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  1. Cameroon soldiers 'arrested' over viral execution video
  2. 'Be a man' campaign mocked by Moroccan women
  3. Compensation offered to Marikana massacre victims
  4. Koffi Olomide 'not banned from Zambia'
  5. Twitter appoints ex-Nigerian minister to board of directors
  6. Death sentence for Kenya's 'prison beauty queen'
  7. Barbecues in UK 'fuel rapid deforestation' in Nigeria

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Scroll down for this week's stories

We'll be back on Monday

BBC Africa Live

Natasha Booty

That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

Our African proverb of the day:

Caution characterises the leopard; the hyena eats as he walks."

A Shona proverb sent by Farai Manyarara in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture taken at a primary school in South Africa on the 100-year anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth.

It's one of our favourite photos taken this week.

A child from Northlen Primary school sticks a poster of former South African President Nelson Mandela on the chalkboard in Durban on 18 July 2018

Dog attacks double in central Mozambique

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

A dog bares its teeth
Getty Images

Close to 600 cases of dogs attacking people were reported in the central Mozambican province of Tete during the first six months of 2018. That is a 60% increase compared the same period last year.

Dog bites can be lethal as many people in Mozambique are not vaccinated against rabies. Victims are often children.

Stray dogs are now being rounded up and killed to prevent more cases, a senior health official for Tete province told daily newspaper Noticias.

Dr Alex Bertil also said that while two people had died in the region last year after being bitten by dogs, no such deaths had been recorded there in 2018 year.

All district health units in the province have now been equipped with anti-rabies vaccines, he is quoted by the news outlet as saying.

To prevent contracting the disease in a rabies-risk area, medical doctors advise taking these three steps:

  • Immediately clean the wound with running water and soap for several minutes
  • Disinfect the wound with an alcohol- or iodine-based disinfectant and apply a simple dressing, if possible
  • Go to the nearest medical centre, hospital or clinic as soon as possible and explain that you've been bitten or scratched.

Source: NHS

Koffi Olomide 'not banned from Zambia'

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC News, Lusaka

Koffi Olomide on stage
The Congolese star is known for his flashy dressing and extravagant lifestyle

Police and government authorities in Zambia have cleared Congolese rhumba star Koffi Olomide to perform in the country next weekend, contrary to media reports earlier in the week that the singer would be arrested on arrival.

It follows allegations published in the state-owned Times of Zambia newspaper that he assaulted a photojournalist in Zambia during a previous tour.

He has also been accused of sexually assaulting his dancers, kidnapping them and employing them without valid permits in France.

The article prompted the 62-year-old to hire lawyers to talk to the authorities to clear his name.

Now Zambia police spokesperson Esther Katongo says Mr Olomide is free to enter Zambia.

She says there is no international arrest warrant for him from Interpol, no criminal record in Zambia, and says "an assault case that was reported at Lusaka Division by a journalist was closed due to lack of evidence".

The rhumba star is not new to controversy. In 2016, he was caught on camera kicking his female dancer on arrival in Kenya. He was swiftly deported.

In 2012, he was convicted in the Democratic Republic of Congo of assaulting his producer, resulting in a three-month suspended prison sentence.

The altercation with his producer was over a debt of about $3,700 (£2,800), the court heard.

In 2008, he was accused of kicking a cameraman from DR Congo’s private RTGA television station and breaking his camera at a concert in the capital, Kinshasa, following a disagreement over recording rights.

In the end, the speaker of the national assembly stepped in to resolve the dispute, brokering a reconciliation between the star and owner of the TV station.

Barbecues to blame for 'alarming' tree felling rate

Navin Singh Khadka

Environment reporter, BBC World Service

Seafood on a barbecue
Getty Images
UK consumers' growing tastes for outdoor eating are fuelling charcoal exports

Nigeria has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world and conservationists say the charcoal industry is fuelling the problem, as demand for charcoal grows internationally.

Last year the country imported more than 10,000 tonnes of charcoal from Nigeria, according to UN figures.

