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Live Reporting

By Yaroslav Lukov, Natasha Booty, Flora Drury and Mirren Gidda

All times stated are UK

  1. Dozens held in Eritrea after protester's funeral

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A map of Eritrea showing the location of the capital Asmara

    Many young Eritreans have been detained in the capital Asmara after attending the funeral of a man who had died in prison.

    The relatives say they are concerned about their wellbeing after being refused any access to visit the prison.

    Relatives told the BBC on Thursday that some of the detained Eritreans were as young as 13.

    Dozens, possibly hundreds, were loaded onto police vehicles after attending the burial of a 93-year-old man who had died in prison.

    "They were taken by three big trucks," a family member of one of those arrested told BBC Tigrinya. Another worried relative said two of their nephews had also been detained.

    Musa Mohammed Nur was arrested last year for opposing government regulations at a school where he was a board member.

    His detention prompted a rare protest on the streets of Asmara in November.

    The Eritrean government has not commented on the arrests.

  2. 'We can build united Kenya' - President Kenyatta

    During the meeting President Kenyatta referred to Mr Odinga as his "brother".

    Mr Kenyatta said: "We will begin a process of discussing what ails us and what creates division amongst us.

    "We look forward to the support of every single leader.

    "And we look forward to the support of every single Kenyan, so that we can build together a united, harmonious, stable nation where no individual feels left out or left behind."

  3. 'Time to resolve differences' - Odinga

    More on Kenya. President Kenyatta says that "we will begin a process of bringing our people together".

    Meanwhile, Raila Odinga says "it is time to resolve our differences".

    It was their first meeting since last October's re-run of the presidential election.

    Mr Kenyatta won 98% of the vote.

    Mr Odinga, pulled out of the re-run, and later proclaimed himself the "people's president" in a mock inaguration ceremony.

  4. Tillerson begins Africa tour

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waves at Djibouti airport

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to arrive in Kenya later today, hot on the heels of President Kenyatta's meeting with opposition rival Raila Odinga.

    Mr Tillerson is first going to Djibouti, where both the US and China have military bases.

    One of Mr Tillerson's top themes during his African tour has been to urge caution about China's growing influence in the continent.

  5. Breaking'New beginning for Kenya' - President Kenyatta

    At a joint news conference with Raila Odinga, President Kenyatta describes the meeting between the two political rivals as "a new beginning" for Kenya.

  6. Kenya president meets opposition leader

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Raila Odinga (archive picture)
    Image caption: President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Raila Odinga

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently holding talks with opposition leader Raila Odinga in the capital Nairobi.

    This is the first time the two rivals are meeting since last year's contested elections.

    The two are expected to address a joint press conference later on Friday.

    The unexpected meeting comes hours before the arrival of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Nairobi for a four-day state visit.

  7. Cameroonian soldier beheaded - local media

    A map of Cameroon showing the location of Batibo

    The headless body of a Cameroonian soldier was found in the town of Batibo on Thursday, Journal du Cameroun reports.

    The soldier - believed to be a member of the air force commando - had been missing in the North West region for several days. An investigation is now under way.

    Journal du Cameroun is quoting local sources as saying that there were no recent attacks in the region by suspected separatists.

  8. Mauritius starts impeachment of Africa's only female president

    Yasine Mohabuth

    Port Louis, Mauritius

    President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

    Mauritius' first female president, who is also the only serving female president in Africa, has been told to leave office after being implicated in an expenses scandal.

    President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars of public money on personal purchases.

    According to reports in L'express newspaper, these include payments to a dressmaker in Italy, duty-free purchases in Dubai and a platinum credit card offered by the Planet Earth Institute, a foundation belonging to controversial Angolan billionaire Alvaro Sobrinho.

    Government ministers met on Thursday and agreed to begin the impeachment process, after President Gurib-Fakim refused to step down at the prime minister's request.

    But Ms Gurib-Fakim is defiant, telling Mauritius' Radio Plus station:

    "I will not resign. Let them institute their tribunal. I will see later if I am guilty."

    If the president does not resign a national assembly is likely to be called next week, where a motion to remove the president from office in line with the constitution for "violation of the constitution or any other serious act of misconduct" will be on the agenda.

    Should the motion be successful a tribunal will start an investigation.

    It can then recommend to the national assembly that the president be removed.

  9. Today's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: If the vulture fails to hover at the end of a sacrifice, then you know that something happened in the land of spirits." from Sent by Mac Anthony Okpala and Chukwuma Okonkwo in Nigeria
    Sent by Mac Anthony Okpala and Chukwuma Okonkwo in Nigeria

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

  10. Good morning

    Welcome back to BBC Africa Live, where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent throughout the day.

