years ago knowing no one. Only with [my husband] William and three toddlers."
    View more on twitter
  19. Relative of dinosaur found in Tanzania

    One of the earliest relatives of dinosaurs had some features we associate today with crocodiles and alligators, a study based on a find in Tanzania suggests.

    Many palaeontologists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like, as the fossil record in this time period is sparse.

    Some assumed they walked on two legs, looking a bit like miniature dinosaurs.

    But the newly described creature walked on four legs like a crocodile, the journal Nature reports.

    The 2-3m (7-10ft) carnivorous animal, unearthed in southern Tanzania, lived some 245 million years ago during the Triassic Period. It pre-dated the earliest dinosaurs.

    Read the full story

    Image caption: New fossils found in 2015 help fill gaps in our knowledge of how Teleocrater looked
  20. Nigeria 'still negotiating' over Chibok girls release

    Nigeria’s government says it is still negotiating with militant Islamist group Boko Haram in a bid to secure the release of the remaining girls who were kidnapped from Chibok three years ago tomorrow.

    In April 2014, 276 students were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria and 197 are still missing.

    In a statement, President Muhammadu Buhari said:

    Quote Message: The Federal Government is willing to bend over backwards to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. We have reached out to their captors, through local and international intermediaries, and we are ever ready to do everything within our means to ensure the safe release of all the girls."

    Last year, Nigeria negotiated through intermediaries the release of a group of 21 of those kidnapped.

    Others have been rescued or found after they escaped from where they were being held.

    Thousands of other Nigerians have also been abducted and President Buhari said the government is "determined to secure the release" of all those who have been taken.

    He also said that Boko Haram's ability to act has been depleted because of the efforts of Nigeria's army.

    Activists of the online movement #bringbackourgirls demonstrate during a march to the Presidential Villa in Abuja on January 8, 2017
    Image caption: Parents and relatives have been campaigning for the girls' release for the last three years