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Live Reporting

By Flora Drury and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back next week

    That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: The cold is felt equally by all but hunger isn’t."

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And we leave you with this photo a shopper in central Nairobi considering the array of Chinese-made shoes on sale. It is one of our best photos from this week.

    A man in a market
  2. Analysis: Why these Ethiopian prisoners won't be freed

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Thousands have been detained since anti-government protests broke out
    Image caption: Thousands have been detained since anti-government protests broke out

    A court in Ethiopia has sentenced more than 30 people to long prison terms for belonging to an outlawed group, just two weeks after it announced it would free some jailed politicians. So what is different about this group?

    The government would say there is no contradiction between its recent statement on freeing prisoners and these sentences.

    Although their supporters are hoping they will be released, the authorities here see Ginbot 7 members as terrorists, not political activists.

    Both its current leader Berhanu Nega and its founder Andargachew Tsege have been sentenced to death in absentia by an Ethiopian court for trying to overthrow the government. They both deny the charges.

    Andargachew was extradited to Ethiopia in 2014 while Berhanu's whereabouts are unknown.

    Berhanu, a former university professor in the US, has previously threatened to march to Addis Ababa to remove the current government from power.

    The government says the US-based group is sponsored by Eritrea and accuses it of trying to infiltrate the country.

    Most of its members live in exile but authorities says some are active - but in hiding in Ethiopia.

    It is highly unlikely that if any prisoners are released, Andergachew would be one of them as the government has previously taken a very strong stand against his release, despite pressure from human rights groups.

    Read more: Ethiopia court jails members of outlawed group Ginbot 7

    Correction: A previous version of this post suggested that the UK had campaigned for Mr Andergachew's release

  3. S Africa firefighters battle 'malicious' blaze

    Firefighters in South Africa are currently battling at least three separate fires in a small area - one of which was started "maliciously".

    The fires, which started on Thursday, are raging just outside Cape Town, in the Overberg area.

    South Africa's Eyewitness News says six people have been treated for smoke inhalation.

    Local fire chief Reinard Geldenhuys told the website: “One of the fires was started by malicious ignitions. Unfortunately, we have to attribute it to that as we have no other reasons to suspect anything else.”

    Here are some pictures of what they are up against:

    View more on twitter
  4. #AfricanGangs: Communities respond to negative label in Australia

    A picture of three people at a university graduation

    A spate of violent crimes in Australia has led to accusations that young African men are being caught up in gangs.

    Now African-Australian communities have reacted angrily to the front-page coverage by promoting positive stories about themselves with the hashtag #AfricanGangs.

    The police have blamed some sections of the media for inflaming the situation with their reporting of the perceived gang violence.

    Merita Tabain, Victoria police executive director of media and corporate communications, expressed concern in a confidential email to the editors of Melbourne's main media outlets that aggressive behaviour by journalists might "exacerbate the current tensions".

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull weighed in on the issue at a press conference earlier this month where he said that "growing gang violence and lawlessness in Victoria" was "a failure of the Andrews government [Premier of Victoria]".

    According to some liberal politicians, Melbourne is in the grip of growing gang violence and lawlessness which is being attributed to African-Australians predominantly from the South Sudanese community.

    Read the full story here.

  5. New homes for low-paid Zimbabweans

    For years, many in Zimbabwe have had no alternative but to scratch out a living in the informal sector, meaning they face barriers when it comes to home loans.

    But it is hoped that new government initiatives could provide homes to low-income earners.

    From Harare, the BBC's Taurai Maduna reports.

    Video content

    Video caption: New homes for low-paid Zimbabweans
  6. Dead whale washes up on S Africa beach

    The 15-metre long body of a dead humpback whale has washed ashore on a beach in Cape Town.

    It is not known how the male whale died, a spokesman for the City of Cape Town told South African newspaper TimesLive.

    View more on twitter

    The spokesman said the beach would remain closed until the whale was removed, a process which would begin tomorrow.

    Whales are a common sight off the Cape coast, but they are more usually southern rights whales.

    However, humpback whales are regular visitors to the area as well, although normally between May and November, according to Cape Town Tourism.

  7. Macky Sall shocked by Trump's comments

    Macky Sall

    Senegal's President Macky Sall has condemned US President Donald Trump's comments calling African countries "shitholes".

    He tweeted:

    Quote Message: I am shocked by the comments of President Trump on Haiti and Africa. I reject them and condemn them unequivocally. Africa, and black people in general, deserve the respect of all.''

    You can read the full story about the comments here - or see our earlier posts here.

  8. Tunisia 'to relent' on protesters' demands

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Protesters shout slogans during, protests against rising prices and tax increases, in Tunis, Tunisia January 12, 2018.