    Keep scrolling down for Thursday's news.

  11. 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 Thursday's wise words:

    Quote Message: It is not changing into a lion that is hard; it is getting the tail of a lion." from Sent in by Alieu Conteh, Sierra Leone
    Sent in by Alieu Conteh, Sierra Leone

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

    And we leave you with these pictures of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson enjoying a cup of brewed coffee during a traditional ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    And, if you look closely at the second picture, you will see how Mr Tillerson has ensured his shirts don't get mixed up with anyone else's....

    .S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) receives a cup of brewed coffee during a traditional coffee ceremony at the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa on March 8, 2018
    Rex Tillerson holds a cup of coffee in his hand, with his initials clearly visible embroidered onto his shirt cuff
  12. The Gambian footballer tackling child marriage

    Meet Aminata Camara, the captain of The Gambia's under-17 football team.

    The 15-year-old has dreams of a bright future in football, but there is one problem: she comes from a community which believes in early marriage.

    "My father, he is the only problem right now," she told the BBC.

    "In our tribe, some of his brothers, their children, some are 14 years old, but they get married.

    "So that is what is disturbing him."

    Child marriage was banned in The Gambia in 2016, but it still remains widespread, with one in three girls getting married before they turn 18.

    You can hear watch Aminata's story - and her fight to play the game she loves - in the video below:

    Video content

    Video caption: Gambian footballer tackling marriage
  13. Hippos, elephants and crocodiles poached in Mozambique

    : A Hippo walks across the Crocodile River in the Kruger National Park during the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Golf Club on December 12, 2014

    Poachers have killed almost 150 hippos in one area of Mozambique in just two years.

    A total of 144 hippos - as well as 111 buffalo, 54 elephants, four crocodiles and two lions - were killed between 2015 and 2016 in a small part of Tete province.

    Dozens of monkeys, warthogs and antelopes were also killed.

    But while the number is likely to be far higher, poaching was kept down in the area thanks to wardens working with the Tchuma Tchato community wildlife management programme.

    They went out on about 3,000 patrols during the period, catching 260 poachers, including Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and Zambians.

    Wardens also seized 13 automatic weapons, 154 artisanal firearms, 16 spears, 34 axes, and more than 3,200 snares of various types, along with other items, like poison.

  14. 'We have to stick together as women'

    Female solidarity is as important as music to Malawian singer Hazel Mak.

    She is behind a development programme called Malawi Girls Rock, which supports budding entrepreneurs.

    "We have to stick together as women. There's beauty and magic in the sisterhood," she told BBC Focus on Africa on International Women's Day.

    Listen to her singing one of her songs - Ine Ndi Iwe which means You and I in Chichewa - which she says is an apt choice for its themes of sisterhood:

    Video content

    Video caption: Malawian singer Hazel Mak sings a capella for BBC Focus on Africa
  15. Mozambique struck by 5.6 magnitude earthquake

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Map of Mozambique showing the location of Tete province

    A Mozambican official has called for calm after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck the west of the country.

    Authorities say the quake was felt this morning in four districts of Tete province, including the provincial capital, Tete City.

    However, they say the epicentre of the phenomenon was recorded in Quelimane, the provincial capital of central Zambezia province. The earthquake is reported to have occurred 6.4 metres below ground level.

    Gracio Cune, the provincial director of mineral resources and energy in Tete, said a full assessment of the damage was yet to be carried out.

    “The important step to follow is check the status of buildings, if they have any fissures," he said.

    "People must keep calm. They must check whether the electricity and water distribution systems have been affected or not. People must be careful with old buildings, particularly those with confirmed fragility. The inspection of such buildings must be done very carefully.”

  16. Sierra Leoneans asked to be 'patient' as vote count continues

    Counting is under way in Sierra Leone following the election yesterday - but with tensions rising, the country's election chief is calling for patience.

    National Election Commission (NEC) Chairman Mohamed Conteh's call came after police went to the office of the main opposition candidate, Julius Maada Bio, demanding it be searched after Wednesday's vote.

    Police say they had received reports the office - which was being used as a temporary centre to monitor voting - was being used to hack into the system.

    Mr Bio and his supporters have vehemently denied the accusation, calling it an intimidation antic, while a spokesman for the NEC says their system cannot be hacked.

    This is because Sierra Leone has an entirely manual voting system.

    As a result, it is not the fastest of systems - as our correspondent in Freetown said in a tweet:

    View more on twitter

    Speaking in the capital Freetown on Thursday, Mr Conteh said they "value accuracy above speed" during a press conference in Freetown on Thursday.

