- Nigerian ruling party leader says any move to stage coup will fail
- Dozens of Biafra activists arrested
- Pregnant Beyonce releases photos of African-themed party
- South Sudan leader ‘declares unilateral ceasefire’
- Detained Zambian opposition leader’s wife pleads for his release
- Conflict ‘displaced more in DR Congo than Syria in 2016’
- War veterans and youth attack Zanu-PF leaders
- Ramaphosa calls for action to prevent ‘mafia state’ in South Africa
- South African hunter dies ‘after shot elephant falls on him’
- Email stories and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org – Monday 22 May 2017
A reminder of today’s wise words:
Warring sides do not invite each other to a feast, yet close ranks in times of need.”
We leave you with this photo from Cape Town to make you reflect on your day:
The Biafran Independence Movement (BIM) has alleged that about 50 of its members have been arrested and two of them injured by police in Enugu city in south-eastern Nigeria.
State police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu told the BBC that nobody was injured wounded but confirmed the arrest of at least 40 BIM members for “conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace”.
They were marching to demand creation of the breakaway state of Biafra in south-eastern Nigeria.
The BBC’s AbdusSalam Ibrahim Ahmed sent these pictures from the march:
On On 30 May, 1967, the head of what was then known as the Eastern Region of Nigeria, Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, unilaterally declared the independent Republic of Biafra.
The Biafran forces were pushed back after initial military gains.
More than two years later, after one million civilians had died in fighting and from famine, Biafra was re-absorbed into Nigeria.
A Gambian journalist is tweeting that ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s assets are being frozen:
He adds that the names of places are also being changed by the new government:
Mr Jammeh was one of the world’s most eccentric and ruthless leaders. His 22 years in power came to an inglorious end earlier this year .
He fled to Equatorial Guinea after regional troops threatened to capture him for refusing to accept electoral defeat at the hands of property developer Adama Barrow.
South Africa’s Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, has declared a drought disaster, as it battles its worst water shortages for 113 years.
“The disaster declaration will accelerate… the province’s strategy to ensure that taps do not run dry,” said Western Cape premier Helen Zille in a statement.
The declaration mean that the Western Cape government will be able to prioritise public funds for drought relief operations.
Boreholes will be drilled at hospitals in Cape Town, a mobile desalination plant will be tested and the natural aquifer at Table Mountain, a major tourist attraction, will be tapped.
Two reservoirs in the Western Cape are already completely dry, according to official statistics.
The two-year drought across southern Africa was caused by the El Nino climate phenomenon.
A “shabby racist” who repeatedly kicked a pregnant Somali woman in a town in England, resulting in her losing her unborn baby, has been jailed for almost four years.
David Gallacher, 37, attacked Samsam Haji-Ali, 34, and her husband outside a shop in Bletchley in August.
He admitted actual bodily harm, assault by beating and two counts of racially or religiously aggravated assault.
The judge called him a “thug and a racist to boot.”
The court heard that he swore at Mrs Haji-Ali, a Muslim, and said: “You come here with your clown outfit on…”
As her husband Abdullah Sulamain, 40, attempted to calm him down in the car park outside, Gallacher hit him on the head with a bottle of wine and a bag of ice.
He then kicked Mrs Haji-Ali in the stomach.
Judge Francis Sheridan said:
She told him she was pregnant and he continued to kick her again, after he was told she was pregnant. She is left rolling around on the ground in agony and later found there is bleeding, before she lost the baby.”
Mrs Haji-Ali miscarried on 24 August.
Hundreds of demobilised rebels took to the streets of Bouake, Ivory Coast’s second biggest city, to demand that the government pay them, reports AFP news agency.
AFP adds that they also disrupted a funeral attended by a cabinet minister.
The minister had offered assistance to help the country’s around 6,000 demobilised former rebels to set up businesses.
But the offer angered the ex-rebels who shouted “We don’t want projects, we want cash”, and then surrounded Solidarity Minister Mariatou Kone’s vehicle, preventing her from getting away, AFP reports.
Our North Africa correspondent has the latest update on protests in Tunisia:
We reported earlier that residents have been camping outside a oil and gas pumping station in Tataouine in the south for around a month to demand they are given a share of resources.
South African and Zimbabwean news sites are talking about a video of a Zimbabwean pastor who has claimed that he has a phone number to God.