    The Tunisian government appears prepared to give in to some of the demands of protesters, which include exceptional measures for low-income families, according to a statement from the country’s presidency.

    This comes following days of anti-austerity protests that flared up across the country this week.

    One demonstrator was killed during clashes with security forces on Monday.

    The statement says talks were held with the Prime Minister Youssef Chahed over the matter, but there were no details provided.

    The government says that it’s also looking at greater price controls – economic observers say traders have been arbitrarily hiking up prices.

    Small demonstrations were held in several cities on Friday, and some are still calling for more on the weekend.

    Many of those taking to the streets say they want the new financial law, which has increased the price of some goods and raised taxes on imports, to be scrapped.

  9. Guinea-Bissau helps Senegal hunt killers

    Laeila Adjovi

    BBC Africa, Dakar

    A victim of an attack by armed men in the Bayotte forest lies on a hospital gurney in the regional capital Ziguinchor, southern Senegal on January 7, 2018
    Image caption: A victim of last Saturday's attack recovers in hospital

    Senegal's army has enlisted the help of the military in neighbouring Guinea-Bissau as they continue to hunt the perpetrators of a deadly attack last weekend which left 14 dead.

    The motive for the killing, in the southern Casamance region, near the two countries' border, is still a mystery.

    Initially, 13 people were found dead in a forest of precious hardwoods where loggers are known to operate last Saturday.

    Another body was found later, while nine people were treated in hospital for injuries.

    The Senegalese chief of army staff General Cheikh Gueye told the BBC that, no matter how long it takes, the priority was to rid the area of criminals and allow people to live and work freely.

    He added that Guinea-Bissau was helping in the search.

    “As part of the cooperation between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau on defence and security, our zone commanders are frequently in contact along the border," he said. "Our collaboration is also effective for this particular operation.”

    The attack was the most gruesome for several years. It raised fears of a revival of the separatist rebellion in Casamance.

    But the separatist movement MFDC has denied any responsibility, and condemned the massacre. It linked the attack to the widespread illegal logging business in Casamance, and accused the authorities of complicity with traffickers.

    Casamance is sandwiched between The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. People there often complain that their region is neglected by the Senegalese government in far-off Dakar. Separatists in Casamance have demanded independence for over 30 years.

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  10. The boxer without a country

    Bilal Fawaz has found himself trapped between two continents.

    A talented amateur boxer, arrived in the UK from Nigeria 14 years ago.

    His mother had died six years earlier, when he was just eight, and his uncle promised to bring him to London to see his father.

    But his father never appeared, and after 11 years of seeking asylum, Fawaz says he is now effectively stateless.

    Hear his story below:

    Video content

    Video caption: ''England'' boxer in 11 year fight
  11. US senator says Trump used slur

    A US senator has disputed President Donald Trump's claim that he did not use the word "shithole" during a discussion of immigration to the country.

    Mr Trump reportedly used the word to describe Haiti and African countries.

    Senator Dick Durbin told reporters that Mr Trump used the "vulgar" word "repeatedly".

    The US president said the "language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used".

    Watch Mr Durbin's comments here:

    View more on twitter

    You can read the full story about the comments here - or see our earlier posts here.

  12. Ethiopia jails members of outlawed group

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Addiba

    A court in Ethiopia has sentenced more than 30 people to long prison terms for belonging to an outlawed group.

    This comes just two weeks after the government announced it would release some politicians who are either convicted or facing various charges in court.

    All the accused belong to the Ginbot 7, a political group founded by an Ethiopian-born British citizen and committed to the overthrow of the government.

    The Ethiopian government designated it a terrorist group in 2011. They will now serve sentences of between 15 and 18 years each.

    Dozens more have been jailed by the courts over the past weeks due to their association with the group.

    Meanwhile, a leading opposition figure and his co-accused have been sentenced to six months in prison for contempt of court.

    Bekele Gerba, an official of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was jailed after he protested against non-appearance of defence witnesses in the court trying his case.

    The judge was angered after he reportedly sang a protest song in court.

    He is among the politicians who Ethiopians believed would have charges against him dropped, following the announcement by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn last week.

    Up to now, the government hasn’t followed up on its promise or issued a clear timeline on when those politicians jailed would be set free.

  13. How is your geography?

    Kenyan cartoonist Victor Ndula has caricatured his imagination of what the US President Donald Trump thinks of Africa after he allegedly called countries in the continent a "shithole".

    View more on twitter

    Mr Trump has since denied he made the comments, although he admitted to some "tough" talk during a meeting with US politicians on Thursday.

    We will be keeping an eye on this story as it develops throughout the day so please keep checking back.

