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  1. Anger after South Sudan boy abused in Tik-Tok clip

    Nichola Mandil


    Some people have been taken into custody in Egypt after a video began circulating on social media this week showing a South Sudanese teenager being verbally and physically assaulted.

    The subsequent outrage prompted Sudan Sudan’s embassy in Egypt to investigate.

    It found that the footage, which seems to have first appeared on Tik-Tok, showed Akok Kuol, a 14-year-old asylum seeker whose family is registered with the UN refugee agency in Egypt.

    The incident was filmed last Friday in the capital, Cairo, and showed the boy being sworn at, beaten and forced to wash dishes.

    “His private parts [were] also exposed to a source of flame,” the embassy said.

    Joseph Moum Majak, South Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt, said in a letter published on Twitter that he had taken action to ensure Akok Kuol and his family were safe.

    “The authorities arrested the perpetrators and remanded them for two weeks for further investigation,” he said.

    Egypt’s embassy in Juba has also released a statement condemning the “unjust behaviour" in the video, saying it did not represent Egyptian values.

  2. Tanzania's president wears her face mask at home

    Munira Hussein

    BBC News, Tanzania

    Samia Suluhu Hassan
    Image caption: Other officials at the event with President Samia also wore face masks

    Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has appeared for the first time at a public event in the East African nation wearing a face mask.

    Her predecessor, John Magufuli - who died in March - had always refused to wear one, and was considered a coronavirus sceptic.

    Ms Samia has worn face masks outside of Tanzania - most notably this week on her two-day state visit to neighbouring Kenya.

    At the event in Dar es Salaam on Friday, she was addressing an audience of more than 800 elders from across the country.

    “We apologise, our lifestyle has changed, we have come here today in face masks and this is because the elderly are at a higher risk of contracting this disease, so we have to protect them,” the president said.

    Since coming to power, the 61-year-old has not been afraid to show that she is prepared to take a different and more considered path than Mr Magufuli.

    She has formed a committee of experts to advise her on the status of Covid-19 in the country and the necessary steps to take to keep people safe.

    During her visit to Kenya she made a light-hearted comment about mask wearing - comparing it a herder muzzling a goat to stop it eating crops.

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  3. Malagasy miracle cure 'critic' to 'remain in jail'

    Covid-Organics drinks seen at their launch - April 2020
    Image caption: Covid-Organics was touted as a cure for coronavirus and widely distributed in Madagascar

    An opposition politician in Madagascar jailed for allegedly instigating protests against a herbal drink promoted by the president as a Covid-19 cure has lost his appeal, the AFP news agency report.

    Harry Laurent Rahajason, an ex-communications minister, was sentenced to 44 months in prison last October. At the hearing he looked shaken by his time in detention, the news agency says.

    He was arrested in July after two students were held by police for putting up a banner in the capital, Antananarivo, demanding the release of a student leader, it says.

    The student leader was reportedly arrested the month before for criticising the Covid-Organics drink on Facebook.

    President Andry Rajoelina launched the drink in April last year to great fanfare, though it has not been scientifically tested and the World Health Organization has warned against its use.

    Produced by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research from the artemisia plant - the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment - and other Malagasy plants, it was marketed as a prevention and remedy.

    Rahajason denied any link to the protesters.

    “I am a journalist by training. I have two radio stations... Why today would I pay young people to ask for the release of a person I do not even know?" AFP quotes him as saying.

    His sister, Bodo Fabre, was distraught when she spoke to AFP about the ruling, accusing the appeals court of bias.

    The Indian Ocean island has recorded more than 38,600 coronavirus cases, including at least 701 deaths - and has experienced a recent surge.

    In has been reported that schools and hotels have been transformed into hospitals to cope with the surge, blamed on the South African variant.

    The country has now joined the global vaccine-sharing scheme Covax, and is expected to receive it first batch of jabs soon.

  4. Dismay after martial law imposed in eastern DR Congo

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The granting of additional powers to the military in the volatile east of the Democratic Republic of Congo could lead to further abuses against the civilian population, Human Rights Watch has warned.

    President Félix Tshisekedi has just appointed military governors to Ituri and North Kivu provinces to combat the rising violence.

    Fact file about Luboya N'Kashama

    Lt-Gen Johnny Luboya N'Kashama, the new governor of Ituri, is a former rebel chief of military intelligence with the Rwanda-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma), "who may bear command responsibility for killings, rapes, and other abuses by his forces", HRW says, citing an internal UN memo.

