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Summary

  1. Malawi activists vow to resist Gandhi statue
  2. Nigeria's ex-leader endorses Atiku Abubakar
  3. Uganda landslide kills more than 30
  4. Nigeria vigilantes free '833 child soldiers'
  5. Rwandan elected to lead la Francophonie
  6. Key figure in apartheid's transition dies
  7. Ethiopia frees 43 Eritrean prisoners

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    BBC Africa Live

    Farouk Chothia

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now. You can 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 Fridays proverb:

    Quote Message: Buffaloes are held by ropes, people by their words." from Sent by Yamikani Funsani , Blantyre, Malawi.
    Sent by Yamikani Funsani , Blantyre, Malawi.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with a photo from our weekly gallery of Africa's top shots - the Zimbabwean children aiming to become football stars:

    Children playing football in Zimbabwe
  2. Ethiopia suspects in court over 'assassination bid'

    Habtamu Tibebu

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Five suspects have appeared in court in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, on charges of planning to assassinate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    Their lawyer Wondimu Ibsa told the BBC that the charges against his clients made no sense, and they would plead not guilty.

    The prosecution alleges that the suspects were behind a June bomb attack at a rally addressed by Mr Abiy in Addis Ababa.

    He survived the attack, but two people were killed and more than 150 injured.

    The case will resume on 26 October.

  3. South African Nobel laureate discharged from hospital

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu laughs as crowds gather to celebrate his birthday by unveiling an arch in his honour outside St George"s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, October 7, 2017
    Image caption: Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a much-loved figure in South Africa

    South Africa's anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, 87, has returned home after two weeks in hospital, his office has said.

    The Arch, as he is affectionately known, is "re-gathering his strength", his office said.

    He had been admitted to hospital for a series of unspecified tests.

    The Nobel laureate, who celebrated his birthday last Sunday, has had several stays in hospital in recent years and is in long-term treatment for prostate cancer.

    His foundation "wishes to thank all who have sent messages and prayers, including on social media, for the Arch's swift return to his feet," it said.

  4. Malawi activists in bid to block Gandhi statue

    The Mahatma Gandhi spinning wool by a spinning wheel during a speech in Madras, present Chennai. Madras, 1925
    Image caption: Mahatma Gandhi spearheaded the campaign against British rule in India

    More than 3,000 people have so far signed an online petition to stop Malawi's government from erecting a statue of Indian anti-colonial campaigner Mahatma Gandhi in the commercial capital, Blantyre.

    Gandhi believed that "Indians were superior to Africans" and had made numerous disparaging remarks about them, the petition said.

    The government has responded by saying the statue is aimed at recognising Gandhi's role in the struggle against colonialism in India and Africa.

    Malawi shares good relations with India and the Indian government plans to build a $10m Mahatma Gandhi Conference and Convention Centre in Blantyre.

    But a campaigner against the building of the statue, Mkotama Katenga-Kaunda, told BBC Focus on Africa that it was "offensive" to honour Gandhi, who had "nothing to do with Malawi".

    "We don't even honour our heroes. The only statue we have is that of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, our first president," he added.

    In 2016, a campaign was also launched to remove a statue of Gandhi from a university in Ghana.

    But Gandhi was praised by South African anti-apartheid icon President Nelson Mandela who said his teachings helped the struggle against white-minority rule in the country.

    Ethiopia's then-Emperor Haile Selassie I, was also an admirer.

    "Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live," he said.

    This picture, taken on September 25, 2018, shows an Indian artisan giving final touches on a statue of the father of the nation 'Mahatma Gandhi'
    Image caption: Mahatma Gandhi is a revered figure in India
  5. Rwandan beat Canadian in la Francophonie contest

    Claude Foly

    BBC Africa

    French President Emmanuel Macron meets with newly elected Secretary General of the International Organisation of French-speaking countries (OIF
    Image caption: French President Emmanuel Macron supported the candidacy of Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo

    Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo defeated the Canadian Michaëlle Jean in the race to become the head of a la Francophonie, a group of French-speaking nations similar to the Commonwealth.

