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Live Reporting

Basillioh Mutahi, Evelyne Musambi and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

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  1. Tensions high as Senegal MPs vote on anti-terror law

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Supporters of an opposition collective in Senegal rally in the capital against presidential third term bids on Wednesday  23 June 2021
    Image caption: Supporters of an opposition collective rallied in Dakar against presidential third term bids on Wednesday

    Police have deployed in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, ahead of a vote on a controversial anti-terrorism law that the opposition fears would be used to ban protests and criminalise dissent.

    The Movement for the Defence of Democracy - an opposition coalition - has urged people to take to the streets.

    The government says the bill is meant to strengthen Senegal's fight against terror groups.

    The vote comes amid uncertainty over whether President Macky Sall will seek a controversial third term.

    On Thursday thousands took to the streets of Dakar to voice their opposition to the proposal.

    Some Senegalese suggest the anti-terror legislation has been introduced in order to suppress opposition to a third term for the president.

  2. Will military action end Mozambique's insurgency?

    Alan Kasujja

    BBC Africa Daily podcast

    A woman holds her younger child while standing in a burned out area in the recently attacked village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia, on August 24, 2019.
    Image caption: Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes amid the violence

    What does it take to end an insurgency? Four years of fighting have left deep bruises in the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique.

    Those who were not killed in the violence have had to flee for their lives: by some estimates more than 800,000 people have been displaced.

    “All the refugee camps in Pemba now are full and there’s no space,” says Charles Mangwiro, a journalist based in the capital, Maputo.

    Neighbouring countries are worried too - so, they’re working with the government to come up with solutions.

    Earlier this week, southern African countries approved the deployment of a standby force to help fight the insurgency. But details are still vague.

    “We were not told when, how, from which day they will be sent to Cabo Delgado,” says Mangwiro.

    “Mozambique has been saying for a long time now: we need training, we need logistics to be able to fight.”

    But will a military solution alone bring an end to the insurgency? How do you fix a problem of this magnitude?

    I’ve been looking for answers in Friday’s edition of Africa Daily.

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

  3. Kipchoge's 'pain and joy' at making marathon history

    A new documentary about Kenyan running legend and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge will be released later this year.

    He became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours, beating the mark by 20 seconds in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in 2019.

    It is not recognised as the official marathon world record as it was not in open competition - though he still holds that world record clocking a time of two hours one minute 39 seconds in Berlin in 2018.

    The film documents Kipchoge as he trains for his Vienna record-setting attempt to beat one of the great sporting barriers. It includes interviews with people close to him.

    "In the journey of life there are ups and downs. In a marathon there is a lot of challenges, ups and downs. There is pain in training, pain in running and joy at the end of the marathon," Kipchoge says in the trailer, which he has shared on Twitter:

    View more on twitter

    "We wanted to make history and inspire the human family. Everybody should believe that's what makes us claw and push and push again. So I can say, marathon is life," he adds.

    The film, The Last Milestone, is set to be released digitally in August.

  4. Covid red list: Ugandans to be barred from UK travel

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Travellers at Entebbe Airport in Uganda - March 2020
    Image caption: From next Wednesday, Ugandans will not be able to go to the UK

    Uganda will be added to the UK's travel "red list" of high-risk Covid countries from 30 June.

    This means travellers from Uganda will not be able to enter the UK unless they are returning nationals or residents - and they would have to first test negative and then isolate for 10 days on entry.

    This comes amidst rising coronavirus cases in Uganda, which is currently on the UK's amber list for travel.

    More than 1,200 positive cases were recorded on Tuesday - and more than 75,000 people have been infected since the pandemic began.

    A 45-day lockdown was imposed in the country last week. A 19:00 to 05:30 curfew is in place, schools remain closed, passenger public and private transport is banned and some businesses are not allowed to operate.

    But the country’s international borders, including the main airport, remain open to travellers with a valid negative Covid PCR test - except for those arriving from India.

    President Yoweri Museveni declared Friday a public holiday and a day of national prayers for the country to pray for frontline health workers and families who have lost their loved ones to coronavirus.