    Fact file about Ndima Kongba

    Lt-Gen Constant Ndima Kongba, the newly appointed North Kivu governor, is better known as “Effacer le Tableau” (Erase the Board), HRW says.

    He earned "his nickname from an abusive operation he allegedly led as a rebel commander with the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) in Ituri province in 2002", the rights group says.

    Neither has commented on the allegations.

    President Tshisekedi has launched two military operations against rebels in the two provinces since taking office in 2019.

    But these have only stoked the violence and forced more people from their homes, HRW says.

    The rampant impunity for abuses by both rebel groups and national forces continues to drive conflict, the group says.

  5. Tanzanian city 'running low on condoms'

    A person holds a condom
    Image caption: Around 1.7 million people in Tanzania are infected with HIV

    Tanzania’s south-western city of Mbeya is running out of condoms, councillors have warned - according to the country’s Mwananchi newspaper.

    The issue was reportedly raised at a meeting of Mbeya City Council on Friday with the gathering being told that there had been a shortage in bars and other places of entertainment for about four months.

    Fears were expressed that this could lead to a rise in HIV/Aids infections.

    "Right now we are in the process of tackling the Aids epidemic but there are no condoms at the centres, now what are we preventing?" Councillor Adam Hussein is quoted as saying.

    But health official, Dr Jonas Lulandala, tried to reassure the councillors, Mwananchi says.

    He agreed distribution had been a problem in February and March - but this had been resolved and condoms would soon be available again.

    When used correctly, condoms can be up to 95% effective at preventing the transmission of HIV, studies have found.

  6. Somali troops withdraw easing civil war fears

    Andrew Harding

    BBC Africa correspondent

    Members of a section of the Somalia army opposed to the president's term extension seen in Mogadishu - 5 May 2021
    Image caption: Somali troops allied to the opposition had taken up positions on the streets of the capital - these soldiers were angered by president's term extension

    Convoys of troops allied to the opposition are have been seen withdrawing from Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, a fortnight after clashes in the city sparked fears of a return to civil war.

    The withdrawal is the result of new political negotiations aimed at resolving a bitter dispute over long-delayed elections.

    Their sudden arrival in the city, last month, led to clashes with pro-government forces and an exodus of civilians.

    There was widespread fear that brinkmanship by the country’s political elites was pushing Somalia back towards the days of clan warfare and anarchy.

    But under international pressure President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo, backed down on his controversial plan to hold on to power for an extra two years.

    Election talks resumed - and Somalia even reached out to its neighbour, Kenya, to end a separate crisis and restore diplomatic relations.

    None of this resolves the underlying tensions in Somalia:

    • A centralising government pitted against powerful clans and regional leaders.
    • The enduring strength of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab
    • And a range of humanitarian crises.

    But a country that often makes the news for all the wrong reasons, has embraced political compromise, and persuaded an assortment of armed groups to leave Mogadishu in peace.

  7. Rwanda hopes to open Covid-19 vaccine plant

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Covid-19 vaccine
    Image caption: Africa has only administered 2% of all the vaccine doses administered globally so far

    Rwanda is working with international partners to bring in the latest technology to help the country produce Covid-19 vaccines of the mRNA type - such as Pfizer and Moderna.

    These are a new type of vaccine and only a small number of people understand how to make them.

    They use a fragment of the virus's genetic material - or messenger RNA - to teach the body how to fight Covid-19 and build immunity.

    Rwanda's Health Minister Tharcisse Mpunga said discussions were at an advanced stage to open a vaccine plant to aid the vaccination campaign in Africa.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says African countries are running out of supplies of Covid-19 vaccines, and there is concern over the availability of further doses.

    So far, seven countries have already exhausted the vaccines they received from the UN-backed Covax scheme.

    Africa has only administered 2% of all the vaccine doses administered globally so far.

  8. What next for the Zulu throne amid succession row?

    Alan Kasujja

    BBC Africa Daily podcast

    More than 200 Zulu traditionally dressed people parade through the streets in Johannesburg, on May 5 to pay their last respects to Zulu Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu.
    Image caption: Zulu royals remain hugely influential figures in South Africa

    The Zulu nation is still in shock.

    The death of Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu caught South Africa by surprise. She became leader of the Zulu nation last month, after her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini, died.

