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Live Reporting

Emmanuel Onyango and Basillioh Mutahi

All times stated are UK

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  1. Egypt and Sudan back DR Congo to mediate dam dispute

    A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019.
    Image caption: Years of negotiations over the Nile dam row have failed

    Egypt and Sudan have backed the Democratic Republic of Congo to lead negotiations on their row with Ethiopia over the mega dam on the Nile River.

    A statement by foreign ministers Sameh Shoukry of Egypt and Sudan's Mariam Al-Sadiq affirmed their support for an “enhanced structure” of negotiation sponsored by the African Union that include the US, the European Union and the UN.

    The ministers also noted that a unilateral filling of the dam for the second phase would be a direct threat to their countries’ water security.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah-Al Sisi, who met the Sudanese minister, said the dam was a vital issue for both countries.

    The plan for enhanced talks comes after DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi took over as AU chairman last month.

    Years of negotiations over the dam have been fruitless, including recent ones hosted by the US and the AU.

    Ethiopia sees the $4.8bn (£3.2bn) Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) as crucial to producing electricity to power its economic growth.

    But it has led to bitter disputes with Egypt and Sudan, both of which are downstream and fear the large dam will greatly reduce their access to water.

    More on this topic:

  2. Macron admits 'torture and murder' of Algerian nationalist

    BBC World Service

    French President Emmanuel Macron
    Image caption: President Emmanuel Macron met with the family of Ali Boumendjel

    The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has acknowledged that the Algerian lawyer and nationalist, Ali Boumendjel, was tortured and murdered by the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence in 1957.

    His death had originally been attributed to suicide.

    Mr Macron made the admission on behalf of France in a meeting with Mr Boumendjel's grandchildren.

    The act is one of a series of measures aimed at improving relations between France and Algeria and the way they remember the eight-year war that ended colonial rule.

  3. Why are locusts invading East Africa again?

    Alan Kasujja

    BBC Africa Daily

    Desert locusts at maize field in Meru, Kenya.

    They move like thick, dark clouds, buzzing above your head.

    Swarms of locusts have, once again, been tearing through parts of East Africa… And they’re hungry.

    They’ve been devouring crop after crop, putting food supplies and farmers’ livelihoods at risk.

    These invasions aren’t new - and yet, they now seem to be happening more often than ever.

    “It’s actually [because of] the change in climate”, says Kenneth Mwangi, a Satellite Information Analyst in Nairobi, Kenya.

    “Locusts that otherwise would have scattered for not having vegetation to consume have… They are able to get lots of vegetation and it’s food to them”.

    But how did things get so bad? And can these locusts ever be stopped?

    Find out in Wednesday’s edition of Africa Daily.

    Subscribe to the show on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts.

  4. More African countries receive first Covid-19 vaccines

    A consignment of drugs, among the first batch the Covid-19 vaccines that arrived on a flight at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
    Image caption: Kenya was among the latest African countries to receive Covid-19 vaccinations

    More African countries have received their first batches of the coronavirus vaccines under the global Covax scheme.

    Kenya received over a million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday, becoming the third East African country to benefit from the Covax scheme.

    The doses are enough to vaccinate 500,000 people in the first phase. Frontline health workers, teachers, police officers and the elderly will be first in line.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Health Minister Eteni Longondo was at the airport on Tuesday night to receive 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    The DR Congo is expecting a total 6.9 million doses to be delivered from now up till the end of May 2021.

    Angola received 624,000 doses of the vaccine, while The Gambia received 36,000 doses on Wednesday.

    The Covax scheme is a World Health Organization (WHO)-driven strategy for a global and equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. It hopes to deliver more than two billion doses to people in 190 countries in less than a year.