"Deforestation in the country is alarming and disheartening for some of us who work in the conservation sector," says Stephen Aina, a conservation officer with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

He says forests in Oyo State and in areas sharing a boundary with Benin have been largely destroyed, because of their location close to Lagos port. Kwara State, he says, is now one of the major hotspots of charcoal production in the country.

A map showing the location of Kwara and Oyo states in Nigeria

Poland, a major exporter of charcoal, also imports the fuel from Nigeria before re-exporting it, according to a World Wildlife Fund Germany.

It's a problem in other African countries too. “Tree cover loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo reached a record high in 2017, increasing 6 percent from 2016,” a recent report by the Global Forest Watch said, saying agriculture, artisanal logging and charcoal production were to blame.

It isn't illegal to source charcoal from tropical forests, but most British retailers do claim their supply chains originate in sustainable woodlands.

The majority of the bags, though, have no information about the country of origin, let alone specific forests. But most do carry the logo of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - the world's biggest certification scheme of wood products.

"I am sure there has been tropical charcoal coming into the UK market,” admits FSC boss Kim Carstensen. “I am sure most of these would have been without the FSC logo," she adds, "but I cannot guarantee that there hasn't been any problem with some of the FSC certified materials.”

  • Watch the full TV report on Focus on Africa at 17:30GMT

'My brother died in an immigration raid'

After feeling war in Sudan Mustafa Dawood died in the UK

Mustafa Dawood died in June 2018 after fleeing an immigration raid in the UK. He was 23-years-old.

He fell 12 metres (40ft) to his death after climbing onto the roof of a factory next to the car wash where he was working illegally.

It was a brutal end to a short life - one that had already seen him flee war in Sudan and make a perilous journey across Europe eventually settling in south Wales.

So why did Mustafa die, and why are politicians and campaign groups now clamouring for justice?

Read the full story from BBC Wales.

Mustafa with members of his family
Mustafa with members of his family

US adds Kenyan wing of Al-Shabab to terror list

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

The US has extended its designation of the al-Shabab jihadist group as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation to include a Kenya-based wing of the group known as al-Hijra.

Washington says al-Hijra is interconnected with al-Shabab and consists mainly of Kenyan and Somali members.

The move comes at the end of a legally required five-year review of al-Shabab’s status as a terror group.

With these terror designations, the US says it aims to expose and isolate individuals or organisations it considers a threat – and to deny them access to its financial system.

Somali soldiers are seen here on patrol in the country's south, where days earlier al-Shabab militants claimed responsibly for the killing of an American special operations soldier.
Somali soldiers are seen here on patrol in the country's south in June, where days earlier al-Shabab militants claimed responsibly for the killing of an American special operations soldier.

The Somali group al-Shabab has had this label since 2008, the same year al-Hijra was formed in neighbouring Kenya. The State Department says this wing has been openly recruiting for al-Shabab in Kenya and facilitating travel for its members to Somalia "for terrorism purposes".

Security analysts suggest that al-Hijra was involved in planning the siege on Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall in 2013.

A United Nations report named Aboud Rogo – a radical Kenyan cleric – as al-Hijra’s ideological leader.

Rogo was killed in 2012 but continues to inspire Swahili-speaking jihadists in eastern Africa.

Senegal's World Cup referee retires

Senegalese match official Malang Diedhiou refereed three matches at the 2018 World Cup in Russia
Getty Images

Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou is hanging up his whistle after a career that has seen him take charge at the Fifa World Cup, Confederations Cup and the Olympics.

Diedhiou, 45, a Senegalese customs inspector, was involved in four matches at the recent World Cup in Russia.

He was in charge of the Group games between Costa Rica and Serbia and then hosts Russia against Uruguay, and the knockout match between Belgium and Japan.

New railway 'threatens Kenyan wildlife'

The construction of a Kenya’s first high-speed railway network should be good news.

But part of the line is being built through a national park in the capital, Nairobi.

