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Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer, Evelyne Musambi and Emmanuel Onyango

All times stated are UK

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  1. Prosecution given final chance in Nigeria gay trial

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Gay Nigerian
    Image caption: The men were arrested at a birthday party in 2018

    The trial of 47 men charged with same sex public displays of affection in Nigeria has been adjourned until February.

    The prosecution failed to provide any witnesses against the accused for the second day running.

    The trial that was not open to the media was adjourned by the judge with a warning to the prosecution team that February would be their final chance, according to an eyewitness.

    The men who were arrested at a birthday party in 2018 have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    At the time of their arrest their faces were shown on Nigerian television stations.

    Some of the accused have told the BBC the publicity around the arrest has led to them becoming estranged from their families and losing their jobs.

  2. Libyan general orders forces to capture capital

    BBC World Service

    General Khalifa Haftar's forces in Sebha, the biggest city in southern Libya
    Image caption: General Haftar's forces have been restricted in Tripoli's southern outskirts by UN-backed government troops

    Libyan military strongman General Khalifa Haftar has called on his forces to begin an advance aimed at capturing the capital, Tripoli.

    The General's statement came in a rare, live television broadcast.

    In April, he launched a major attempt to seize the city - which is held by Libya's UN-backed government.

    But the General's forces met resistance, and they have long been bogged down in Tripoli's southern outskirts.

    There were no reports of any increased military activity in the area in the immediate aftermath of the television broadcast.

  3. Friday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Being a good friend of a scorpion does not mean that you can't be stung by a honey bee." from Sent by Maureen Mungai, Spain .
    Sent by Maureen Mungai, Spain .
    bee

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

  4. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    That's it from the BBC Africa Live team for now. There will be an automated service until Friday morning. You can keep up with the news by listening to our Africa Today podcast.

    Here is our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: As you worship plantain, remember to worship banana as well." from Sent by Adwoa in Ghana
    Sent by Adwoa in Ghana

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this image from Kenyan artist and calligrapher Msale:

    View more on instagram
  5. IS says it was behind deadly Niger attack

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    The Islamic State group operating in West Africa has said it was behind an attack on an army base in Niger that killed at least 71 soldiers.

    The jihadist group said it killed "at least 100 troops" in the Tuesday's raid on the Inates base near the border with Mali, adding that it took control of the base for several hours and set buildings alight.

    Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) also targeted the base in July.

    It released its statement on the Hoop messaging app.

  6. Millions 'threatened by hunger in southern Africa'

    BBC World Service

    The International Federation of the Red Cross says hunger caused by drought in southern Africa is threatening the lives of 11 million people across the region.

    The countries affected include Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    The head of the Red Cross, Michael Charles, said the severity of the drought, and the scale of food shortages, were unprecedented in the region.

    He said people were going two or three days without food, entire herds of livestock were being wiped out, and farmers were being left with no means to earn income.

    Video content

    Video caption: South African drought town's warning to the world
  7. Libyan capital's airport reopens after attack

    BBC World Service

    Labourers work at the Mitiga International Airport as it undergoes maintenance, ahead of its reopening
    Image caption: Workers were pictured on Wednesday preparing the airport for the reopening

    The only airport serving the Libyan capital, Tripoli, has re-opened after shelling and air strikes forced it to close in September.

    Mitiga airport has been repeatedly targeted in attacks blamed on the forces of the renegade general Khalifa Haftar, who has been trying to capture Tripoli since April.

    While the airport was shut, flights were diverted to the city of Misrata, 200km (125 miles) away.

    Mitiga became the capital's only functioning airport after rival armed groups destroyed Tripoli International during fighting in 2014.

  8. US warns South Sudanese who undermine peace process

    The US government has said that anyone who works against the peace process in South Sudan will face visa restrictions.

    In a continuation of its tough line on South Sudan, the US State Department has said that "the people... have suffered enough while their leaders delay the implementation of a sustainable peace.

    "The South Sudanese deserve leaders who are committed to building consensus and willing to compromise for the greater good."

    The US is currently reviewing its relationship with South Sudan after President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar failed to meet the deadline to form a unity government as required by a peace deal signed last year.

    The two men said the government would be formed by February.