    The Zulu royals have no formal political power, but remain hugely influential figures. For that reason, deciding who’s next in line for the throne is actually a big deal.

    Problem is - a bitter family feud has made it hard to guess who’ll succeed Queen Dlamini-Zulu.

    “The royal family will need to come together and come to some sort of consensus,” says the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

    “A consensus that the throne matters above all, that the legacy that has been passed down from generation matters above all.”

    So, what happens now? Find out in Friday’s edition of Africa Daily.

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

  9. Ghana gets second batch of vaccines via Covax

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    A man receives a Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from a health worker at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana, on March 2, 2021.
    Image caption: About 850,000 Ghanaians have so far been vaccinated

    Ghana has just received 350,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines.

    This is the second consignment received via the global Covax facility after the country took delivery of 600,000 doses of vaccines in February.

    The latest consignment of Oxford AstraZeneca was originally allocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo but it failed to use them.

    Ghana’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign had suffered a setback following delays in getting Covax vaccines from India.

    About 850,000 Ghanaians have so far received a jab out of a population of 31 million .

  10. Ban on Kenya's donkey meat trade lifted by court

    Image caption: The use of donkey hides in Chinese traditional medicine has seen Africa's donkey population fall dramatically in the last two decades

    A Kenyan court has overturned a ban on the slaughter and sale of donkey meat.

    The agriculture ministry imposed the ban in February last year over concerns about their dwindling numbers and after protests from farming and animal welfare groups.

    The East African nation first legalised the trade in donkey meat and hide in 2012 to meet growing demand in China.

    The agriculture minister had argued that this had been a mistake as it had caused the donkey population to fall.

    But some donkey abattoir owners went to court, citing job losses and lost revenue as reasons for the ban to be lifted.

    On Thursday, Judge Richard Mwongo agreed with them, saying the government had failed to sufficiently defend the case.

    Kenya has about 1.2 million donkeys compared with 1.8 million a decade ago, according to government data.

    The value of an adult donkey more than quadrupled in Kenya since 2012 - and also spawned a black market with skin-smuggling networks hiring gangs to steal donkeys.

    Many people in rural areas use donkeys to fetch water and firewood.

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    Filmed in 2017

    Video content

    Video caption: 'I woke up and my donkey was gone'
  11. Businessman offers free meals to Liberian inmates

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC News, Monrovia

    Upjit Singh Sachdeva
    Image caption: Mr Jeety started his feeding initiative several years ago

    A Liberia-based Indian businessman who has been giving out free hot meals to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic has extended his gesture to the largest prison in the capital, Monrovia.

    Upjit Singh Sachdeva, popularly known as Mr Jeety, told the BBC he was "doing God’s work" by providing the food.

    His team is popular especially in the city's slums, where they have been feeding communities for several years.

    Mr Jeety says he will provide a meal for all the inmates in the overcrowded Monrovia Central Prison once a month.

    The prison is the country's largest - and like almost all other post-war government facilities - is faced with a lot of challenges.

    “People are in prison so they can reform themselves,” he told the BBC.

    “So I felt the need of identifying with them to help in the transformation process.”

  12. Morocco recalls envoy in Berlin over Western Sahara

    US and Moroccan flags next to a US State Department-authorised map of Morocco recognising the internationally-disputed territory of the Western Sahara (bearing a signature by US Ambassador to Morocco David T. Fischer) as a part of the North African kingdom, in Morocco's capital Rabat. Getty Images
    Image caption: Western Sahara has been the subject of a territorial dispute for decades

    Morocco has recalled its ambassador in Berlin over the Germany's stand over the disputed Western Sahara territory.

    The North Africa nation said Germany had been involved in hostile actions that would harm its interests.

    In a statement, Morocco cited Germany's "destructive attitude" and "antagonistic activism" after the decision by the US to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

    Last year, Germany called a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the issue after former US President Donald Trump said Washington recognised Moroccan control on the disputed territory.

    On Thursday, Morocco also accused Germany of "continued determination to counter Morocco's regional influence" - referring to Germany's decision to exclude Morocco from an international meeting last year.

    Germany had disclosed sensitive information from the Moroccan security services to a convicted jihadist, it added.

    The German foreign ministry said it was surprised by Morocco's decision, saying it had been working to resolve the crisis.

    A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then it has been the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front.

  13. Cameroon bans sale of automatic pistols

    A glock pistol
    Image caption: Unlicensed gun holders pose a security risk

    Cameroon's government has announced a ban on the sale of automatic pistols, citing rising insecurity.

