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Summary

  1. Burundi says footage was filmed in West Africa
  2. Kenya teacher killed 'over confiscated phone'
  3. Thirty killed in month-long Sudan clashes
  4. Plan to drop Afrikaans at SA university criticised
  5. Mozambique orders arrest over $2bn fraud scandal
  6. 'President Bashir must leave' - opposition leader
  7. Algeria journalist dies after self-immolation

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Nigerian court gives order to stop trial of top judge

    BBC World Service

    A Nigerian appeals court issued an interim order stopping a tribunal from charging the chief justice with breaching asset-declaration rules.

    Nigeria's most senior judge is under investigation after hundreds of thousands of dollars were found in accounts the authorities say belong to him.

    Chief Justice Onnoghen has maintained his innocence and his lawyer argued that the tribunal investigating him had ignored rulings from other courts.

    He has been asked to appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for trial but says the tribunal does not have the authority to try him.

  2. What to expect from President Tshisekedi

    The new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, has been sworn into office.

    President Tshisekedi is taking over from Joseph Kabila in the first peaceful transfer of power in the country for nearly 60 years.

    But many still dispute his victory in December's presidential election.

    Numerous sources say his opponent Martin Faylulu won a landslide victory and has been denied office by a backroom deal between Mr Kabila and Mr Tshisekedi.

    Video content

    Video caption: Felix Tshisekedi: What to expect from DR Congo's new president?
  3. Somalis protest against teenager's gang rape

    Wahiba Ahmed

    BBC Africa

    People have taken to the streets to protest in Gur’el Town in central Somalia following the gang-rape of a teenage girl.

    A video of the attack has surfaced on social media, causing outrage among Somalis.

    The footage shows the men undressing the teenager, with her crying and begging them to let her go.

    The protesters held signs reading “He who rapes, shouldn’t be protected” and were calling on their government to take action against the perpetrators.

    Students, mothers, community elders, religious figures took part in the protests.

    Police have arrested four male suspects and are pursuing more evidence.

    According local journalist Nafiso Oogle the incident happened earlier this month.

    She says the families of the parties involved tried to resolve the matter through traditional Somali law.

    The journalist told the BBC that the teenager was taken by her family to Somaliland's capital, Hargeisa, for medical help.

  4. Armed groups ask for amnesty in CAR

    Anne Soy

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Bangui
    Image caption: There is a heavy presence of peacekeepers in the capital Bangui

    Peace talks aimed at restoring order in the Central African Republic have begun in neighbouring Sudan.

    The talks have brought together representatives of 14 armed groups and government negotiators in Sudan's capital, Khartoum.

    Armed groups now control most of the country and many of them have been accused of war crimes.

    They’ve been asking for an amnesty, but the government is reluctant to grant it.

    The talks are being brokered by the African Union, which is hoping to bring to an end a conflict that began in 2012 and has left two-thirds of the population reliant on international aid.

  5. Top court allows Kenyan schools to ban hijabs

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    School
    Image caption: Now schools can ban veils

    Kenya’s highest court has overturned a ruling that obliged schools to allow Muslim girls to wear hijabs in class.

    The Supreme Court now says schools should use their own discretion and determine their own rules.

    The legal process began when parents of three Muslim students sued a school, sponsored by the Methodist Church, over the suspension of Muslim students who went against the school's hijab ban.

    In an initial ruling, the High Court sided with the school, but after an appeal students were allowed to wear hijabs.

    The school appealed that decision, and now the Supreme Court has had the final say. Now every school has a right to determine its uniform policy.

  6. 'Zimbabwe army says bogus soldiers behind beatings'

    Stones on ground
    Image caption: Protests erupted over a steep increase in fuel prices

    Soldiers accused of beating Zimbabwean protesters were impostors, the Zimbabwean army has told Reuters news agency.

    Zimbabwe National Army spokesman Alphios Makotore told Reuters those involved were not bona fide soldiers.

    "The Zimbabwe National Army has noted with concern allegations of misconduct and acts of violence by people purporting to be members of the organisation," he is quoted as saying.

    "The actions by these bogus elements have subsequently put the image of the organisation into disrepute," his statement added, urging residents to report violations to military police.

    The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission accused soldiers of using "systematic torture" in a crackdown on protests.

    Unrest broke out more than a week ago following a sharp rise in fuel prices.

  7. DR Congo new president makes reconciliation and priority

    Felix Tshisekedi at his swearing in

    Felix Tshisekedi has said national reconciliation is a priority in his presidency, reports our correspondent Gaius Kowene.

    The remark was in the final part of his speech that was in danger, at one point, of not being delivered.

    The new president returned to the stage in the capital, Kinshasa, to finish his inauguration speech after falling ill part-way through.