    Read more:

  5. Wednesday's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: To appreciate the taste of any food, it must have been introduced to you by your mother at tender age." from A Lozi proverb sent by Mubiana Gilliam Njamba in Lusaka, Zambia.
    A Lozi proverb sent by Mubiana Gilliam Njamba in Lusaka, Zambia.
    A drawing of a bowl of food

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  6. Nigerian schoolgirls release: Calls for transparency over hostage negotiations

    Video content

    Video caption: Observers say it is unlikely that gunmen would release their victims without an exchange

    The authorities have not said whether a ransom was paid for the release but observers say it is unlikely that the gunmen would release their victims without some sort of exchange.

  7. Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

    We’ll be back on Wednesday

    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 checking the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: Instead of hunting together, the lion and the tiger should go after their prey separately." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Oseni Taiwo Afisi and Komolafe Adeoluwa Johnson, both from Nigeria
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Oseni Taiwo Afisi and Komolafe Adeoluwa Johnson, both from Nigeria

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture from Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda:

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  8. US urges Ethiopia to allow Tigray investigation

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    People walking past a tank
    Image caption: The conflict is between Tigrayan regional forces and federal troops

    The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged Ethiopia to allow an international investigation into alleged atrocities in the northern region of Tigray.

    In a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Mr Blinken called for an immediate end to hostilities and the withdrawal of outside forces from Tigray, including Eritrean troops and Amhara regional security forces.

    Ethiopia last week criticised a US statement on the war, saying it was an internal matter.

    Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the conflict between Tigrayan regional forces and federal troops and their allies.

  9. US calls for inquiry of Cameroon 'revenge rapes'

    Killian Ngala

    BBC News, Yaoundé

    A soldier in Cameroon
    Image caption: Cameroonian soldiers have been fighting separatists for several years

    The US embassy in Cameroon has called for an investigation into a military raid of a village last year in which soldiers have been accused of raping at least 20 people.

    The details of the attack only came to light after Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on 26 February.

    It had gone largely unreported because of stigma and fear of reprisal which discourages survivors of sexual violence from speaking out, HRW said, adding that there had been no effective investigation.

    The Human Rights Watch report describes more than 50 soldiers raiding the village in the South-West region on 1 March 2020.

    Some soldiers reportedly rounded up men in the village centre while others attacked women in their homes.

    Women's backs in Cameroon
    Image caption: People in the South-West region speak English unlike the majority of Cameroon

    The village is in an English-speaking part of the country, an area where separatists are fighting for an independent state of Ambazonia,

    Anglophone activists say the country's French-speaking majority is marginalising the English-speaking minority.

    The secessionist violence in the English-speaking regions of North-West and South-West Cameroon has claimed more 3,500 lives since late 2016, HRW estimates.

    Both the separatists and government troops have been accused of human rights abuses.

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  10. Video content

    Video caption: DR Congo HIV study: ‘New hope in search for cure’

    Learning how people suppress the virus naturally could lead to new treatments, Mary Rodgers says.

  11. Video content

    Video caption: Nigerian schoolgirls' dads express joy at their release

    "It is like I was born just now," one father tells reporters, after he learns his daughter is free.

  12. DR Congo findings raise hopes of HIV cure

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC health reporter, Nairobi

    A new study published in eBioMedicine, part of the medical journal The Lancet, has found that about 4% of people who had HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo were naturally able to suppress the virus without taking medication.

    It has raised the hopes of finding better ways to control HIV, which disproportionally affects women in sub-Saharan Africa.

    A lead scientist, Dr Mary Rodgers, told the BBC the group was the biggest detected in one country.

    She said understanding how it was able to maintain low or undetectable viral loads would be crucial to controlling the epidemic, but more research was needed.

  13. UN 'outraged' by Nigeria militant attack on hospital

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The United Nations says suspected Islamists have attacked humanitarian facilities in north-eastern Nigeria.

    The UN said it was outraged that a hospital and the premises of several aid agencies had been set on fire or otherwise damaged.

    It said the attack would affect nearly 100,000 people who rely on humanitarian assistance.

    It is suspected that the West African branch of the Islamic State group carried out the assault.

  14. CPJ criticises arrest of BBC journalist in Ethiopia

    BBC World Service

    Girmay Gebru
    Image caption: Girmay Gebru works for BBC Tigrinya

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has accused the Ethiopian government of trying to intimidate journalists following the recent arrests of at least four reporters covering the conflict in the northern state of Tigray.

