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Summary

  1. Electoral commission says that officials were threatened, assaulted and raped
  2. Algeria police fire tear gas at protesters
  3. Somalia building siege 'over'
  4. Son of Liberia's ex-president arrested over the scandal of missing bank notes
  5. Amnesty International shocked at rising use of death penalty in South Sudan
  6. Uganda summons Rwanda ambassador over border tension
  7. Sudan's president cedes control of ruling party

Live Reporting

By Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

  1. 'More than 20 dead' in Somalia attack

    BBC World Service

    Police in Somalia say a car bomb and gun battle in the capital, Mogadishu, have killed more than 20 people.

    Forty others were injured by the blast in front of a hotel in the centre of the city.

    Exchanges of gunfire continued throughout the night between police and the suspected al-Shabab militants.

    They launched their assault on a street lined with hotels, shops and restaurants.

    The gunmen took refuge in a nearby building where they were surrounded by soldiers.

    Latest reports suggest the gun battle is now over.

    Mohamed Moalimuu, a former BBC colleague who is now head of the Somali journalists' association, has been tweeting that he was caught up in the initial attack:

    View more on twitter

    Read more from BBC News

  2. Ex-Liberia President's son detained

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC Africa, Monrovia

    Charles Sirleaf, the son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was arrested in the capital, Monrovia, on Thursday night, justice officials have confirmed.

    He was a deputy governor of the Central Bank during the unlawful and unregulated printing of close to $104m (£78m) worth of local banknotes.

    Justice Minister Musa Dean has told the BBC that he was arrested in connection with the Kroll Associates' forensic report in which Mr Sirleaf was implicated as being one of those who was involved in the illegal printing of the banknotes.

    “I have 48 hours to charge him” in accordance with the constitution, Mr Dean said when asked if the former president's son had been charged.

    The Kroll report said that Liberia's Central Bank acted "unilaterally and unlawfully" by printing and importing into the country three times the amount of banknotes it had been authorised to do, a US-contracted international investigation has found.

    Someone counting money
  3. Sudan's president cedes control of ruling party

    BBC World Service

    Sudan"s President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan February 22, 2019
    Image caption: President Bashir announced a state of emergency last week

    Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has delegated his powers as the head of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to its recently appointed deputy head, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun.

    There have been more than two months of widespread protests calling for Mr Bashir to step down, but he is not giving up his presidential powers.

    Demonstrations have continued despite a nationwide ban. At least 30 people are known to have been killed.

    The NCP said Mr Haroun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, would remain in charge until the next general conference.

    Last week Mr Bashir dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency, giving the armed forces more power.

    But opposition politician Mubarak al-Fadil told the BBC's Newsday programme that the president's ceding of power would not appease the protesters.

    Video content

    Video caption: The opposition's Mubarak al-Fadil says this won't appease protesters in Sudan.
  4. Fear that South Sudan 'could rival China on executions'

    BBC World Service

    Amnesty International says it is shocked and dismayed at the rising use of the death penalty in South Sudan.

    The rights group says at least seven men were executed by hanging in February alone - including three members of the same family.

    Most of those executed had been convicted of murder but Amnesty says at least three of the cases were shrouded in secrecy and relatives only learnt of the deaths after they had been executed.

    Amnesty International says the South Sudanese authorities executed more people in 2018 than in any other year since its independence in 2011.

    The organisation's deputy director for East Africa Seif Magango told the BBC that if the trend continues it could "possibly compete with the likes of China and Iran" in terms of the numbers executed.

    He told the BBC's Newsday programme:

    Quote Message: We've been engaging with the South Sudan government to call on them to respect the right to life and stop using the death sentence and also to basically remind them that the world is moving away from using the death penalty and they should get on the right side of history.
    Quote Message: We've called on President Salva Kiir to stop signing death sentence orders."
  5. Wise words

    Friday's African proverb:

    Quote Message: Who knows how water entered into the stalk of the pumpkin?" from An Igbo proverb sent by Chukwuemeka Ekere, Calabar, Nigeria
    An Igbo proverb sent by Chukwuemeka Ekere, Calabar, Nigeria
    Pumpkin

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

  6. Good morning

    Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up to date with news and developments on the continent.

  7. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We’ll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now. 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: A wrong decision is worse than a drought." from A Somali proverb sent by G J Wehliye in Mombasa, Kenya, and Khadar Mohamed Badil in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    A Somali proverb sent by G J Wehliye in Mombasa, Kenya, and Khadar Mohamed Badil in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    And we leave you with this picture of this boat coming ashore in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott:

    View more on instagram
  8. France 'rejects Rwandan major's asylum bid again'

    AFP news agency reports that a former Rwandan commander acquitted by a tribunal in his home country has had his request for asylum rejected by France a second time.