Activists say this poses a major threat to wildlife, which attract tourists from around the world. They accuse the Kenyan government of ignoring environmental law and failing to conduct a preliminary impact study.

But the government says it did what was required under Kenyan law.

Moroccan women rubbish 'obscene clothes' campaign

Women on a beach
The 'Be A Man' group says men should stop women from wearing bikinis

Women in Morocco have hit back at an online campaign, which tells men to police women's clothing, by saying women have the right to wear whatever they want.

"Be a man and do not let your women and girls go out in tight clothes" is the name of the Facebook group whose members say men should curb street harassment by stopping women from "wearing obscene clothes" in public, such as bikinis or "revealing clothing".

The debate spread to Twitter, alongside a hashtag which translates into English as #BeAMan. This outraged many who responded with their own hashtag, meaning #BeAFreeWoman.

Some have mocked the idea of covering women up and called the message "patriarchal" and "misogynist".

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

"Everyone has the exclusive freedom to take a decision to wear any kind of clothing on the beach... We live in a state of law, not in a religious state," one commentator wrote on Facebook. "Be a man and leave her alone" said another critic.

"Because I am a free Moroccan woman, my campaign will be 'be a man and take care of yourself', said Magda Karami.

BBC Arabic says the "Be a man" trend can be traced back to Algerian bloggers in 2015, and has "since spread to other Arab countries".

'Trevor made a mistake... this is not an African team'

South African comedian Trevor Noah has defended himself after being criticised by the French Ambassador to the US for saying "Africa won the World Cup".

The Daily Show host made the comments on his satirical show a day after France beat Croatia to win football's most coveted prize on Sunday.

Fourteen of France's 23-man squad would be eligible to play for African nations.

French politician Stéphane Tiki, who was born in Cameroon, disagrees with Noah, telling BBC Newsday the players are French first and foremost.

Trevor Noah has said his statement should be put in context: "When I am saying, 'They are African', I am not saying it as a way to exclude them from their Frenchness, but using it as a way to include them in my Africanness."

To deny that duality was something he "vehemently" disagreed with.

SA offers compensation for Marikana mine killings

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

The South African government has offered relatives of miners killed in the 2012 Marikana massacre the sum of 100m rand ($7.4m; £5.7m) in compensation.

Police shot dead 34 miners on strike over wages, saying they were acting in self-defence.

The shooting at the Lonmin platinum mine was the most deadly police incident since the end of apartheid in 1994, and shocked the nation. Ten others were killed in the days leading up to the mass shooting. The violence left 70 injured, and police arrested more than 200 others.

Families of the miners are being offered the settlement for general damages.

A group called the Socio-Economic Rights Institute represented more than 300 claimants who sued the government for loss of support and shock. It says it will consult the families about the offer.

Former President Jacob Zuma established a commission of inquiry led by a retired judge.

Its findings led to the removal of a police commissioner. It also recommended investigations into police conduct and exonerated senior political figures, including current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was a director at Lonmin at the time.

He was alleged to have called for action to be taken against the wildcat strikers, but the commission said it found there was no evidence "even on a prima facie basis" that he was guilty of such allegations.

Police officers
A police commissioner was removed from his post after the mass shooting

Death sentence for 'prison beauty queen'

A 24-year-old Kenyan woman has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing her boyfriend.

Ruth Kamande was 21 when she was charged with murder for stabbing her 24-year-old boyfriend Farid Mohammed to death. Since her arrest in 2015, she has been held in Lang'ata women's jail in Nairobi, where she won a prisoners' beauty pageant.

Kenyan media have focused on her looks through the trial, dubbing her the "prison beauty queen".

Rights group Amnesty International has called on Kenya's High Court to reverse its decision to sentence Kamande to death, calling the practice "cruel, inhumane and outdated".

Kenya has not enforced hanging as a capital punishment since 1987. Amnesty said this latest sentence, if enforced, would be "a blow to the country's "progressive record in commuting death sentences to terms of imprisonment".