  5. SA medic: People beg for help, beg for oxygen

    An ambulance worker with a coronavirus patient at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa - January 2021
    Image caption: Paramedics are waiting for hours to get patients to casualty

    A medic in South Africa has told the BBC the health system in Gauteng is at a crisis point as the country deals with a third wave of coronavirus, with people begging for help and oxygen.

    “The sheer number of patients requiring hospitalisation is alarming. The system is stretched to the limit, hospitals are full, healthcare workers, some of whom have not been vaccinated, are exhausted,” Bayanda Gumede told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

    He is a chief nephrology technologist at a private renal clinic in Roodepoort in Gauteng province - and he posted a video on Twitter on Monday that went viral about the pressure medics are under.

    View more on twitter

    He told the BBC that ambulances sometimes wait in car parks for hours just to get into casualty as there is a shortage of beds.

    Quote Message: Patients wait sometimes two to three days in casualty before they can get a bed, that's how dire the situation is."

    Mr Gumede said one patient who was “literally gasping for air” came to his clinic asking for help as there were no ambulances or beds available.

    Quote Message: I had to prioritise, I took oxygen from one patient and gave it to her immediately because the oxygen saturation was extremely low.
    Quote Message: I called the ambulance which came after three hours, paramedics told me they did not know where to take the patient as all hospitals were full in the Gauteng province. They told me they were going to take her to a neighbouring province and unfortunately we lost that patient.”

    He said many more patients were likely to be dying like this that people were not aware about.

    Quote Message: I get calls from people crying, begging me to admit their family members in to our clinic, desperate to save their loved ones but we’re unable to help all these people because they require hospitalisation, ventilators and 24-hour observation."

    The medic said the third wave in Gauteng, which is accounting for nearly 70% of new cases, was worse than the previous one - and he said the authorities should have done more.

    Quote Message: “The first and second wave ought to have taught us a lesson, we should have prepared.”

    Listen to his full interview:

    Video content

    Video caption: "I get calls from people crying, begging me to admit their family members"
  6. 'Battle lines drawn' in row over SA's Zulu king

    Prince Misuzulu (centre)
    Image caption: Prince Misuzulu (centre) was chosen as the new monarch last month

    “Battle lines” have been drawn in a row over who should succeed to South Africa’s Zulu throne, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi has said.

    He serves as the traditional prime minister for the Zulu nation which lost King Goodwill Zwelithini in March.

    The 72-year-old monarch, who died from diabetes-related complications, had six wives and at least 26 children.

    Some family members did not support the new monarch King Misuzulu KaZwelithini, who was announced as the successor to the throne last month amid a family feud.

    One faction of the family had nominated another prince as successor - Prince Simakade Zulu - and had written a letter asking for him to be accorded security as a king, Chief Buthelezi said.

    The succession conflict was so serious it would have resulted to war “had we not achieved this stage of constitutional development as a country”, Chief Buthelezi said on Thursday.

    “It appears that the battle lines in this conflict have been drawn, as far as I am concerned. We felt therefore that the nation should be informed so that they might judge for themselves who is right and who is wrong in this conflict,” he told a media briefing.

    He denied that he was sowing conflict among members of the royal family, saying he did not choose the king.

    “I am quite flabbergasted to hear that accusation as it is the will that was read that named our present king as the heir and it was not myself,” state broadcaster SABC quoted him as saying.

    “Even if there was no will, automatically the heir would still have been the present king, Misuzulu, because he comes from the house of the chief wife who is the daughter of his majesty King Sobhuza II,” he added.

    Zwelithini was the longest-reigning Zulu monarch, having served on the throne for almost 50 years.

  7. Zambia cancels elections in three constituencies

    Three constituencies in Zambia will not have their parliamentary elections on 12 August as the electoral commission has called for fresh nominations.

    The move comes after one parliamentary candidate from one of the constituencies died and the other two resigned.

    The Zambian constitution states that fresh nominations be held if a candidate dies or resigns.

