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Live Reporting

By Nduka Orjinmo, Damian Zane and Naima Mohamud

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We’ll be back tomorrow

    Clare Spencer

    BBC News

    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 rope can't be so long that it doesn’t have a source. from A Yoruba proverb sent by Bakare Idowu, Lagos, Nigeria.
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Bakare Idowu, Lagos, Nigeria.

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

    And we leave you with this picture from Burundi:

    View more on instagram
  2. Ecowas countries agree to fight pirates together

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC Africa Experts: Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

    West African regional group Ecowas's member states have agreed to join forces to fight against pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.

    This comes after 10 Turkish sailors were kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria earlier this month.

    The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) says the Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous sea in the world for piracy.

    A total of 73% of all sea kidnappings and 92% of hostage-takings occur in the Gulf of Guinea off Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon, according to the IMB.

    The agreement will enable West African countries to jointly use facilities vessels and aircraft to better monitor the coast.

  3. What is the deceased Tunisian president's legacy?

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Beji Caid Essebsi
    Image caption: President Essebsi died aged 92

    Beji Caid Essebsi came to power in Tunisia after the popular uprising that ousted President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali and triggered revolutions called Arab Spring throughout neighbouring countries namely Libya and Egypt.

    Tunisia is praised for being the only country that has managed to get through the Arab Spring without falling into armed conflict or chaos.

    Mr Essebsi played a major part in a power-sharing deal between his Nidaa Tounes party and the Islamic Ennahda party. This was instrumental in stabilising the country and avoiding the collapse of the state.

    He was also seen as the guardian of the secular values of Tunisian society.

    His foes saw him as a man of the past linked to the repressive system of the Ben Ali regime, in which he served.

    He was seen as the man who would favour the emergence of the "deep state" and frustrate the objectives the revolution.

  4. Analysis: What arrests in Sudan tell us

    Mohanad Hashim

    BBC Africa

    Sudan's ruling transitional military council (TMC) says it foiled a coup attempt that aimed to hand over the country to the previous governing party, the National Congress of the ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

    The TMC have released a video of chief of staff Lt Gen Hashim Ab el-Mutalib reading what appears to be a coup statement. It is not clear when the video was filmed or when the alleged coup attempt happened. But an announcement about an attempted coup was made earlier this month.

    He has been arrested. Sudanese media reports that 17 serving officers, including generals and colonels, have also been arrested.

    The scale of the arrests could indicate that the TMC is moving against figures who are perceived to have Islamist leanings and ties with Mr Bashir’s regime.

    Some observers believe there is also an attempt to purge the army in favour of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander, General Mohamed Hamdan "Hemeti" Dagolo.

    General Mohamed Hamdan "Hemeti" Dagolo
    Image caption: Hemeti has been gaining prominence as the commander of the RSF

    He has constantly accused a hidden cabal of framing his forces and implicating them in violence against the protesters.

    But, conversely, some say that the real reason for the coup attempt is increasing frustration in the army with the RSF and their encroachment on the army's turf.

    Either way, these arrests might have removed one obstacle from Sudan’s transition to civilian rule.

  5. Controversial South African dies

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    A South African estate agent who sparked outrage in the country with racist comments about black people in 2016 has died.

    Penny Sparrow died in the early hours of Thursday after suffering from colon cancer, her family said.

    Ms Sparrow ignited anger when she likened black people to "monkeys".

    She used the word on a Facebook post to describe New Year's revellers on a beach in Durban in 2016 because of the mess she said they made.

    She was condemned by many on social media and the hashtag #RacismMustFall was trending on Twitter.

    She made an apology, saying "everyone makes mistakes".

    She was then found guilty of Hate Speech by the Equality Court and was sentenced to pay 150,000 South African rand ($10,763; £8,614) to the The Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation - a charity named after anti-apartheid campaigners.

  6. BreakingScores feared drowned in shipwreck off Libya

    Up to 150 people may have drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya, the UN refugee agency says.

    A further 150 people were rescued by fishermen and returned to Libya by coastguards, the UNHCR said.

    It is not clear if the migrants were on one or two boats that left the Libyan town of al Khoms, some 120km (74.5 miles) east of Tripoli.

    About 164 people died on the route between Libya and Europe in the first four months of 2019.

    The UN has repeatedly said people rescued in the Mediterranean should not be sent back to Libya because of the conflict and the inhumane conditions in which migrants are kept, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports.

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  7. Tunisian speaker takes over after president dies

    Mohamed Ennaceur
    Image caption: Mohamed Ennaceur will be become Tunisia's acting president

    The speaker of Tunisia's parliament, Mohamed Ennaceur, will be sworn in as interim president later on Thursday.