Before sentencing, Kamande testified that her boyfriend threatened to kill her when she found out he was HIV-positive. She said she had acted in self-defence:

“Mohammed told me that he would rather kill me and himself than have his status exposed. l stabbed him severally using a kitchen knife, which fell on my chest from his hands after I overpowered him, after putting my two thumbs in his eyes to save my life."

But Jugde Jessie Lessit said Kamande showed no mercy, still shows no remorse and deserves nothing less than death.

"She stabbed again and again and took pleasure in it. It wasn't at a go, there were intervals," Judge Lessit said.

View more on twitter

Twitter appoints ex-Nigerian minister to its board

Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed to the board of directors of Twitter.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala served under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003 to 2006 and President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2015.

She tweeted the news of her appointment, saying she was "excited" to work on a platform that connects people and ideas.

View more on twitter

Twitter, like other Silicon Valley companies, has been criticised for not being inclusive enough.

With Mrs Okonjo-Iweala's appointment, Twitter's 10-member board now has three women, two of whom are black.

Former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Getty Images

Cameroon soldiers 'arrested' over execution video

Mayeni Jones

BBC News

News agencies say four Cameroonian soldiers have been arrested for their involvement in a disturbing video which has caused outrage on social media.

In the clip men wearing military fatigues shoot two women, including one with a baby on her back, and a little girl.

They are heard accusing the victims of being connected to the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

Both the UK and the US have expressed concern over the video and have called for those involved to be held accountable for their actions.

Details of the arrests are still unclear, but a spokesperson for the government denies they took place. Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary told the BBC that the government did not yet know the origins of the video.

He added that there were two versions of the clip: one where soldiers were wearing Cameroonian uniforms, and another where they appeared to be wearing Malian ones.

A still from the viral video
The clip is alleged to have been filmed in northern Cameroon

Amnesty International said it had credible evidence that the men in the video were indeed Cameroonian soldiers based on an analysis of their weapons, speech and uniforms.

Two military sources told the Reuters news agency the video was filmed in 2014 or 2015, in the early months of Cameroon's operations against Boko Haram.

The Cameroonian army is deployed in the country's Far North region to counter frequent incursions by Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria, where they are based.

Rights groups have accused the Cameroonian armed forces of carrying out war crimes in their fight against the militant group.

Good morning

Welcome back to BBC Africa Live, where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent.

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back on Friday

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

Our African proverb of the day:

Wisdom is like fire; people take it from others."

A Congolese proverb sent by Bol Anei Awar, South Sudan, and Wawunje Joseph, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture from the Rwandan side of Lake Kivu.

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Black sarcophagus unsealed in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unsealed a massive black sarcophagus, which some suggested might contain the body of Alexander the Great or unleash a deadly curse.

But instead it revealed three skeletons and a red liquid which gave off a pungent smell.

A handout picture released on July 19, 2018 by the Egyptian Antiques ministry shows skeletons in the black granite sarcophagus uncovered early this month in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria, filled with sewage water
Getty Images

The archaeologists said the bodies were likely to have been those of soldiers from the time of the Pharoahs, with one having a wound that appeared to have been caused by an arrow.

The sarcophagus was found at a construction site in the city of Alexandria earlier this month, sparking fevered speculation over what it might contain.

Ex-Zimbabwe footballer jailed for false maternity claims

Pound notes
Getty Images
The government lost £450,000 in the scam

A former Zimbabwean footballer is among 12 people who have been sentenced to prison in the UK for plotting to claim more than £450,000 ($586,000) in maternity payments for babies which did not exist.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Liberty Masunda, 43, was sentenced to three years in prison after a jury in Wolverhampton city convicted him of conspiracy to defraud the government.

The 11 other members of the group were given sentences ranging from 14 months to seven years.

"As a result of their actions, there has been a loss to the taxpayer of £450,000 in false payments," prosecutor Gurminder Sanghera said.

"Many of the defendants denied knowing about the fraud, or that their bank accounts were used. Evidence put forward by the CPS showed they each played an integral part of the scheme and ultimately the jury has found them guilty,” Mr Sanghera added.