    The BBC's Girmay Gebru was arrested on Monday and is reported to have been taken to a military camp.

    The CPJ said there was real concern for the safety of those being held with no access to their families or legal counsel.

    It said the detentions were intended to send a message to journalists trying to report on difficult stories.

    Interpreters working for the French News Agency and the Financial Times have been arrested, as has a local journalist.

  15. Covax to send 200m doses to 142 nations by May - WHO

    BBC World Service

    Nigeria airport workers receiving a Covax delivery in Abuja, Nigeria
    Image caption: A shipment of nearly four million vaccines has just arrived in Nigeria

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said more than 200 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to be sent to 142 countries by the end of May.

    They will be delivered under the Covax scheme which provides poorer countries with free inoculations.

    A shipment of nearly four million coronavirus vaccines has arrived in Nigeria - the third West African country to receive Covax shots after Ghana and Ivory Coast where vaccination campaigns have now begun.

    Dr Tedros said vaccine deliveries were also planned on Tuesday to Angola, Cambodia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  16. Nigeria's ransom controversy


    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    Girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in the north-west Nigerian state of Zamfara walk in line after their release, in Zamfara, Nigeria -2 March 2021
    Image caption: The girls were reportedly made to walk a long distance into the forest after their kidnapping

    The release of the Nigerian schoolgirls is a huge relief after what President Muhammadu Buhari described as their “agonising” ordeal - they were reportedly made to walk a long distance into the forest after their kidnapping on Friday.

    This is the third mass kidnapping of schoolchildren since December. It is believed that schools have started to be targeted as such abductions attract a lot of attention - putting more pressure on the authorities to negotiate with the armed criminal group responsible.

    The authorities rarely admit to paying ransoms - but some observers say it is unlikely that the gunmen would release their victims without some sort of exchange, either of money or the release of their members who are in jail.

    Besides, kidnapping for ransom is a widespread criminal enterprise across the country - people are seized by gunmen on an almost a daily basis - with both the rich and the poor falling victims. Security personnel have been held too. People often speak of how they have managed to secure someone's release by raising funds from friends and relatives - or even selling their assets.

    But ransom payments are controversial. It may save someone's life, yet some observers say paying ransom only fuels the problem. President Buhari agrees, saying today ''ransom payments will continue to prosper kidnapping''.

    He has repeatedly said his government will not negotiate with the armed criminal gangs. But many believe the failure of his administration and those at the state level to provide security is to blame. There are growing calls for the authorities to provide security for thousands of schools across the country - many of which are unfenced and do not have adequate security guards.

  17. Ghana begins vaccine rollout in Covid hotspot

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Ghana has started a mass rollout of the 600,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses it received last week.

    The vaccination drive is taking place in 43 districts, mostly in southern Ghana where a high number of Covid-19 cases have been recorded.

    Priority is being given to frontline health workers, those with underlying health conditions and those aged over 60 years old.

    Pregnant women and children will not be vaccinated, as authorities say they do not yet have enough data on possible side effects for these groups.

    The country’s parliament, which was shut after 17 MPs tested positive for the virus, resumes on Tuesday and MPs are expected to get the jabs.

    There is still a lot of scepticism even after President Nana Akufo-Addo received the vaccine on live television on Monday.

    About 20 million people are expected to be inoculated across the country before the year ends.

    The authorities have also approved the use of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

    Ghana received the vaccine through the Covax scheme, which hopes to deliver more than two billion doses to people in 190 countries in less than a year.

  18. First batch of Covax vaccines arrive in Nigeria

    People filming the arrival of the Covax shipment
    Image caption: The media was out in force to film the arrival the vaccines

    The first batch of about four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived in Nigeria.

    The stocks were procured through Covax, a UN-backed programme that is trying to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are shared fairly among all countries.

    Nigeria is expecting a total of 16 million doses of the vaccine that will be delivered in batches over months.