    Ms Jean was seeking a second term after having led the organisation from November 2014, but she lost support of her home country just hours before the group's summit opened on Thursday in the Armenian city of Erevan.

    Ms Mushikiwabo was a strong favourite for months. Her candidacy was backed by France and the Africa Union.

    However, international human rights groups have criticised the choice due to what they call the repressive nature of President Paul Kagame's government in Rwanda.

    See earlier post for more details

  6. Search for abducted Tanzania billionaire continues

    Athuman Mtulya

    BBC Africa

    An undated handout photo of Mohammed Dewji, a Tanzanian business tycoon
    Image caption: Mohammed Dewji's fortune is estimated to be $1.5bn (£980m)

    Tanzanian police are still searching for billionaire Mohammed Dewji, 43, after masked gunmen abducted him outside a swanky hotel gym in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, on Thursday morning.

    Police believe two of his abductors were white men, but the identities of the 12 who were arrested by the end of Thursday have not been made public.

    Police have not given any further update on their investigations.

    Mr Dewji, locally known as Mo, is described by financial magazine Forbes as Africa’s youngest billionaire.

    It estimates that he is worth $1.5bn (£980m).

    He is the CEO of MeTL, a family empire started by his father in 1970’s of which Mo is credited with turning it from a wholesale and retail enterprise into a multi-billion dollar pan-African conglomerate.

    Authorities are yet to establish the motive for the kidnapping.

  7. Children recruited to fight Boko Haram freed

    Homemade weapons
    Image caption: The vigilantes operate mostly in north-eastern Nigeria

    A Nigerian government-backed vigilante group has freed 833 children it had recruited to fight Boko Haram militants, the UN children's agency Unicef has said.

    In a statement, Unicef hailed the release as a "significant milestone in ending the recruitment and use of children, but many more children remain in the ranks of other armed groups in either combat or support roles".

    The children - some as young as 11 - were freed by the Civilian Joint Task Force, formed in north-eastern Nigeria to help government troops defeat the militant Islamists.

    "As of today, a total of 1,469 children (1,175 boys and 294 girls) associated with the Civilian Joint Task Force have been identified within the city of Maiduguri," Unicef added.

    The US ambassador to Nigeria, W Stuart Symington, spoke at an event to welcome the freed children, Unicef said in a tweet:

    View more on twitter
  8. Ethiopia frees Eritrean prisoners

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed (left) is meeting veteran Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki
    Image caption: The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed (left) and Isaias Afwerki, have made peace

    Ethiopia has released 43 Eritreans who had been arrested over the last 20 years for what officials called immigration-related offences, BBC Tigrinya reports.

    The releases come at a time of improved relations between the two states - including the restoration of diplomatic relations for the first time since the 1998 border war that lefts tens of thousands of people dead.

    The prisoners were freed by the Tigray regional government.

    The head of its justice department, Amanuel Assefa, defended the detentions, saying anyone who violated the law had to face justice.

    Read: I haven't seen my jailed parents for 17 years

  9. The Lagos litter warriors

    Video content

    Video caption: Guerrilla litter pickers in Lagos want to clean up Nigeria

    Nigerian environmental activists are trying to clean up Lagos "one community at a time".

    Jennifer Uchendu leads a team of volunteers that pick up rubbish and remove waste from gutters in the city.

    She told BBC Minute that the task was frustrating because people in Lagos don't care about the environment.

    Video journalist: Dan Ikpoyi.

  10. Rwandan elected to lead la Francophonie

    Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo has been elected as secretary general of La Francophonie - an organisation of French-speaking nations similar to the Commonwealth.

    View more on twitter

    Ms Mushikiwabo had the backing of the African Union and France in her bid for the job.

    Rwanda under the presidency of Paul Kagame has turned away from speaking French in favour of English and has not always enjoyed good relations with France.

    The two nations fell out after a French judge said President Paul Kagame had helped spark the 1994 genocide, and Rwanda accused France of arming the Hutu militias.

    But both countries have sought to heal the divisions in recent years.