Masunda had played for Zimbabwe and South Africa's Kaizer Chiefs as a striker.

The 12, including members of the same family and their partners and friends, made at least 158 fraudulent applications for maternity allowance over a 52-month period, the CPS said in a statement.

False maternity allowance claims, usually in the names of third parties, were submitted to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the CPS said.

The claim form required a maternity certificate to be completed and submitted. The defendants produced forged certificates by falsifying GP stamps on them, the CPS added.

ANC official hits back in 'pig cruelty' case

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise during the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate at the National Assembly on February 14, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa
Getty Images
Thandi Modise presides over sittings in parliament's upper chamber

A prominent member of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC), Thandi Modise, has hit back at campaign groups over their plan to bring a private prosecution against her for alleged animal cruelty, including the deaths of pigs and goats.

The threat to prosecute Ms Modise, who is the chairwoman of the upper chamber of parliament, amounted to an "abuse of judicial processes for narrow political ends", parliament's spokesman Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.

The campaign groups wanted to "advance a narrow narrative of failure of black farming", he added.

"The threat to privately prosecute coincides with the process led by Parliament regarding [the] possible amendment to Section 25 of the constitution to expropriate land without compensation [from white farmers]," Mr Mothapo said.

It is important to note that state prosecutors have declined to charge her because she had "delegated people she trusted to look after the farm while she is away fulfilling her parliamentary responsibilities", he added.

Mainly Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum plans to prosecute Ms Modise after the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported that dozens of animals had died on her farm in 2014 because of neglect.

Private prosecutions are extremely rare in South Africa, and are usually brought when lawyers are confident that the state had blundered by refusing to charge a suspect.

See earlier post: 'Dozens of animals died on farm'

The national debate over French identity

Lucy Williamson

BBC's Paris Correspondent

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with the World Cup trophy following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

France's last World Cup win in 1998 triggered a national debate over French identity, after the slogan Black-Blanc-Beur (Black, White, Arab) was coined to describe the multi-ethnic team.

It was a striking development, because discussing race or religion is officially considered irrelevant to French identity - even frowned upon.

The French state collects no data on the ethnic origins of its citizens; a way of underlining the principle that all are equal, and equally French.

The reality is somewhat less "colour-blind", though, according to many of those who come from immigrant backgrounds, and especially from France's former colonies in Africa. They say many areas of French life - such as getting a job - are more difficult with an immigrant name or a non-white face.

France's colonial past has left uncomfortable divisions here; divisions which have been exacerbated by city planning around its major cities, and - some would say - a Republican ideal that is often seen as rooted in France's white Christian history. The recent debate around the place of Islam has highlighted these tensions again.

The national squad is still a rare symbol of multicultural France, but 20 years on from their last World Cup win, the image of a team from many different backgrounds has triggered less focus on French identity here and more wry comment on the country's current stance on immigration.

Read more: Trevor Noah defends World Cup joke

'Horns prove' poachers did not kill Kenyan rhinos

Kenyan officials have displayed 18 horns from nine endangered black rhinos in a bid to allay fears that they were killed by poachers.

View more on twitter

The Kenyan government said the deaths of the rhinos, which had been described as a disaster by conservationists, was caused by drinking water with high concentrations of salt.

The saline water caused the rhinos to drink more and led to their eventual salt poisoning.

The Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, told reporters that all the horns had transmitters and electronic chips, proving that they came from the dead rhinos.

They were part of a group of rhinos that were relocated to Tsavo East National Park.

Transporting wildlife is used by conservationists to help build up or bring back animal populations.

Outrage and joy after verdicts in Senegal terror trial

Senegalese Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer in Dakar, Senegal on June 15, 201
Getty Images
Most Senegalese Muslims practise a tolerate version of Islam

The lawyer for the man sentenced to 20 years in prison on terrorism-related charges in Senegal says he will appeal against the ruling.

Alassane Cisse said he was "outraged" by the sentence given to Makhtar Diokhane, in the biggest mass trial of suspected militant Islamists in the Muslim-majority state known for upholding a moderate version of Islam.