    After a meeting with gun sellers, Paul Atanga Nji, the territorial administration minister, said the number of guns owned by civilians was higher than the licences issued to them.

    This posed a challenge to the government in tracking down gun owners, posing a security threat, he said.

  14. South Africa's Zulu queen buried

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC News, KwaZulu-Natal

    More than 200 Zulu traditionally dressed people parade through the streets in Johannesburg, on May 5, 2021, to pay their last respects to Zulu Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu
    Image caption: The Zulu queen was buried according to Swati royal culture

    The regent of South Africa's Zulu nation, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, has been laid to rest in KwaZulu-Natal province.

    Her funeral took place at her Kwakhangelamankengane Royal Palace in Nongoma in the early hours of the morning. A vigil was held overnight.

    She was buried according to Swati royal culture. The queen's body was wrapped in a cow’s hide by a delegation that was sent by her brother, King Mswati III of neighbouring Eswatini.

    The funeral was attended by family members from both monarchies.

    A state-funded memorial will be held at the palace later on Friday.

    Now that Queen Dlamini-Zulu has been buried, focus will be on the squabbles over succession.

    Factions within the royal family have brought a legal challenge to halt the naming of a successor, after questioning the authenticity of the will of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March.

    A successor will be chosen among the late king‘s 28 children.

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  15. Bishop urges prayers over anti-Buhari priest protest

    Nigeria's Father Ejike Mbaka
    Image caption: Father Ejike Mbaka had called for the president's resignation over the country's security crisis in a widely shared video

    The Catholic Bishop of Enugu in Nigeria, Callistus Onaga, has called for week-long prayers over after a cathedral was vandalism by supporters of a controversial priest.

    On Wednesday supporters of Father Ejike Mbaka marched in protest to the residence of the bishop, the priest's superior, after the priest reportedly went missing.

    They demanded to see the priest, who had been absent from Mass that day.

    The protesters are said to have vandalised the cathedral and desecrated the altar.

    “Over and above this, they brutally vandalised the diocesan bishop’s residence, the cathedral parish house and the secretariat building complex," local media quote the bishop as saying.

    The bishop has since called for "atonement and reparation” for the desecration of “the holy altar of sacrifice” by the protesters.

    Fr Mbaka's brief disappearance happened just days after he had called for President Muhammadu Buhari's resignation over rising insecurity in the country in a widely shared video.

  16. Kabila's brother impeached as DR Congo governor

    Zoe Kabila, the brother of Democratic Republic of Congo president, attends the extraordinary session of the National Assembly in Kinshasa on 16 February 2012
    Image caption: The impeached governor is the younger brother of former President Joseph Kabila

    Zoe Kabila, a younger brother of the Democratic Republic of Congo's former President Joseph Kabila, has been impeached as governor of the south-eastern province of Tanganyika.

    He was the only one of the country's 26 governors refusing to align himself with President Félix Tshisekedi following his rift with his predecessor.

    The impeachment motion was backed by 13 lawmakers, another 10 were not present - no-one voted against, Reuters reports Nkulu Nemba, president of the local assembly, as saying

    Zoe Kabila was accused of mismanagement and incompetence. He has declined to comment on the allegations.

    President Tshisekedi, who took office in 2019, ended his coalition with Joseph Kabila's party - which had a majority in parliament - in December.

    He has formed a new coalition, known as the Sacred Union, and has gone on to remove his predecessor's allies from key posts.

  17. Kenya launching first national wildlife census

    A lion at the Nairobi National Park
    Image caption: Nairobi National Park is on the southern edge of Kenya's capital

    The authorities in Kenya are launching the first ever national wildlife census.

    The exercise will be officially start in eastern Kenya at the Shimba Hills National Reserve on Friday.

    The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said the national wildlife census was aimed at finding out the total number of wild animals and how they were distributed.

    The exercise would also "determine wildlife population trends over time and identify threats to wildlife conservation", the service stated.

    The KWS and the Wildlife Research and Training Institute - an independent organisation that undertakes research in wildlife conservation and management - will be involved.

    The wildlife service manages 55 wildlife parks, reserves and sanctuaries.

    Illegal poaching has reduced the number of elephants and rhinos with conservation efforts increased to protect wildlife.

    Tourism is one of Kenya’s biggest income earner for the government.