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Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday'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 African proverb:

    Quote Message: It is good to give the monkey a cup of water, but who will collect the cup from him?" from Sent by Ngwa Stanley Chenwi in Bamenda, Cameroon and Kay Emele in Abuja, Nigeria.
    Sent by Ngwa Stanley Chenwi in Bamenda, Cameroon and Kay Emele in Abuja, Nigeria.

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

    And we leave you with this picture of Zimbabwean TV personality Mis Red enjoying one of the installations at the renowned Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa): 

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  2. Funeral held for Somali minister shot dead in Mogadishu

    The funeral Abas Abdullahi Sheikh, with body wrapped up in fabric on the floor
    Image caption: The Somali president (C, in blue suit) attended

    A state funeral has been held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for the 31-year-old government minister shot dead yesterday after security forces mistook him for a militant Islamist.

    Abas Abdullahi Sheikh, who grew up in the Dadaab refugee camp before later becoming the country's youngest ever cabinet minister, was an inspiring role model to many Somalis.

    President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo attended the funeral, along with the country's prime minister and other senior figures.

    Relatives and government officials attend prayers for public works minister, Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji who was shot and killed in Somalia"s capital Mogadish
    Mourners carry the body of Mr Abas

    Here's a video of Mr Abas speaking earlier this year to organisers of the Tedx conference in Mogadishu, giving his answer to the question: "What can you do for your country?"

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  3. Moroccan ship held in SA over Western Sahara complaints

    A Moroccan ship is being held in South Africa over complaints that it is carrying cargo from the disputed Western Sahara, the AFP news agency reports, quoting a South African lawyer.

    Andre Bowley told AFP that the Polisario Front, which is campaigning for independence for Western Sahara from Morocco, had gone to court to get the cargo of phosphate returned.

    It argues that the phosphate was taken in violation of international law.

    A South African court is due to hear the case on 18 May, AFP reports.

    Morocco controls two-thirds of Western Sahara and sees it as part of its historic territory.

    People waving Western Sahara flags
    Image caption: Thousands of Sahrawi refugees still live in refugee camps in Algeria
  4. UN rights chief in Ethiopia calls for access to probe protest deaths

    Man weeps at a funeral for protester
    Image caption: The government has not allowed independent investigators to look at protest deaths

    The UN's most senior human rights official has called for the Ethiopian government to allow his investigators access to areas of the country hit by deadly protests. 

    Speaking in the capital Addis Ababa at the end of a three-day visit to the country, UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said his staff had not been given permission to the areas to investigate the "facts of these events for ourselves" and that his office could therefore not "corroborate or confirm the findings of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission".

    The state-affiliated rights body says 669 people, including 63 police officers, died in the latest wave of anti-government protests that began in November 2015.

    But protesters say the number of those killed is much higher and that a government-backed body cannot reliably investigate abuses committed by the state.

    Mr Al Hussein offered general praise for the Ethiopian government over its "notable acceptance of millions of refugees", but used a quotation from former Emperor Haile Selassie about the importance of fair treatment for all Ethiopians. 

    He said the "extremely large number of arrests – over 26,000 – suggests it is unlikely rule of law guarantees have been observed in every case."

    He called for reforms of the country's strict media and anti-terror laws, adding:

    Quote Message: I am also concerned that an excessively broad definition of terrorism may be misused against journalists, bloggers and members of opposition parties."
    Map of protests in Ethiopia

    He said that he expected the remaining restrictions related to the state of emergency, declared by the government last year, to be lifted in July, when the decree runs out.  

  5. UN repels attack on base in South Sudan

    BBC World Service

    United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan say they have repelled an attack on one of their bases. 

    The UN says the camp, in Leer in the north of South Sudan, came under small arms fire from the direction of the nearby government-held town on Wednesday night. 

    The Ghanaian peacekeepers returned fire. 

    The base is in the part of South Sudan affected by famine. 

    Earlier on Thursday, the UN's leading human rights official urged the government to halt any further offensive towards a key town, Aburoc, further to the north. 

    He said tens of thousands of civilians who had fled to the town were at serious and imminent risk. 

    Peacekeeper troops from Ethiopia deployed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan
    Image caption: A multi-national force of 13,000 people make up the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan
  6. The midwife who saved intersex babies

    Illustration showing

    Five years ago Zainab, a midwife in western Kenya, delivered a child with male and female sexual organs. 

    "When I looked to see if it was a boy or a girl, I saw two things protruding - this baby had male and female parts," she says.

    Instead of saying what she usually said at this point - "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" - Zainab handed the baby to its mother and simply told her, "Here is your baby."

    The parents did not want to take it and told Zainab to kill it.

    Instead she took the baby as her own.

    Two years later, the same thing happened again - and before long she was forced to flee to save the children's lives.