"I will immediately appeal this ruling. I have no intention of letting Matar Diokhane stay in prison for 20 years," Mr Cisse added.

Prominent lmam Alioune Ndao was acquitted on charges of being a financier of "terrorism", but was given a suspended prison sentence for illegally possessing weapons.

Welcoming the ruling, his lawyer Moussa Sarr said:

It's a fight we have been fighting for three years. We fought it before the court. We also fought a media battle to protect the dignity of Imam Ndao, who is a role model for this country.

He should be an inspiration for a lot of religious leaders. So, we thank God and, in spite of all the difficulties we have met, we are proud of our justice today."

See earlier post for more details

ANC official to be prosecuted over 'pig cruelty'

Thandi Modise, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces of South Africa, visits the European Solidarity Centre - September 2016
Getty Images
Thandi Modise has been dogged by allegations of animal cruelty since 2014

A senior member of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) will be privately prosecuted on charges of animal cruelty after dozens of animals and birds allegedly died of hunger on her farm - and surviving pigs were forced to eat dead pigs, campaign groups have said.

More than 160 animals had to be put down after "absolute cruelty" was witnessed on the farm of Thandi Modise in 2014, a spokeswoman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) is quoted by South Africa's Eyewitness News site as saying.

Lobby group AfriForum's lawyer Monique Taut tweeted that the SPCA had found the carcasses of "pig, sheep, goat, goose and duck" on the farm, and "some of the surviving pigs had to feed on pig carcasses to survive".

View more on twitter

Ms Modise - who is the chairwoman of the South African parliament's upper chamber - has not yet commented on the move to prosecute her.

When the allegations first surfaced, Ms Modise was quoted as saying that the farmer manager had been away because of a family emergency when the alleged neglect of the animals took place.

“I am not a farmer. I am trying to farm. I am learning. But if you are a woman and you are learning you are not allowed to make mistakes,” the IOL news site quoted her as saying.

About 85 pigs had been found starving on the farm, and they had been feeding off the carcasses of 58 dead pigs, local media reports said at the time.

South African law allows a private prosecution when the state's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) refuses to charge someone.

In April, the NPA reversed its decision not to charge ex-President Jacob Zuma's son with culpable homicide after AfriForum said it would bring a private prosecution against him.

Duduzane Zuma was involved in a car crash which left two people dead in 2014.

Ethiopian father reunited with daughters in Eritrea

Addisalem Hadigu with his twin daughters
Addisalem Hadigu last saw his twin daughters when they were teenagers

Ethiopian journalist Addisalem Hadigu has met his daughters Asmera and Danait in Eritrea for the first time in 16 years.

He was among many families kept apart by decades of war and conflict between neighbours Ethiopia and Eritrea.

They were reunited in scenes of tearful joy and relief after the first commercial flight between the two nations in 20 years landed in Eritrea's capital, Asmara.

Read the full BBC story here.

Beating the stigma of STIs with secret home-testing kits

A Nigerian entrepreneur is helping young people take control of their sexual health, cheaply and anonymously.

Beating the stigma of STIs with secret home-testing kits

Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya

Loon's balloons
Loon's balloons float 20km above sea level

A network of giant balloons will soon bring internet access to remote regions of rural Kenya.

Google's sister-company Loon has announced its first commercial deal: partnering with Telkom Kenya to deliver connectivity to the region.

The firm's antennae-dangling fleet will ride the wind high above parts of the African country.

But experts have warned that the partnership could lead to a communications monopoly.

Read the full BBC story

Senegal jihad 'ringleader' jailed for 20 years

People cross the street in front of the Great Mosque in Touba, the holy city of Mouridism, 01 November 2007
Getty Images
Most Muslims in Senegal follow a moderate version of Islam

The man regarded as the ringleader of a militant Islamist cell in Senegal has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a court in the capital Dakar, following the biggest trial of suspected jihadists in the West African state.