    François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, a major in the Reconnaissance Battalion during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was cleared by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2014. The court was set up by the UN Security Council to judge those responsible for the deaths of 800,000 people.

    Mr Nzuwonemeye was appealing against an earlier decision by a French court to deny him the protection of asylum made in 2017, AFP reports.

  9. Former finance minister testifies in SA corruption probe

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s first non-white finance minister, has been testifying today at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry about the corruption in his own governing African National Congress (ANC) under former President Jacob Zuma.

    Mr Manuel said that an emotional Fikile Mbalula stood up in the middle of the ANC’s national executive committee meeting, and said that the controversial Gupta family had called him to their private residence in Johannesburg and informed him that he was going to be appointed the country’s sports minister.

    Mr Manuel described the shock in the room, as a tearful Mr Mbalula expressed his disappointment.

    Mr Manuel said: "It should never have been the Guptas who told him that. Presidential prerogative had been violated."

    The Gupta family has denied all allegations of wrongdoing, as has Mr Zuma.

    It is the first time that Mr Manuel has spoken publicly about the August 2011 incident since writing an article about it for an online new site two years ago.

    View more on twitter
  10. Central bank blamed for Liberia's missing millions

    BBC World Service

    Liberians hold a banner during a demonstration over the disappearance of newly printed bills on 24 September 2018, in the capital, Monrovia.
    Image caption: News of the vanished cash sparked protests in September last year

    Liberia's central bank has been blamed in an independent investigation into the disappearance of millions of dollars of newly printed local currency.

    The scandal has led to a severe cash shortage and fuelled inflation in the country.

    A US auditing firm Kroll Associates was called in to establish where the money had gone.

    This independent investigation says although no containers full of cash were ever stolen, the central bank unlawfully ordered most of the Liberian dollars and cannot account for all them.

    It says the bank failed to use the money for the intended purpose of replacing old bank notes.

    The report also questions President Weah's explanation as to how US dollars were injected into the economy to stop the rapid depreciation of the Liberian dollar.

    The scandal broke last year before Mr Weah was elected, but has cast a huge shadow over his first year in office with Liberians demanding to know what happened to the missing millions of dollars.

  11. SA retail giant hit by earnings slump

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    One of Africa’s biggest retail groups, Massmart, has revealed a big drop in its annual earnings.

    The group, which is owned by the US retailer Walmart, reported that its full-year earnings dropped by 31.7%, as sales fell in its home market of South Africa.

    Retailers in the country have struggled to lift earnings and sales to double digits because a VAT increase, and rising unemployment and inflation have reduced consumers' spending power. The South African market is where Massmart generates 91% of its group sales.

    Rivals like Shoprite and Pick n Pay have fared better thanks to a different mix of customers, which includes millions who depend on government social grants.

    Shoppers load their goods outside a Makro branch of South African retailer Massmart in Cape Town.
    Image caption: Makro is one of the brands owned by Massmart in South Africa
  12. AU troops pull out of base in Mogadishu

    Farah Lamaane

    BBC Somali, Nairobi

    Burundi troops leaving base

    The Burundian contingent of the African Union force in Somalia has pulled out of its base in the capital, Mogadishu.

    This is in line with the AU decision to draw down operation in the country, which is affected by an insurgency waged by militant Islamist group al-Shabab.

    AU troops have been camping at the base, known as Jalle Siyad military training academy, for the last decade.

    It had been the main training facility for Somali army cadets since 1975.

    "The facility will be used for its training purposes," Somalia's Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled said.

  13. Libya rivals meet in UN-mediated talks

    BBC World Service

    The UN has confirmed that Libya's rival leaders have met in the United Arab Emirates.

    The internationally recognised prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, and General Khalifa Haftar, who backs a rival government in eastern Libya, agreed on the need to hold general elections to break the current deadlock and end years of instability.

    The meeting in Abu Dhabi was mediated and chaired by the UN envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame.

    Last month, General Haftar's troops launched an offensive into the south and seized a number of oilfields.

    Libya has been marred by lawlessness since the overthrow of the long-time leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

    Read more:

  14. Protesters defy ban in Sudan

    Anti-government protests have taken place in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, as well as other parts of the country, despite a nationwide ban on demonstrations.

    This footage of Thursday's demonstrations on Zalat street in Khartoum has been shared by the organisers, Sudanese Professionals Association:

    View more on facebook

    Police fired tear gas to disperse some of the protesters who are focused on ending President Omar al-Bashir's three decades in office.

    Last week, he dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency, giving the armed forces more power.

    Dozens of people have been shot dead since the protests began in December.

    More on Sudan:

  15. Rivals 'reject but won't challenge' Senegal vote

    We reported earlier on Senegalese President Macky Sall's election win, which will see him serve a second five-year term in office.