    Read more about Zainab's story on BBC News Online and listen to the BBC World Service documentary Coming out of the shadows in Kenya.

  7. Zuma 'must reveal the reasons for sacking Gordhan'

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    A South African High Court has ordered President Jacob Zuma to provide all the records explaining the reasons why he sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in March's controversial cabinet reshuffle.

    The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) had gone to court to compel President Zuma to hand over an intelligence report, which he allegedly relied on when he fired Mr Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. 

    The report, leaked to local media, accused Mr Gordan of plotting against Zuma. Mr Gordhan denied the allegation, and described the report as "unintelligent".  

    Mr Zuma's lawyers argued that a cabinet reshuffle was a presidential prerogative, and he did not have to release any documents he may have relied on to make a decision. 

    Mr Gordhan's dismissal resulted in credit ratings agencies downgrading South Africa to junk status.

    It also led to mass protests to demand Mr Zuma's resignation. 

    Pravin Gordhan
    Image caption: Mr Gordhan was widely respected as finance minister
  8. A rising Somali star has been killed

    Abdirizak Atosh

    BBC Somali, Nairobi

    Somali youth have been robbed of a role model following the shocking killing of Abas Abdullahi Sheikh.

    The 31-year-old government minister was killed by security forces after being mistaken for a militant Islamist.

    Always polite and well-dressed, the former child refugee was widely admired for his determination to succeed.

    Coming from a prominent religious family, Mr Abas studied at Kenya's prestigious Nairobi University and entered politics last year. 

    Mr Abas with another Somali politician
    Image caption: People thought Mr Abas (right) had a bright future in Somali politics

    He became an MP for the port city of Kismayo in Somalia's Jubbaland region after an electoral college chose him ahead of a government minister who had been on the political scene for more than two decades.

    Mr Abas' victory showed that Somalis were fed up with the old guard, and were demanding change. Sensing his popularity with the youth, the president appointed him to the cabinet in March. 

    Less than three months later, this rising star has become the latest casualty of more than two decades of violence in Somalia. But in this case some are asking: Has Somalia lost a future president? 

  9. SA race rape row judge resigns

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    South African Judge Mabel Jansen, who was placed on special leave since last year after getting embroiled in a racism row, has resigned with immediate effect.

    The complaints came after comments attributed to her went viral on social media.

    Judge Mabel Jansen purportedly said the gang-rape of babies, girls and women was seen as a "pleasurable" pastime for some black men.  

    In her own defence, the judge had said that the controversial comments were made in a private Facebook exchange with activist Gillian Schutte and that they were taken out of context.

    Ms Schutte said she made the comments public to expose the "deep racism and colonial thinking" prevalent in South Africa.

    Government spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said she announced her resignation in a letter to President Jacob Zuma.

    The reasons behind her stepping down have not been made public, but News24 quotes Mr Mhaga as saying that she was being investigated over her comments and the "resignation will obviate a protracted disciplinary process".

    Judge Jensen
    Image caption: Judge Jensen was placed on special leave a year ago
  10. African leaders 'fail to do what is right'

    One of Africa's richest men, Tony Elumelu, has launched a stinging critique of leadership on the continent.

    The Nigerian businessman has been speaking at the World Economic Forum event in Durban where he was part of a panel called Leadership in an Era of Disruption.

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    He clearly wants governments to help create a context that is more conducive to successful enterprise:

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  11. Love on film and in real life

    Didi Akinyelure

    BBC Africa, Lagos

    Comments about a Nigerian celebrity engagement have been trending on Twitter as people discuss the impending nuptials of Banky Wellington and Adesua Etomi.

    The irony is that they have already had an on-screen wedding. 

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    Banky Wellington is an award-winning Nigerian singer turned actor. 

    Last year, he was cast as the groom in Nollywood blockbuster The Wedding Party, a romantic comedy drama, that shows what it takes to plan a wedding in Nigeria. 

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    The bride was played by actress Adesua Etomi. 

    The movie was a hit with fans drawn to the chemistry between Banky and Adesua’s characters.  

    Now the real-life engagement has been described as the ultimate fairytale ending. 

    However, some cynics are saying this is a publicity stunt but the stars say that theirs is a case of true love. 

  12. African response to Ghana's power outage

    Ghana experienced a nationwide electricity blackout overnight due to a power surge, the cause of which is still unclear (see earlier story).

    People are commenting on the story on the BBC Africa Facebook page, reflecting on the experiences in their own countries.

    Many in Nigeria are wondering whether it's news:

    Ikenna Egboka writes: 

    Quote Message: In Nigeria this is not news because we sleep and wake up without light every night. Nigerians love this phrase so much: 'Nigeria go better'. I wonder when Nigeria will be better, I wonder when Nigeria well be like Ghana or even better than Ghana."

    Bayak Luok in South Sudan has a similar view: 

    Quote Message: This happened just for one night? Here in South Sudan we have never had electricity in our life."