    He also promised to change the electoral law in the country where his own election win has been contested by the opposition.

  8. BreakingTshisekedi's flak jacket 'too tight'

    The spokesman for President Félix Tshisekedi has told Reuters news agency that his flak jacket was too tight and had to be removed.

    "Now he is OK," he added.

    The new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo fell ill during his own inauguration speech and had to leave the stage part-way through.

  9. BreakingTshisekedi falls ill at own inauguration

    Newly sworn in president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi appeared to be having problems with his voice while he was giving his speech at his own inauguration ceremony as president, reports our BBC correspondent Gaius Koweme.

    People gathered around him on the stage.

    State television interrupted its live broadcast of the event after Mr Tshisekedi said, "I don't feel well", and stopped speaking.

    He has now returned to the stage to complete his speech.

    He explained that he was exhausted because of his long hours of work preparing to take over as president and the strains of the presidential campaign.

  10. Sudanese protesters take on palace 'from all directions'

    Protesters have again taken to the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and other cities across the country, demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir.

    At least four separate rallies are being staged in the Khartoum, where organisers have called on people to march on the presidential palace from all directions.

    There have been clashes with the security forces in the Burri district, where last week a doctor and a teenager were shot dead.

    Video posted on social media shows tear gas being deployed against the crowds. The protests started last month following rises in the cost of bread and fuel.

    Protester
    Image caption: The protests started in December
  11. Felix Tshisekedi sworn in as DR Congo's president

    BBC World Service

    At a ceremony in Kinshasa, Felix Tshisekedi has been sworn in as the Democratic Republic of Congo's president in the first peaceful transfer of power in its history.

    He took the oath of office in front of a large and joyous crowd.

    The contested winner of last month's election, Mr Tshisekedi faces a daunting to-do list in a country whose mineral wealth has been exploited for the benefit of a tiny minority.

    High on his list is to try to eliminate the corruption that has long blighted the DR Congo.

    He also has to deal with conflicts in the south and east, poor infrastructure and a continuing outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

  12. Mikel signs for Middlesbrough

    Stanley Kwenda

    BBC Africa

    John Obi Mikel

    Nigerian international John Obi Mikel has signed for Middlesbrough on a short deal, the club has announced.

    View more on twitter

    Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis said: "I''m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality. He has a winning mentality."

    Mikel joins DR Congo's Britt Assombalonga and Benin's Rudy Gestede to take the African contingent at the club to three.

    He also becomes the fifth Nigerian to play for the club, after Yakubu Ayegbeni, Bart Ogbeche, Karl Ikeme and Kenneth Omeruo.

    The 31-year-old former Chelsea player was out of contract since leaving Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda this month.

    Mikel made 249 Premier League appearances for Chelsea and was part of the team that beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 2012.

    He will now look to help Middlesbrough gain promotion to the premier league.

  13. Graft charges dropped against Zuma's son

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Duduzane Zuma shares a laugh with his father, former South African president Jacob Zuma, ahead of Duduzane"s appearance at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg
    Image caption: Duduzane Zuma and his father, ex-President Jacob Zuma, were seen smiling in court

    South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has dropped corruption charges against the son of former President Jacob Zuma.

    Last year, Duduzane Zuma was charged over an allegation that he and his business partners, the Guptas, offered a $43.3m (£33.2m) bribe to ANC MP Mcebisi Jonas with the intention that he would take the job of finance minister.

    He turned them down.

    Prosecuting Authority’s Phindi Mjonondwane told reporters that he was not receiving preferential treatment.

    The NPA provisionally withdrew the charges because they did not want to run a parallel process alongside an official inquiry which is also investigating the awarding of government contracts to the Guptas.

    Duduzane Zuma, who was wearing a dark suit and tie, was accompanied by his father.

    They both walked out of court smiling with their thumbs up and drove off in a motorcade of black SUVs.

    But Duduzane Zuma is not completely out of the woods yet.

    In another court, a trial date was set for 26 March for a culpable homicide case where he is accused of negligent driving, after a female passenger died when his sports car crashed into the rear of a minibus taxi in 2014.

  14. Chinese mine in Ghana shuts after 16 die

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    The Ghanaian government has shut down the operations of a Chinese mining firm, Shaanxi, following the death of at least 16 miners in an explosion at a mine in the Talensi District in the north of Ghana.

    Several others were injured and are now receiving treatment in hospital.

    Company officials have blamed illegal miners for ignoring their warnings and continuing to encroach on their mine and getting caught in one of their explosive mining operations.

    But Ghanaian authorities have launched an investigation after reports suggested that the miners had died from inhaling toxic gases from an explosion in a mine tunnel.

    Two years ago, the company had to suspend its operations for three months over safety concerns, following the death of seven miners.