Makhtar Diokhane was described in court as the brains behind a cell which sent boys to Nigeria, Mali and Libya to receive training from militants.

The main accused - Alioune Badara Ndao, who is a prominent imam in Kaolack city in central Senegal - was acquitted of being an "apologist" and financier of "terrorism" but was given a suspended one-month prison sentence for illegally possessing weapons, reports BBC Afrique's Khady Lo from Dakar.

Fourteen other suspects were acquitted.

Mainly Muslim Senegal has never been attacked by militant Islamists, and follows a moderate version of Sufi Islam. Sufi sects wield enormous influence in society.

However, government officials have in recent years expressed concern that militant Islamists were trying to gain a foothold in the country.

South Sudan's Kiir 'ready to accept peace deal'

South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015
Getty Images
Peace talks have so far failed to end conflict in South Sudan

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir says he's ready to accept a peace deal that would end years of civil war in the world's youngest country.

The agreement being negotiated with his rival Riek Machar would give the country five vice presidents, and covers power sharing and security.

A permanent ceasefire was signed last month. At a swearing-in ceremony of his foreign minister, President Kiir said nobody should be left out of the government.

South Sudan descended into conflict in 2013, two years after becoming independent. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than four million people displaced during the civil war.

'I run a death cafe'

Once a month Hope Ogbologugo hosts a Death Cafe in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, where people gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.

She told BBC Africa's One Minute Stories what inspired her to start the group.

Video Journalist: Angelica Jopson

Lagos Death Cafe founder: It's about life

FBI 'spied on Mandela after his release from jail'

A person walks past a banner depicting former South African leader Nelson Mandela (L) and former US president Barak Obama outside the Wanderers cricket stadium in Johannesburg on July 17, 2018
Getty Images
Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama made history by becoming the first black presidents of their countries

Newly released US intelligence documents showed that the FBI continued to investigate South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela as a potential "communist menace" even after his release from prison in 1990, a Washington-based group which sued to obtain the papers said.

Property of the People, which released the papers to mark 100 years since Mr Mandela's birth, said:

The documents reveal that, just as it did in the 1950s and 60s with Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement, the FBI aggressively investigated the US and South African anti-apartheid movements as communist plots imperilling American security.

Worse still, the documents demonstrate the FBI continued its wrong-headed communist menace investigations of Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement even after US imposition of trade sanctions against apartheid South Africa, after Mandela's globally celebrated release from prison, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall."

Former US President Barack Obama gave a rousing speech in South Africa on Tuesday to celebrate Mr Mandela's life,calling on people to be inspired by him at a time when the "politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment" were rising.

Mr Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994, and advocated reconciliation with white people who had for decades enforced the racist system of apartheid in the country.

You can read more abut the documents by following the link on Property of the People's Twitter account:

View more on twitter

Ethiopia appoints ambassador to ex-enemy Eritrea

Ethiopian Communication Minister Redwan Hussein gives a speech to the press on February 17, 2014 in Addis Ababa
Getty Images
Redwan Hussein is a former government minister

Ethiopia has appointed its first ambassador to Eritrea in two decades.

Redwan Hussein, a former ambassador to Ireland and communication minister, had become Addis Ababa's representative in Asmara, Ethiopia's state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported on its website.

It is another stage in the rapidly improving relations between the two neighbours after fighting a border war.

On Wednesday, commercial flights between the two nations resumed.

On 9 July, the Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders, Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki respectively, signed a declaration ending the "state of war".

Read: Frozen in time - Eritrea's embassy in Ethiopia

Eritrea 'pulls out troops from Ethiopia border'

Eritrea has withdrawn its troops from the border with Ethiopia, in a gesture of reconciliation, the pro-government Eritrea Press reports on its Facebook.

The BBC has not obtained independent confirmation of the report.

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If the report is true, it will be a major development in the whirlwind peace process that the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments have embarked on to end two decades of hostility.

Some 80,000 people died during a 1998-2000 war between the two nations for control of the border town of Badme.