    But Francis Omananga Mugowa in Uganda is more positive about the situation where he is:

    Quote Message: We are safe and happy in Uganda in terms of power stability."
  13. Fears for millions of Nigerians in north-east as rainy season looms

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    The senior Nigeria correspondent for Reuters news agency has been tweeting from the north-eastern city of Maiduguri. 

    He reports that the situation is expected to get even worse for the nearly five million people in the region who rely on food aid, when the five-month rainy season begins in May and makes farming impossible in areas that are now accessible.

    Read the full story here

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  14. The women trying to keep Somalia safe

    Being a police officer in Mogadishu is one of the most dangerous beats in the world, and it is even harder for women.  

    Video content

    Video caption: The women trying to keep Somalia safe
  15. French bank to pay billion-dollar settlement to Libya

    BBC World Service

    French bank Societe Generale has agreed to pay nearly 1bn euros (£0.85bn; $1.1bn) to settle its long-running legal dispute with the Libyan Investment Authority. 

    The case concerns five financial transactions carried out between 2007 and 2009. 

    The LIA argued the trades were part of a fraudulent scheme involving associates of the family of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, Libya's leader at the time. 

    The bank has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing but in a statement it said it regretted the lack of caution of some of its employees, and apologised to the LIA. 

  16. Nigeria's Kano Emirate Council investigated for misappropriation of funds

    An influential Muslim body in northern Nigeria - the Kano Emirate Council - is being investigated over the alleged misappropriation of funds.

    Two officials of the emirate have been invited for questioning over the allegations, the head of the anti-corruption agency in Kano state, Muhyi Magaji, told the BBC.

    The investigation does not focus on the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, as BBC Africa Live previously reported and we understand that the Emir has not been invited for questioning. 

    Mr Sanusi, the former central bank chief in Nigeria, was appointed Emir of Kano in 2014 following the death of his predecessor Al-Haji Ado Bayero at the age of 83.

  17. Zimbabwe derby cancelled after stadium booked for Nigeria pastor

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    A top-flight derby is cancelled after the stadium is booked out for a Nigerian pastor's church service... No, this isn't a wistful Arsene Wenger daydream after Sunday's drubbing at Tottenham, but the reality facing two top sides in Zimbabwe's Premier Soccer League. 

    Sunday's showdown between bitter rivals CAPS United and Dynamos in the capital Harare has been called off because Nigerian Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is already booked in to lead a special service the National Sports Stadium on the same day, the government-owned Herald newspaper reports.

    The league confirmed that the match has been postponed indefinitely because they could not find a venue for the big tie.

    “The National Sports Stadium has been booked for a church event while the City of Harare is still to complete works on Rufaro Stadium," it said in an official statement.

    “The new date will be announced in due course. We would like to apologise to all our stakeholders for the postponement of this much awaited derby." 

  18. Nigeria forces foil suicide attack in north-east

    BBC World Service

    The Nigerian authorities say they have killed three female teenage suicide bombers who attempted to attack a military checkpoint. 

    The incident happened on Wednesday night in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri. 

    Officials say the attackers' explosives were set off when they were shot at by troops. 

    One member of the security forces was injured. 

    No group has said it carried out the attempted attack, but Maiduguri was the birthplace of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, and it has attacked the city many times. 

  19. Daughter of 'murdered' businessman to stand against Kagame

    BBC World Service

    A Rwandan woman from a prominent family has announced that she will challenge President Paul Kagame in this August's elections. 

    Diane Rwigara

    Diane Rwigara believes her father Assinapol Rwigara, a wealthy businessman who used to finance Mr Kagame's party, was killed two years ago for political reasons. 

    The authorities say he died in a car accident. 

    Ms Rwigara told a press conference in Kigali that every Rwandan knew people who had been disappeared or killed. 

    Human rights groups have often accused the Rwandan authorities of killing opponents and stifling dissent. They have denied the charges. 

  20. Mozambique opposition announces 'beginning of end of war'

    Mozambique's opposition Renamo party has extended its ceasefire indefinitely, the AFP news agency reports.

    Its leader Afonso Dhlakama was speaking to journalists from his hideout in the centre of the country.

    AFP quotes him as saying "it is not the end of the war, but it is the beginning of the end".

    "This is great news for the people of Mozambique," he added.

    Renamo and the governing Frelimo party fought a civil war from independence in 1976 until a peace deal was signed in 1992.

    Renamo then took part in multi-party elections.

    But problems re-emerged in 2013 and there has been a sporadic low-level conflict ever since.

    In 2014, the two parties signed a peace deal but Renamo restarted the conflict after it refused to accept the October 2014 election results.

    Mozambican Resistance Movement (RENAMO) presidential candidate Afonso Dhlakama
    Image caption: Afonso Dhlakama returned to his hideout in 2014