    After the end of the fresh nomination period, the electoral body is given time to print new ballot papers and organise the election.

    This will go past the 12 August date that the country is set to hold its general election.

    The three constituencies affected are:

    • Mandevu - ZUSD candidate died
    • Lusaka Central - ruling Patriotic Front candidate resigned
    • Mpulungu - Democratic Party candidate resigned.
  8. Niger insurgents kill at least 10 in motorbike raids

    BBC World Service

    A map shows Tillaberi region

    At least 10 people have been killed in an attack by suspected jihadists in western Niger, reports say.

    Officials in Tillabéri province said the insurgents used motor bikes to carry out raids on two villages, Danga-Zouani and Korombara, and farmers in neighbouring fields.

    Grain stores and huts were also reportedly burned down.

    Tillaberi is located in the tri-border zone linking Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, a notoriously insecure area.

    Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced across the Sahel region by the continuing attacks by jihadist factions.

  9. Congolese singer's emotional appeal for Goma victims

    A Congolese musician, Tresor Riziki, has launched an appeal to raise funds for communities affected by the recent volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, near the city of Goma.

    The appeal is in partnership with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and will support their emergency response on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Tresor who was born in Goma told the BBC's Focus on Africa that the eruption evoked memories of a similar experience he had in 2002.

    Quote Message: I thought because I am in a better position I have a voice and platform I should be able to assist this time I should be able to step in and assist."

    Tresor, who lived as refugee in South Africa many years ago, says he just wants to help those who need a helping hand over the next few months.

    The singer, who still has family and friends in Goma, says people in the city are very strong.

    Quote Message: They have a very resilient spirit, slowly they are starting again to try to rebuild and trying to figure a way to work around the current situation."

    He has also dedicated a song to the people of Goma. Written before the eruption, it tells of the hardships in different parts of DR Congo hit by insecurity.

    Quote Message: I wrote this song for my third album, it's very sad and speaks about growing up war... It speaks about how people have gone through a lot but they are still standing."

    But he says he did not release the song at the time - but now he feels it is the right track to help raise funds.

    Listen to Tresor's full interview and song:

    Video content

    Video caption: Tresor Riziki has partnered with UNHCR to help the thousands left homeless by the volcano
  10. Somaliland opens 'game changer' new container port

    BBC World Service

    The new container terminal at Berbera
    Image caption: The port is expected to boost exports

    A new port has been officially opened in Berbera in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, which should help boost exports between the Horn of Africa and the Gulf region.

    The container port is also potentially of huge benefit to landlocked Ethiopia, which is currently reliant on Djibouti its exports and imports.

    Last month the Addis Ababa government and Dubai’s DP World - one of the world's largest port operators - agreed a $1bn (£720m) deal to create a trade and logistics corridor between Ethiopia and Berbera.

    President Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland tweeted about the new port, saying it made Berbera a regional trade hub and would make it a "global centre of trade and logistics":

    View more on twitter
  11. Ethiopia denies military plane shot down by rebels

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa correspondent

    Crash site at Adi Qaela, Tigray, Ethiopia
    Image caption: This is a grab from the video in which people mention Adi Qaela as the crash site

    The Ethiopian military has rejected claims that its plane which crashed in the Tigray region on Wednesday was shot down by rebels.

    An army spokesman told the BBC that the military plane suffered a mechanical problem. It has not said how many people were onboard.

    The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) alleged that its forces struck an aircraft carrying ammunition and soldiers wearing Eritrean uniforms.

    Eritrea has been fighting alongside the Ethiopian government in the conflict in Tigray.

    Over the past week fighting has escalated in the region, with the Ethiopian air force accused of carrying out an airstrike on market, killing and wounding dozens of civilians. The Ethiopian military has denied targeting civilians.

    Images of the crash site, shared by Tigray’s rebels, show what is believed to be a C-130 Hercules transporter plane completely decimated.

    The BBC has examined some of the photos and videos of the wreckage. People can be heard mentioning the crash site as Adi Qaela, about 25km (15.5 miles) south-west of the regional capital Mekelle.