    Activists have criticised Rwanda over its human rights record.

    Human Rights Watch says that despite economic growth "tight restrictions on freedom of speech and political space remain in place... [and] the government continues to limit the ability of opposition parties and civil society groups to function freely".

  11. Obasanjo's shadow looms large over Nigeria

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    President Muhammadu Buhari receives former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Presidential villa during a delegation from Columbia visits to the President in Abuja , 12 October 2015
    Image caption: Muhammadu Buhari (R) became president with the backing of Olusegun Obasanjo (L)

    Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo's endorsement of his one-time rival Atiku Abukar's presidential campaign is a major source of debate in the country.

    Some have dismissed it as irrelevant, while others believe Mr Obasanjo has just made President Muhammadu Buhari's bid for a second term in next year's election tougher.

    Since stepping down in 2007, Mr Obasanjo has been a serial critic of incumbents and remains politically influential.

    Each of the candidates he endorsed - Umaru Yar'Adua in 2007, Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and Mr Buhari in 2015 - won.

    But Mr Buhari's team is confident that despite a spate of defections to the opposition, he still has grassroots support, especially in the north and the south-west, to carry him to victory in the elections due in February.

    Mr Buhari will be the candidate for his All Progressives Congress, while Mr Atiku will run under the banner of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

    Both parties have have just concluded their primaries at national and state level. So expect aggrieved politicians in both parties to switch loyalties in the coming months as they consider what is their best option of being elected to office next year.

    See earlier post: From friends to foes to friends

  12. George Weah watches as Liberia lose to Congo

    BBC Sport

    Prince Oniangue was on target for Congo against Liberia
    Image caption: Prince Oniangue was on target for Congo

    Liberia's President George Weah watched on as his country's national team lost 3-1 to hosts Congo in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

    The former world footballer of the year played in an international friendly for Liberia in September.

    It was a first win in Group G for the Red Devils and lifts them to four points, leaving Liberia bottom of the pool with 1 point after three matches.

    The two sides meet again in Monrovia on Tuesday.

    DR Congo and Zimbabwe are the other two teams in Group G and they play on Friday in Kinshasa and then on Tuesday in Harare, both nations have four points from their opening two game.

    Weah watched on as Merveil Ndockyt converted a cross on 15 minutes to give the hosts the lead at half-time in Brazzaville.

    Norway-based Sam Johnson levelled two minutes after the break with a powerful shot that was warmly applauded by Weah, whose played for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan.

    However Congo's win was sealed with goals from two Princes - Ibara headed home after 62 minutes and Oniangue in the final minute of the game.

  13. 'Big stones destroyed houses' in Uganda

    People look at devastation caused
    Image caption: A torrent of mud and water swept houses away

    At least 36 people are now confirmed dead, as search and rescue operations continue following heavy rains and a landslide in eastern Uganda on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Red Cross Society has said.

    The banks of a river had burst upstream and "when the water flowed down it brought a number of big stones with it that destroyed people's houses", Irene Nakasiita was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

    "Our search and rescue team is still on the ground evacuating people and removing them from the rubble," she added.

    See earlier post for more details

  14. Remembering the man who was the face of apartheid

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Pik Botha, who has died aged 86, was a towering figure in apartheid South Africa.

    Millions of South Africans saw him as the man who, as foreign minister, defended to the world the brutal system of racial oppression that the white-minority regime enforced until it lost power in 1994.

    But to many others he was seen as a liberal among white supremacist hardliners.

    At one point, he was the longest serving foreign minister in the world, having spent 17 years in the post.

    His name was Roelof Frederik. His nickname Pik came from his resemblance to a penguin, which in his mother tongue Afrikaans is known as pikkewyn.

    Pik Botha speaks to the press during an interview in Pretoria, South Africa, August 28, 1997

    It may not sound shocking now, but it took some guts in 1986 to tell his all-white male cabinet colleagues that South Africa will have a black president one day.

    In his deep baritone voice, Botha once gave the stereotypical explanation of political correctness to defend apartheid: "Some of my best friends are black."