    President Beji Caid Essebsi died earlier on Thursday in hospital.

    He was 92 years old.

    The prime minister also declared seven days of mourning, reports Reuters news agency.

  8. Zimbabwe tourism minister arrested in corruption probe

    BBC World Service

    Zimbabwe's newly established anti-corruption commission has detained the tourism minister, Prisca Mupfumira.

    She previously served as labour minister and oversaw the state pension fund.

    The commission has launched an investigation into the alleged abuse of the fund as part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's promised drive against corruption.

    Some critics have expressed doubts about whether it will be effective.

    Transparency International says corruption has cost Zimbabwe more than $1bn (£800m) a year.

    She has not commented on the allegations.

  9. How did the Mogadishu bomber get through security?

    Ahmed Adan

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Abdirahman Omar Osman, the mayor of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, was badly injured but survived Wednesday's suicide bomb attack on his office. Seven others were killed - one more than was announced on Wednesday.

    Many people are wondering how the attacker got through security as the mayor's office is in a very secure part of the city, which contains several local government offices.

    Civilians are not ordinarily allowed to access the streets close to the building. Anyone who wants to visit must have an invitation from an official who works in the area, as I found out last year when I was in Mogadishu.

    I visited the compound several times for interviews.

    We had to drive through five police checkpoints. When I was close to the building, I was told to park the car at a place at least 500m away and walk to the office.

    At the entrance to the building, there was another checkpoint manned by police who asked visitors to identify themselves and say who they are visiting.

    Then there was another security check - similar to an airport - where I had to remove my shoes and belt. My equipment was also screened and I had to prove that the camera and laptop were genuine.

    in my experience, everyone, including the staff, had to go through the same security screening every time they wanted to go inside the building.

    People pulling a hospital trolley
    Image caption: Several people were injured and six people died after Wednesday's attack
  10. Aid agency identifies kidnapped workers shown in video

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    A video has emerged of kidnapped aid workers asking the Nigerian government to facilitate their release.

    The aid agency Action Against Hunger says it has identified six of its workers in the video.

    One of the aid workers, who calls herself Grace, is seen wearing a blue hijab, surrounded by five men believed to be her colleagues. She calls for urgent intervention from the government and the international community to free them from captivity.

    Earlier this week, the aid agency said a convoy of its vehicles on the road to Damasak, in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, had been attacked.

    It said one of the drivers was killed, and the rest of the team were missing.

    There have been many incidents of jihadist violence in the area.

    Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) are frequently linked to attacks in northern Nigeria.

    The Nigerian military says it has severely impacted the group’s capabilities, but the militants are still active and continue to carry out attacks with devastating consequences.

  11. Beji Caid Essebsi's life remembered

    Beji Caid Essebsi,

    After the news that the world's oldest president, Tunisia's Beji Caid Essebsi, has died, we are taking a moment to look back at his life.

    At the end of June, it was announced that he was in hospital with a severe health crisis.

    In April, he announced that he was not going to stand for re-election on 17 November despite calls for him to run.

    He won the country's first free presidential poll in 2014.

    He was the interim prime minister after the 2011 uprising.

    Before assuming the presidency in 2014, Mr Essebsi had served on-off in ministerial roles since the 1960s, including as the interior minister and speaker of parliament.

    He came to power as the founder and leader of a secular party - Nida Tounes (Call of Tunisia) - who opposed Islamists in government.

    Read the latest on this story on the BBC News website.

  12. More on the death of Tunisia's president

    Tunisia's first freely elected president Beji Caid Essebsi has died aged 92, the country's presidency says.

    He was the world's oldest sitting president. He was admitted to hospital on Wednesday but officials did not say why he was receiving treatment.

    Mr Essebsi won Tunisia's first free elections in 2014 following Arab uprisings across the region.

    Earlier this year, he announced he would not stand in elections expected in November.

    Mr Essebsi was also admitted to hospital last month after suffering what officials said was a "severe health crisis".

    They gave no further details. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, who visited him in hospital, urged people to stop spreading "fake news" about his condition.

    Former Tunisian President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali was ousted in 2011 after 23 years in office.

    Since then, Tunisia has won praise as the only democracy to emerge from the revolutions of the so-called Arab spring.

    Beji Caid Essebsi
  13. BreakingTunisian president dies

    Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi has died aged 92.

    We'll bring you more information when we have it.

  14. Virus turns the lights out in South Africa

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Power grid
    Image caption: The virus affects an already compromised power supply

    A virus has hit a website belonging to Johannesburg’s electricity supplier, City Power, meaning people can't buy electricity - leaving hundreds of customers in the dark.

    City Power said that the virus has encrypted its entire database and network.