A UN-backed boundary commission ruled in 2002 that Ethiopia should cede Badme to Eritrea.

It refused, and the two countries remained in a state of "no war, no peace".

Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has promised to hand over territory, but it is unclear when this will happen or when Ethiopia will withdraw its troops stationed along the border.

Noah in spat with diplomat over World Cup winners' identity

France's Paul Pogba celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal at the World Cup
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A total of 14 of the 23 players in the French squad can trace their heritage back to Africa

US-based South African comedian Trevor Noah has become involved in a spat with the French ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud, over the identity of the French football team which won the World Cup.

Noah said he received a letter from Mr Araud after joking on his The Daily Show that "Africa won the World Cup".

Mr Araud wrote that "nothing could be less true". The "great majority" of the payers were born and educated in France, and were "proud of their country - France".

"The rich and various background of the players is a reflection of France's diversity," Noah quoted Mr Araud as saying, before quipping that it was in fact a reflection of France's "colonialism".

Mr Araud said that France, unlike the US, did not believe in "hyphenated" identities.

"By calling them an African team, it seems you are denying their Frenchness," Mr Araud said in the letter posted on Twitter by the French embassy:

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In his response, Noah said that black people "all over the world were celebrating the Africanness of the French team - not in a negative way but in a rather positive way".

He vehemently disagreed with the view that people could not be French and African at the same time.

"Why is that duality afforded only to a select group?" he asked, adding he did not believe that "to be French you have to erase everything that is African".

"And if French people are saying they cannot be both, then I think they have a problem and not me," he added.

You can watch Noah's detailed response here:

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Good morning

Welcome back to BBC Africa Live, where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent.

Thursday's wise words:

Wisdom is like fire; people take it from others."

A Congolese proverb sent by Bol Anei Awar, South Sudan, and Wawunje Joseph, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

We'll be back on Thursday

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

Our African proverb of the day:

In the year the lazy person ploughs, rain does not fall."

A Kalanga proverb sent by Eunice Ntobedzi, Francistown, Botswana.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of women walking on a sandy beach in Zanzibar.

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What’s your favourite Mandela quote?

The late Nelson Mandela would have turned 100 today. Here are the key moments in his life, and a few of his most famous quotes.

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HRW criticises Morocco got jailing journalist

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

The campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised the Moroccan authorities after a journalist was sentenced to three years in prison for failing to report a security threat.

Hamid El Mahdaoui, a government critic, received a phone call from a man who said he intended to carry out attacks in Morocco.

He didn't alert the authorities, saying that as a journalist he often received calls from strangers and had dismissed it as an empty threat.

Mr Mahdaoui is already serving a one year sentence in connection with an unauthorised demonstration.

HRW has accused the Moroccan authorities of clamping down on the independent media.

Tears, joy and shock welcomes Eritrea's peace flight

Ethiopia's state-linked news site has tweeted a picture of people reunited after the historic flight from Addis Ababa landed in Eritrea's capital Asmara.

It was the first flight in 20 years between the erstwhile warring foes.

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The 90-minute flight cost $800 (£600), return.

Read our news story: Roses and champagne on Eritrea's peace flight

Uganda records rising crime rates

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Uganda Police Chief Martin Okoth Ochola
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Uganda Police Chief Martin Okoth Ochola addressed the press

Police in Uganda have released the first annual crime report in three years, showing a 3.3% increase in the crime rate across the country.

It says over 25,000 cases were reported in 2017, compared to over 24,000 the previous year.

There was an increase in violent crimes such as homicides as well as domestic and gender-based violence.

The report comes amidst a wave of kidnappings and killings for ransom, and especially of women, causing national concern.

More than 200 kidnappings were recorded by the police in 2017.

Though comprehensive figures for 2018 have not been officially released, there has already been more than 40 similar cases reported this year.

There is also a trend of transnational human trafficking, with 123 cases recorded in 2017 compared to 84 the year before.

The report also noted increasing incidents of Ugandans being trafficked to the Middle East, on the promise of domestic work.