    "Please be patient and peaceful," he added.

    The NEC did confirm one staff member was arrested in Waterloo, just outside from Freetown, for pre-marking ballot papers.

    Partial results are expected in the next day or so, but full results will not be available for a couple of weeks, at which point there is expected to be a run-off between the top two candidates.

  17. Brain surgery mix-up staff allowed back to work

    Beverly Ochieng

    BBC Monitoring

    A  general view of Kenyatta National Hospital where a brain surgery has been performed on the wrong patient

    Four medical officials linked to last month's brain surgery mix up at a Kenyan hospital have been allowed back to work.

    The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), in Nairobi, suspended a trainee surgeon, an anaesthetist and two nurses after they performed brain surgery on the wrong patient on 19 February.

    Today, the KNH board said it was handing responsibility for investigating the incident to the Kenyan Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB), which will then take disciplinary action.

    “The decision was made following KNH board’s meeting with Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Sicily Kariuki and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB),” the privately-owned Daily Nation reported.

    On Monday, 700 trainee doctors boycotted work over their colleagues' suspension. They accused the hospital of victimisation and instead asked the hospital to suspend the consultant who oversaw the operation.

    KNH discontinued non-urgent medical procedures until the trainees resumed their duties.

    Politicians have also protested against CS Kariuki’s decision to send the hospital chief executive Lily Koros on compulsory leave. The Standard newspaper is reporting that MPs are planning to impeach the health minister over the matter.

  18. South Africa's EFF declares war on polony

    South Africa's listeria outbreak is no small matter: it has killed 180 people since January last year, and poisoned many more.

    The World Health Organisation has officially labelled it the world's worst outbreak.

    So, when its source was traced to processed meat - particularly polony - made in a few possible factories, it didn't take long for the country's biggest supermarkets to remove all those companies products from their shelves.

    But South African opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are taking no risks.

    They have been pictured taking all the polony from the shelves - even those known not to have come from the affected factories:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema has hit out at the government's slow response to the crisis.

    "The first step should have been to declare a crisis once the source was identified, taking into consideration that ours is the largest outbreak in history," Mr Malema said, according to South African news site IOL.

    "Many retail outlets in rural South Africa still have products that are linked to listeriosis, and in a addition, there is no disposal plan. These products may find their way back into circulation."

  19. DR Congo's Bemba loses bribery appeal

    Sammy Maina

    BBC Monitoring

    Jean-Pierre Bemba in court
    Image caption: Jean-Pierre Bemba was jailed in 2016 for crimes against humanity

    Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have rejected former Congolese vice-president and ex-rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba's appeal against his conviction for bribing witnesses.

    Bemba, who is already serving another 18-year jail sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic, had filed an appeal against an additional year in jail he was given for corruptly influencing witnesses and falsifying evidence in his original trial.

    The ICC's Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had also appealed, calling for a five-year term for Mr Bemba and his co-defendants, saying the original sentences were "disproportionate", "manifestly inadequate" and did "not reflect the gravity of the offences".

    The judges decided to review the sentences imposed on Bemba and two of his co-accused for bribery, and "remand the matter to the original trial chamber for a new determination of their sentences", AFP reports.

    However, the ICC appeals chamber today also acquitted Bemba and four of his co-accused - Bemba's lawyer Aimé Kilolo, his legal case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda, Congolese politician Fidèle Babala and defence witness Narcisse Arido - of the separate charge of presenting false or forged evidence.

    In 2016, the ICC found Bemba and his four co-accused guilty of various offences against the administration of justice. The five were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to two-and-half years.

    Profile: Jean-Pierre Bemba

  20. My family, Nelson Mandela and the Rivonia Trials

    Nelson Mandela, President of the African National Congress (left) in di
    Image caption: Nelson Mandela pictured in 1964

    The BBC's Gavin Fischer never met his great-uncle: he died in a South African jail before he was born.

    But before the white, Afrikaner anti-apartheid campaigner was jailed, he was Nelson Mandela's defence lawyer at the Rivonia Trial - the trial which brought Mr Mandela to the world stage, and ended with him on Robben Island.

    Bram Fischer is someone who, for most of our reporter's life, was more myth than man.

    Now though, thanks to tape recordings of the trial, he has had the chance to hear Bram's voice for the first time - along with the searing power of Mandela's speech, Walter Sisulu's impressive philosophical outwitting of the prosecutor, and even the defiant humour of Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg.

    Read all about what Fischer heard in this remarkable piece: My uncle, Nelson Mandela and the Rivonia Trial