    Mining
    Image caption: Ghana has a long history of mining
  15. Member of Sudan intelligence service killed

    A security agent from Sudan's intelligence service (NISS) has been killed in a fight with a group of soldiers in the town of Port Sudan, police said.

    The fighting started on Wednesday night, Port Sudan police chief Mohamed Musa Omer said in a statement.

    Port Sudan residents told AFP news agency that the fighting was close to the coast, forcing nearby cafes and restaurants to shut.

    Mr Omer said the situation is now under control.

    The NISS are leading a crackdown on anti-government protests that have been taking place in the country for more than a month. Further protests are expected today.

    Sudanese men shout slogans during an anti-government protest f
    Image caption: Anti-government protests have been taking place since December
  16. Mozambique probing SA terror suspect's death

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Andre Hanekom (R) and his wife Francis
    Image caption: Andre Hanekom and his wife Francis had lived in northern Mozambique for years

    Mozambique’s government says it is investigating the death in custody of a South African businessman held on terrorism charges – but suspects he died of natural causes.

    Andre Hanekom was arrested last August and then accused of being a leader of a jihadist group in northern Mozambique.

    One of his daughters told the BBC he had died of suspected poisoning - days before a hearing when he hoped to prove his innocence.

    Andrie Hanekom said her father had become ill on Saturday in Pemba jail, bleeding from the stomach and convulsing. He had then become paralysed and unable to speak before dying in hospital on Wednesday morning.

    Government spokesperson Ana Comoana said his death was regrettable but added that it should not affect diplomatic relations between South Africa and Mozambique:

    Quote Message: Currently, the government is working in order to ascertain the real causes of the death of this citizen. As it is known, he was under detention.
    Quote Message: When he went to the hospital, he was coming from prison. His death, as we learnt, was because of sickness.
    Quote Message: Therefore, this means it was a natural death, which, in principle, it will not affect the diplomatic relations between our two countries.”
  17. Angola decriminalises homosexuality

    BBC World Service

    Luanda sea front
    Image caption: Angolans are more tolerant to homosexuality than other parts of the continent

    Parliament in Angola has abolished a law widely interpreted to be a ban on homosexuality.

    The government has also prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation; anyone refusing to employ or provide services to individuals based on their sexual orientation may face up to two years in prison.

    Angola is the latest former Portuguese colony to repeal laws outlawing same-sex conduct, following Sao Tome and Cape Verde.

    There have been no known prosecutions under the now expunged law.

    Many other African countries enforce strict legislation against homosexuality.

  18. Crowds gather for DR Congo inauguration

    Crowds are already gathering in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the inauguration of Felix Tshisekedi as president in a couple of hours' time, as a reporter for the Financial Times newspaper tweets:

    View more on twitter
  19. Tshisekedi to be sworn in as DR Congo president

    BBC World Service

    Felix Tshisekedi
    Image caption: Felix Tshisekedi has promised to make the fight against poverty his priority

    Felix Tshisekedi will be sworn in as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a ceremony in the capital, Kinshasa, later on Thursday.

    It will be the first peaceful transfer of power in the country, but there remain questions about the legitimacy of Mr Tshisekedi's victory.

    A BBC correspondent in Kinshasa said there is no desire among the population to begin a campaign of protests against the result, rather that they are pleased that the country has taken a step towards entrenching democratic norms.

    But it is likely that outgoing President Joseph Kabila will continue to play a leading role in the country.

    His party is the biggest in the new parliament and there is a widespread belief that he engineered Mr Tshisekedi's victory to ensure he will still be able to dictate policy.

  20. Top Nigeria female candidate drops out of presidential race

    #BringBackOurGirls campaigner wants a broader coalition

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Oby Ezekwesili
    Image caption: Oby Ezekwesili leads the #BringBackOurGirls campaign

    One of the main candidates in next month’s Nigerian presidential election has stepped down because she says she wants to form a broader coalition to defeat the two main parties.

    Oby Ezekwesili is well known for leading the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to help free the 276 girls kidnapped from Chibok, northern Nigeria, in 2014.

    She co-founded Transparency International and has served as the education minister and vice-president of the World Bank.

    But in a surprise statement on Thursday morning, she said she was committed to building a coalition that would offer Nigerians a viable alternative to the two major parties - the governing All Progressive’s Congress (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

    View more on twitter

    She added that she had come to her decision following consultations with Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.

    In a series of tweets following the announcement, she admitted that her party, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, disagreed with her choice.

    View more on twitter

    Election campaigns in Nigeria are notoriously expensive to run and female candidates often struggle to raise the required funds.

    Ms Ezekwesili had set up an online funding page at the beginning of her campaign, urging members of the public to donate to her efforts.

    As of Thursday morning the page had raise slightly more $6,000 (£4,559), less than half of her stated goal.