    His opposition challengers now say they reject the results, but believe a formal challenge would be futile.

    Idrissa Seck, who won the second-largest share of votes in Sunday's poll after Mr Sall, has been holed up at his home holding discussions with the three other opposition candidates. From there he has told reporters:

    Quote Message: We reject firmly and with no hesitation this result. We will make no challenge before the Constitutional Council. It is clear that the incumbent candidate has confiscated the will of the Senegalese people and will be alone to face the consequences before the people and before history.”

    Two well-known opposition figures were barred from taking part in the election because of corruption convictions which critics say were politically motivated.

    The official results of Sunday's poll saw Mr Sall win in the first round, with 58.27% of votes.

    A graph showing the presidential candidates' vote share
  16. What will be on the menu, Mr Abiy?

    Elias Hordofa

    BBC Afaan Oromoo

    People eat injera, a popular Ethiopian food, from a communal plate.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's decision to host a dinner at a cost of five million birr ($175,000; £130,000) per head has drawn strong reaction among people in the country, and in the diaspora.

    Some people were sarcastic in comments posted on social media platforms of BBC Horn of Africa.

    ‘’I would attend this dinner, if the price was 10mln ETB [Ethiopian birr],’’ Abdii Adam said on Facebook.

    Another user commented: "Five million Birr? Sorry, I don’t have change."

    Others expressed a genuine desire to make their own little contribution to Mr Abiy's initiative to raise $1bn for infrastructure projects in the capital, Addis Ababa, which is also known informally as Sheger.

    View more on twitter

    Mesay can, in fact, contribute - Mr Abiy has also appealed for contributions of a dollar a day through the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund.

    Some social media users were vehemently opposed to the dinner, with one saying: "Our poor people cannot afford to eat [three times a day] yet they are enjoying themselves.’’

    According to sources, the prime minister's office expects 1,000 people to attend the dinner, raising almost 20% of the cost of the project.

    So who will be among the guests - and will they ask for the menu first?

    We will bring you the answers on BBC Africa Live, and the BBC's Afaan Oromoo and Amharic websites as soon as we get them.

  17. Being 17: The life of a teenager in Senegal

    Video content

    Video caption: Senegal: The life of a 17-year-old in Dakar

    Is it harder to be a teenager now than ever before?

    Seventeen-year-old Abdoulaye hopes one day he'll be able to help shape the future of his country.

    But for now the most important things in his life are his faith and studying.

    We spend a day with Abdoulaye as he shows us what it's like to grow up in Senegal.

    Being 17 is a series created by the BBC World Service and Radio 1 Newsbeat looking at how 17-year-olds all over the world spend their Saturdays.

    Video produced by Moose Campbell and Daisy Walsh

  18. Nigeria returnees 'need dire assistance'

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A soldier patrols the streets in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria.
    Image caption: Many residents of the north-east were forced to flee Boko Haram to Cameroon

    The UN says 10,000 people displaced by conflict in north-east Nigeria have returned from across the border in Cameroon but are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

    Médécins Sans Frontières said they were forced to return home.

    Last month, Cameroon was criticised by the UN refugee agency for sending 9,000 people back to the town of Rann and refusing them asylum.

    It followed attacks on the town by Islamist militants that displaced 40,000 people.

    Sixty more people have reportedly been killed in attacks on Rann this month after the military withdrew from the area.

  19. Journalists arrested at censorship protest

    BBC World Service

    An Algerian policeman restrains a protester at the demonstration in Algiers on 28 February 2019.

    Police in Algiers have arrested several journalists protesting against censorship of a week of demonstrations against Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is running for a fifth term in office.

    Mr Bouteflika, who turns 82 on Saturday, has been undergoing medical checks in Switzerland this week.

    The journalists had held banners calling for a free and democratic press.

    Speaking in parliament, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has again warned against protesting, commenting that the bloody eight-year old civil war in Syria began with rosy demonstrations.

  20. Somali aid workers kidnapped

    Ibrahim Aden

    BBC Africa, Mogadishu

    A map of Somalia showing the location of Gedo region

    At least six aid workers have been abducted by gunmen in Somalia's south-western Gedo region, a local official has said.

    The aid workers - all Somalis - were travelling to Bura village when their vehicle was ambushed by the gunmen on Wednesday, district commissioner Iman Adow said.

    Some of the aid workers managed to escape, but six were taken captive, he added.

    The motive for the abductions is unclear. Some locals blame militant Islamist group al-Shabab for the kidnappings, but the group has not yet commented.

    The aid workers are involved in efforts to curb malnutrition among women, children and the elderly, and were going to the village to assess the situation there when they were seized.