    "Individuals who have directly or indirectly impeded peace... may be subject to visa restrictions," the State Department says.

    These include:

    • Violating a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities agreement
    • Violating the UN arms embargo
    • Engaging in corruption that fuels the conflict
    • Suppressing freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, or other abuses or violations
    • Failing to abide by signed peace agreements
    Riek Machar and Salva Kiir shaking hands
    Image caption: Riek Machar (L) and President Salva Kiir were supposed to have formed a unity government last month
  9. The lab customising medicine for African patients

    In South Africa, the University of Cape Town's drug discovery and development centre H3D is trying to customise drugs for Africans, particularly to treat malaria, tuberculosis and anti-microbial resistance.

    Prof Kelly Chibale says that it currently takes many years to develop drugs, and while they are imported to Africa, they are not being tailored with Africans in mind.

    The BBC's Nancy Kacungira met him in his laboratory:

    Video content

    Video caption: The need to customise medicine for African patients
  10. Sierra Leone's ban on pregnant pupils 'unlawful'

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    School gates in Sierra Leone
    Image caption: Preganant schoolgirls were taken out of mainstream education in Sierra Leone in 2015

    An African regional court has ruled that a decision by the government of Sierra Leone to ban pregnant girls from school was unlawful and must be revoked immediately.

    The decision by a court for countries in the West African regional bloc Ecowas has been welcomed by Amnesty International and other rights groups.

    It says the ruling sent a clear message to other countries with similar bans, including Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea.

    The Ecowas court said banning pregnant girls from school was discriminatory and at odds with the African Charter on Human Rights.

    But the court does not have any enforcement powers. Sierra Leone and other countries have ignored previous judgements, reports the BBC's Umaru Fofana in the capital, Freetown.

    The government of Sierra Leone imposed the ban four years ago when there was a spike in teenage pregnancies due to the impact of the deadly Ebola virus.

    As families were torn apart many girls were left orphaned and extremely vulnerable.

    The government argued that regular school would be too tiring for them and they would be a bad influence on their peers.

    Alternative schools were set up for pregnant girls but rights groups argue they are not of the same standard and limit their career opportunities.

    Read more:

  11. 'I sang for unity at Nobel ceremony'

    Ameyu Etana

    BBC Afaan Oromo

    Betty G performing in Oslo
    Image caption: Betty G was named best East African artists at last year's Afrima all-Africa music awards

    Ethiopian musician Bruktawit Getahun, better known as Betty G, has told the BBC that she wanted to represent the country's diverse cultures when she performed at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Norway on Wednesday.

    "My attire and hair style represented Tigray people. I was singing in the Amharic language, so this represents the Amhara people," she said.

    The title of one of the two songs she sang, Sin Jaaladhaa, means "I Love You" in Afaan Oromoo, the language of the Oromo people.

    "To represent the Muslim community in Harar and DireDawa, I had henna [on my hand].

    "I had a very short time on stage, so I thought I needed to promote what every Ethiopian citizen loves and can relate to.‘’

    She performed in front of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had just been handed a medal and certificate for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

    In his speech, the prime minister spoke about his Medemer philosophy, which is partly about finding unity among Ethiopia's diverse communities.

    Mr Abiy told Betty G that he had made him proud, the musician revealed in an interview with BBC Afaan Oromoo.

    Last year, she won the award for best East African artist at the Afrima all-Africa music awards.

    View more on youtube
  12. Seized Tanzanian plane in Canada 'released'

    Sammy Awami

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    An aeroplane bought by state-owned Air Tanzania that had been impounded in Canada has now been released, Tanzanian President John Magufuli has said.

    The aircraft was being held over a land-compensation dispute between the Tanzanian government and a farmer, dating back to the 1980s.

    In August, South Africa impounded an Air Tanzania plane over the same case involving a Namibian farmer who says he is owed millions of dollars by Tanzania for land seized decades ago.

    The ex-farmer decided to fight his legal battle first in South Africa and then in Canada to get authorities in those countries to seize Tanzanian state assets to help him recover his money.

    South Africa released the plane after a court said the country had no jurisdiction on the matter.

    President Magufuli broke the news about the release of the aeroplane in Canada when he was addressing leading members of the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.