    His other quote that still rings fresh in my mind is: "South Africa is like a zebra. It doesn’t matter whether you shoot the white or black stripe, the whole animal dies."

  15. Nigerian author brings her life to the stage

    Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo wowed the literary world with her debut novel, The Spider King's Daughter, when it came out in 2012.

    As well as releasing her second novel in 2017, Onuzo is also a musician and singer.

    Her latest project sees her use all of these talents to bring the story of her life to the stage - at the age of just 27.

    BBC Newsday's Karnie Sharp spoke to Onuzo ahead of the world premiere in London next week:

    Video content

    Video caption: "It's not only the big people in history who have their stories recorded"
  16. 'I had to keep boxing a secret from my mum'

    Somali boxer Ramla Ali told her mum she was going for run, but really she was fighting at the UK finals. Her family was against the sport, and even told her fiancé, who is also her coach, to force her to stop.

    However, the local Somali community embraced her success and now, so have her family.

    She is hoping to represent Somalia at the 2020 Olympic Games, and would be the first boxer to do so.

    Video content

    Video caption: Somali boxer Ramla Ali: My mum said no Muslim girl would box
  17. Obasanjo endorses ex-rival for Nigeria presidency

    Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar waves at supporters 20 December 2006
    Image caption: Atiku Abubakar failed in previous presidential bids

    Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed his one-time rival Atiku Abubakar in his bid to defeat incumbent Muhammadu Buhari in next year's election.

    Mr Abubakar had "rediscovered and repositioned himself" and would make a better president than Mr Buhari, Mr Obasanjo said, after holding talks with him on Thursday.

    The two had a strained relationship, even though Mr Abubakar was Mr Obasanjo's deputy in government from 1999 to 2007.

    He led the charge against Mr Obasanjo's bid to change the constitution to run for a third term, and Mr Obasanjo was forced to step down in 2007.

    Mr Abubakar broke away from the-then ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), forming a rival party that failed to propel him to the presidency.

    Last week, the PDP chose him as its candidate in next year's election, with Mr Obasanjo saying that the "prodigal son" had returned.

    Mr Buhari's campaign team dismissed Mr Obasango's endorsement of Mr Abubakar as a “complete non-event”.

    "They will lose together," Mr Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu said.

    Read: The shadow of Obasanjo looms large

  18. Uganda landslide kills more than 30

    A handout photo released by Uganda Red Cross on October 11, 2018, reportedly shows the damage after a river burst its banks in the eastern town of Bukalasi, in Uganda"s Bududa district.
    Image caption: Villages have been washed away in eastern Uganda

    At least 31 bodies have been recovered after heavy rains caused a landslide in eastern Uganda on Thursday, the Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness, Martin Owor, has told AFP news agency.

    Uganda's state-owned New Vision newspaper reported that hundreds are feared dead after a river burst its banks, sweeping away villages and a market in the eastern Ugandan district of Bududa.

    The newspaper quoted Bududa district chairman Wilson Watira as saying that 40 bodies had been recovered so far - not 31 as AFP reported.

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said rescue teams had been despatched to the area, and the government would look at ways to prevent similar disasters.

    "My condolences to those who lost their dear ones in this catastrophe," he added.

    Uganda's Red Cross Society has tweeted a photo from the scene:

    View more on twitter
  19. Key figure in apartheid's transition dies

    Pik Botha
    Image caption: Pik Botha served in both the apartheid regime and Nelson Mandela's government

    A key figure during South Africa's transition from the apartheid era, Pik Botha, has died at the age of 86.

    Mr Botha served as his country's foreign minister for 17 years until the end of the apartheid era in 1994.

    He spent most of his career defending the apartheid system, even though he was regarded as a liberal figure.

    But he also served as a minister in Nelson Mandela's first post-apartheid government, praising Mr Mandela as a healing figure.

    Read the full BBC story here

  20. Friday's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Buffaloes are held by ropes, people by their words." from Sent by Yamikani Funsani , Blantyre, Malawi.
    Sent by Yamikani Funsani , Blantyre, Malawi.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.