    The TPLF said its anti-aircraft guns had shot the plane down as part of its current counter-offensive against the government.

    Once peaceful areas close to Mekelle are now experiencing renewed violence.

    There is growing international concern about the resurgence in fighting, especially as all sides have been accused of carrying out mass killings and human rights violations.

    More than five million people are in urgent need of food aid and the United Nations warns 350,000 of them are facing famine conditions.

  12. Friday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: When you have a new shoe, do not throw away the old one." from An Ngonde proverb sent by John Kambala in Malawi
    An Ngonde proverb sent by John Kambala in Malawi
    An illustration of shoes

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  13. Video content

    Video caption: Child labour in Uganda: The hidden costs of Covid

    When all Uganda's schools closed due to the pandemic, nine-year-old Teddy joined her mother mining for gold.

  14. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live team until Friday morning.

    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 our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: When there are just two of you, no need to ask who farted." from A Bamileke proverb from Cameroon sent by Albert Noah-Messomo in Bournemouth, the UK
    A Bamileke proverb from Cameroon sent by Albert Noah-Messomo in Bournemouth, the UK

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this art work posted by Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo:

    View more on instagram
  15. Buhari to make second health trip to London this year

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during a visit to the Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri on June 17, 2021

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is due to travel to London "for a scheduled medical follow-up", a statement from his office says.

    This is the second time this year that he will have travelled to see doctors in the UK's capital. He was in London for a fortnight in April.

    The 78-year-old has made several trips to the UK for medical reasons throughout his presidency, which began in 2015, but the nature of his illness has never been disclosed.

    "He is due back in the country during the second week of July," the president's office says.

    Mr Buhari has been criticised in the past for travelling abroad for treatment, especially as the country's public health service remains severely under funded.

  16. African aviation will have to wait for revenues to rise

    Peter Mwangangi

    BBC News

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said the continent's aviation sector is unlikely to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels for another two years.

    IATA also said that vaccination should not become a mandatory requirement for air travel, owing to Africa’s slow vaccine rollout.

    Speaking during a joint virtual press conference with the World Health Organization, IATA’s vice-president for Africa and Middle East, Kamil Al-Awadhi, said passenger numbers are unlikely to pick up any time soon.

    While the aviation industry lost $2bn ($1.4bn) of revenue in 2020, IATA has projected that losses will be smaller this year - though not by much.

    IATA is now asking African governments to adopt a single digital platform for verifying coronavirus tests and vaccine certifications, as part of efforts to standardise ways to keep track of the health of passengers.

  17. Rally cars hit the streets of Nairobi

    Celestine Karoney

    BBC Sport Africa

    Rally car in Nairobi

    In Kenya, the road linking the capital, Nairobi, and the town of Naivasha has had some rather different looking cars on it jostling with the matatus, buses and lorries.

    The rally cars are in the country as the World Rally Championship returned for the first time in 19 years.

    The world-renowned Safari Rally was a regular part of the WRC calendar between 1973 and 2002, and was considered the championship’s toughest race.

    Financial issues saw the event removed from the calendar in 2003.

    Covid-19 delayed its planned return last year as the race was cancelled, but Africa's only WRC event is now back and raring to go.

    Thousands of spectators turned out to see the cars pass by as they travelled from the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi on their way to the first competitive part of the race, at the city's Kasarani stadium complex.

    People watching the rally at the road side

    France’s reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier in his Toyota Yaris again proved he is the man to beat as he set the fastest time on the opening stage.

    He finished just ahead of Finland’s Kalle Rovenpera whose father Harri finished second overall in 2002.

    The opening stage was slightly marred towards the end when too many spectators crowded onto the competitive part of the race and several of the lower-ranked drivers were unable to compete in the stage.

    The cars have now gathered in Naivasha which for the next three days will act as the base for the drivers.

    As well as the foreign entrants there are a number from Kenya and some from neighbouring Uganda.

    This will be the 68th time the rally, which at first saw races in Uganda and Tanania as well, has taken place.