    Mr Magufuli told the cheering gathering that the plane was expected to arrive in Tanzania soon.

    Following its seizure late last month, Tanzania summoned the Canadian ambassador and expressed anger over the move, describing Canada's action as “an imperialistic move” aimed at sabotaging Tanzania's development

  13. Kenyan Olympic champion's struggle with alcoholism

    Wilfred Bungei displays his gold medal
    Image caption: Wilfred Bungei won gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics 800m race

    Retired Kenyan athlete Wilfred Bungei has told the BBC about his struggle with alchoholism.

    Bungei, who was the 800m gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said he had to check into a rehabilitation centre for six weeks after retiring.

    "For me I knew, when I started drinking there was no stopping, completely nothing, I don’t go to work, I wake up in the morning and I don’t even eat," he said.

    As an athlete, Bungei had a busy schedule and his days were packed with training. But after retirement he had too much time on his hands.

    "When it comes to being an athlete, I never had a social life. I only had 20 days break per year for over 13 years.

    "So you see when I retired in 2010 that is when there was a big problem," he told BBC Sport Africa.

    Things got so bad that he missed the birth of his third child because he was drunk.

    The Olympic champion would drink through the night and was sometimes found sleeping outside early the next morning.

    "I was in a ditch [and ] people actually thought I had died. What was so scary was hallucinations, the darkness comes and I am scared, literally."

    Bungei would start his drinking session intending to take a few shots of vodka only to end up drinking a litre in about 30 minutes.

    He has now started encouraging retired athletes to speak out and seek support.

    "It makes me happy when I share my story and I know it can be able to save someone that is how I get healed myself," he said.

    Read more about Wilfred Bungei.

  14. Southern Africa warned of further heavy rain

    Map of rainfall

    The southern African regional body Sadc has released a weather forecast warning that further heavy rain could be on the way in the north and east of the area.

    It says that there is a "high probability" of it falling in parts of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo,Mozambique, Madagascar and the Seychelles.

    Sadc's climate centre also warns of localised flooding.

    Earlier this week, heavy rains battered parts of South Africa, submerging whole neighbourhoods and flooding coal mines and power stations in a nation already hit by electricity blackouts.

  15. Ex-president to sue Botswana over embezzling claim

    BBC World Service

    Ian Khama
    Image caption: Ian Khama was president of Botswana for 10 years from 2008

    Botswana's former President Ian Khama says he plans to sue the government for defamation after he, other former officials and a South African businesswoman were accused of embezzling billions of dollars.

    A department investigating state corruption in Botswana alleges that they set up bank accounts in Hong Kong and South Africa in order to finance terrorism.

    All the accused have denied the allegations and at a news conference in South Africa, Mr Khama described them as wild claims that were part of a state-sponsored smear campaign.

    Since stepping down last year, Mr Khama has accused current President Mokgweetsi Masisi of betraying the country and reversing policy decisions, including lifting a ban on elephant hunting.

  16. Algeria police fail to disperse poll protesters

    Police confronting Algerian protesters

    Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Algerian capital, Algiers, to protest against the holding of the presidential election.

    An attempt by police to disperse the crowd failed.

    Elsewhere, in the Kabylie region, protesters ransacked two polling stations.

    Algerian protester with a flag
    Man waving a protest card
  17. Burundians urged to copy successful Burundians not Westerners

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Dacia Munezero
    Image caption: Dacia Munezero wants people in Burundi to find role models in their own country

    Young people in Burundi are being urged to find Burundian role models rather than emulate foreigners.

    That's the theme of the Inanga n’Indanga festival in the main city, Bujumbura, with guest speakers ranging from juice factory owner Müque Kigoma to micro-finance entrepreneur Claude Nikondeha.

    Inanga n’Indanga roughly translates from Kirundi as "something exemplary within tradition".

    Organiser Dacia Munezero told the BBC that she wants young people to start looking locally for role models.

    “Many are chasing their dreams and want to walk in Westerners' footsteps, because that is what they see online and on social media," she said.

    "But in Burundi we have successful people who can be their model. But these people who have good stories to share mostly do not. We want this inaugural festival to be a bridge between both sides."