    The company has warned residents on social media that customers won’t be able to access the website, buy electricity or upload invoices until all affected applications have been rebuilt.

    The ransomware virus prevents users from accessing the system, and demands a payment in order to regain access.

    Johannesburg is already prone to power cuts and the current cold weather has been putting the power supplies under strain, says the state-owned power utility Eskom.

  15. Tunisia president 'in intensive care'

    The son of Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi told the AFP news agency that his father is back in hospital. Hafedh Caid Essebsi's statement confirmed an earlier report from the Reuters news agency.

    This is the third time the president is being treated in hospital in a matter of weeks.

    He is currently in intensive care and "things are not going well", his son told AFP.

    The 92-year-old Mr Essebsi is the world's oldest sitting president.

  16. 'Changing gender costs me $100 a month'

    The cost of changing genders in Tanzania has been revealed in an interview on the BBC's Newsday programme.

    One trans person transitioning to become a man told Alan Kasujja that it costs $100 (£80) a month to get the two shots of hormones needed to change the body.

    But that's not the only cost - as Tanzanians need to travel to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in order to get the hormones.

    And travelling sees other challenges:

    Quote Message: My passport says female. Every time I travel I am stripped naked to confirm my gender."

    This need to travel for hormones may change in future as the trans community in Tanzania's main city, Dar es Salaam, has organised for one private specialist doctor to treat them.

    As well as being challenged at passport control, the interviewee has also been questioned coming out of a male toilet in a bar:

    Quote Message: The guy was saying 'you are a female you don’t belong to this space'. Lucky for me I knew the bouncer so he stopped."
  17. Zimbabwe tourism minister in custody

    Zimbabwe's anti-corruption commission has confirmed that the country's Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira is in custody for questioning.

    View more on twitter

    It is not clear why she is being held, but local media report that it is in connection with her time as minister of social services.

    Ms Mupfumira became tourism minister in 2017 and has been trying to boost Zimbabwe's tourism sector, which has been seen as an area of potential economic growth.

  18. Donkeys in Kenya face 'imminent extinction'

    Kenya's donkey population is rapidly diminishing, according to a dramatically worded report recently issued by an animal rights group.

    The Nairobi-based Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) says that donkeys face an "imminent" and looming "extinction".

    It argues that since four commercial donkey abattoirs opened in 2016 in Kenya a "humongous number of donkeys [are] being slaughtered on [a] daily basis".

    It estimates that 410 donkeys are being killed every weekday.

    ANAW says that the demand for donkey skin comes from China.

    Donkey
    Image caption: The report says estimates for Kenya's donkey population range from 900,000 to 1.8 million

    The report adds to concerns that were already being expressed in 2017. At that time the BBC reported that people were complaining that their donkeys were being stolen to feed the growing market.

    But the head of one abattoir said: "We are happy with the Chinese, because before there was nothing coming from donkeys, but so many people are benefiting from the donkey now today."

    ANAW says "donkey-dependent communities... stare at economical hopelessness" and want the abattoirs shut down.

    Its report says estimates for Kenya's donkey population range from 900,000 to 1.8 million.

  19. Sudanese opposition groups 'sign agreement'

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Sudanese opposition parties and an alliance of rebel groups have signed an agreement that will guide their participating in a future transition government, Sudanese news websites are reporting.

    Representatives of the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FFC) have been meeting the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), an umbrella of armed opposition groups in Ethiopia.

    Baj News website said the two sides agreed to “work towards the establishment of a civilian and democratic regime”.

    The state-run Sudan News Agency has reported that talks between the Transitional Military Council and the FFC will resume on Saturday.

    Suna said the two sides are aiming to conclude the negotiations on transition arrangements.

  20. Properties of statue-building Nigerian ex-governor being investigated

    Nigeria's anti-corruption agency has, in its words, "marked some properties" linked to former Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, meaning that they have been sealed off and their purchase is being investigated.

    Through a spokesman, Mr Okorocha, who is now a senator, accused the anti-graft agency of a "witch hunt", blaming his successor for instigating it.

    It is not clear if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the ex-governor for corruption.

    The EFCC said its operatives "traced and marked some properties traced to Rochas Okorocha as well as those of his family members and cronies".

    The agency said the properties that were marked included schools, a hotel, a mall and an apartment block.

    Statue of Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: Rochas Okorocha built larger than life statues in Imo state

    Mr Okorocha stepped down this year after serving as Imo governor for eight years

    In that time, he spent more than $1m (£740,000) commissioning outlandish statues of former South African Presidents Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma and Liberia's former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

    In 2017, he set up a Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment, which he handed to his sister. It drew derision from many Nigerians, including those living in the state.