    Meanwhile, you can read the full story here - or see our earlier post here.

  14. Burundi refugees refuse registration for 'religious reasons'

    The United Nations refugee agency says it will stop any assistance to more than 2,000 Burundian refugees in one camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

    The Burundians are members of a religious sect led by a woman from northern Burundi

    Euzebie Ngendakumana, in her late 30s, and her followers fled to DR Congo over three years ago after several incidents where security forces disbanded her prayer gatherings.

    Now the refugees in Kamanyola are reported to have refused finger print registration for their identification.

    Andreas Kirchhof, UNHCR spokesman in DR Congo, told the BBC that the refugees have refused to undergo registration to verify their status because of "religious reasons".

  15. Africa was a 'partner' before it was a 'shithole'

    Donald Trump
    Image caption: Trump told African leaders that the continent has tremendous potential

    Before his foul-mouthed comments about African countries, US President Donald Trump had praised the continent as a place of "tremendous business potential".

    He made the comments during a speech to African leaders at an event in New York in September.

    “In this room, I see partners for promoting prosperity and peace on a range of economic, humanitarian, and security issues," he said.

    He singled out Uganda for "its incredible strides in the battle against HIV/Aids" and Namibia for its health system, which he said was "increasingly self-sufficient".

    He also poured praise on Guinea and Nigeria for their fight against the Ebola outbreak.

    He told the African leaders that he has "so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you".

    • We will be keeping an eye on this story as it develops throughout the day so please keep checking back. Meanwhile, you can read the full story here - or see our earlier post here.
  16. Nigerian gang leader behind Brit's death killed

    Stephanie Hegarty

    BBC Africa, Lagos

    Ian Squire
    Image caption: Ian Squire was killed in November 2017

    The leader of a Nigerian gang responsible for the death of British optician Ian Squire late last year has been arrested and killed, according to the Nigerian army.

    Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo, known as Karowei, led a criminal gang in Nigeria’s oil-producing south and is said to have co-ordinated the kidnap of four British missionaries in October.

    Three were released but one man, Mr Squire was shot dead in captivity, while singing and playing the guitar for his colleagues.

    Since then, Karowei's gang has been responsible for the killing of four soldiers.

    But on Thursday his reign of terror ended: in the early hours of the morning, a special military task force arrested the gang leader from a rural village in a neighbouring state.

    As they led him back to his camp, they were ambushed and in the fighting, Karowei was killed.

    Until the kidnapping, this gang were relatively unknown, they had a reputation for hassling local women returning from the market and had abducted the wife of a local politician.

    Kidnapping for ransom is common in southern Nigeria though most often those taken are freed after a ransom is paid.

  17. Trump denies making vile comments

    US President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to deny he labelled Africa a "shithole" - before trying to shift the focus to the opposition:

    View more on twitter

    The tweet followed a series which he sent defending his immigration policy, saying he did not want people from "countries which are doing badly", advocating "a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level".

    So it might be worth him taking a look at this piece about some amazing migrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador, and what they have done for the US.

    • You can read our earlier post on the Trump-comment fallout here, and keep checking back with Africa Live for the latest.
  18. Does this look like a shithole?

    US President Donald Trump has decided all African countries are "shitholes".

    Of course, those who live in said shitholes know better, and have been sharing pictures which may make the foul-mouthed president think twice:

    View more on twitter
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    We will be keeping an eye on this story as it develops throughout the day so please keep checking back.

    Meanwhile, you can read the full story here - or see our earlier post here.

  19. 'I replied to a Facebook post and was married six days later'

    Chidimma Amedu and Sophy Ijeoma
    Image caption: The couple had been friends on Facebook for over a year but had never spoken to each other before the advert

    Everyone who uses Facebook will have come across some pretty strange posts in their time.

    Random friend requests, being added to groups you did not ask to join, and tags that allow "friends" to clog up your timeline with posts or photos you don't necessarily want.

    But a Nigerian man took that to a whole new level when he posted an unusual advert.

    Chidimma Amedu put up a post on 30 December, asking any woman interested in being his wife to reply, he told the BBC.

    Read the incredible love story.

  20. Trump comments 'reprehensible and racist'

    Botswana's government has termed the comments made by US President Donald Trump, calling African countries "shitholes" as "irresponsible, reprehensible and racist".

    Mr Trump made the comments while discussing a US immigration policy, which he thought citizens from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries should be excluded from.

    Botswana said in a statement that it had summoned the US ambassador in the country to ask if the US considered the southern-African nation a "shithole".

    It said the phrase was derogatory from a country it has cordial relationship with.

    It also called on on regional body Sadc and the African Union to condemn Mr Trump's remarks.

    Read the full statement here:

    View more on twitter