Pastor Paul Sanyangore from Victory World International Ministries was captured on camera on the phone in front of his congregation saying “hello is this heaven?” before claiming to have a conversation with God:
The video is from March but is only now getting reaction across the web.
Sowetan Live calls the phone call “bizarre”.
Times Live has an exasperated tone, saying the pastor is among the growing list of pastors who are playing bizarre and harmful stunts – from a pastor who made the congregation eat grass to one who sprayed insect repellent in their faces.
In an interview with the Zimbabwean news site H-Metro at the beginning of the month, Pastor Sanyangore promised he would reveal God’s phone number.
The pastor is known for being controversial.
In 2015 the same pastor was asked by safe sex campaigners to stop blessing condoms due to fears that he was confusing congregants who may think they cannot use them, reports Bulawayo 24
Senior politicians in Nigeria have vowed to resist any attempt to stage a coup, following rumours of a move by some army officers to seize power while President Muhammadu Buhari is on medical leave in the UK.
“Those who think they can break the democracy for which so many laboured and which too many sacrificed limb and life, are sorely mistaken. Nigeria has come too far for such a thing…. don’t think about it,” Reuters news agency quoted the leader of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party, Bola Tinubu, as saying in a speech to the state assembly in the main city Lagos.
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Yussuff Lasun was quoted by Nigeria’s This Day newspaper as saying that the military would find it difficult to take power after 17 years of uninterrupted democracy in Africa’s most populous state.
Rumours of a coup plot were fuelled last week after chief of army staff Tukur Buratai issued a statement, warning solders to steer clear of politics and saying he had received information that “some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons”, the Premium Times reported.
The rumours may be linked to the fact that Mr Buratai had reshuffled the upper echelons of the military, and President Buhari, 74, was on medical leave in the UK, it reported.
The president of war-ravaged South Sudan has declared a unilateral ceasefire, reports Reuters news agency.
In a speech in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, President Salva Kiir also promised to release political prisoners, Reuters adds.
“I directed the prosecutor general to immediately review the cases of those who have committed crime against the state, commonly known as political prisoners, and ensure the necessary steps taken are taken to lead their release,” he is quoted as saying.
But there is no sign of a political deal with rebels, the news agency adds.
Alex Duval Smith
Malian drugs investigators have arrested a man they consider to be a drug-trafficking kingpin with links to Ghana, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.
The arrest came a few days after they seized a truck in Mali carrying 2.7 tonnes of cannabis. The truck had come from Ghana, transited via Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso before entering Mali through the south-eastern city of Sikasso.
The police allege that the trafficker, whose name has been given only as Rouzo, also transports cocaine and heroine. They say they are now looking for a drug-making factory in Bamako and say there will be more arrests in Mali and in the region.
Security forces fired tear gas at protesters as they tried to storm a gas and oil installation in southern Tunisia, AFP news agency reports local radio stations as saying.
Residents have been camping outside the El Kamour gas and oil pumping station in the Tataouine region for around a month to demand they be given a share of local resources and priority in jobs in the sector, AFP adds.
It is the first such incident since President Beji Caid Essebsi said the army would protect key installations from being disrupted by protests.
On Sunday, the defence ministry warned that the army would use force against anyone who tried to enter the grounds of these installations, AFP reports.
Media campaign group Reporters Without Borders says it is concerned about the fate of the Burundian correspondent of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) after he was arrested last week in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo by intelligence agents.
Antediteste Niragira was detained while reporting on Burundian refugees in DR Congo, DW spokesman Christoph Jumpelt said, adding that allegations that he was a spy were “outrageous and baseless”.undefined
Mr Niragira’s wife has not heard from him since he called her from the border two days ago, Reporters Without Borders said.
In a statement, it added:
There is no reason for Antediteste Niragira to be in prison. This journalist has broken no law. If the Congolese authorities don’t want to let him into DR Congo, they should release him so that he can return home.”
Three Algerian naval officers have been killed after their helicopter “hit high-voltage electricity lines” and crashed during a night patrol, the defence ministry has said, AFP news agency reports.
The helicopter went down last night in Tipaza province, some 70 km (45 miles) from the capital, Algiers, it added.
A UK design consultancy has teamed up with a giant Chinese manufacturer to produce what they say is the world’s most affordable solar lamp.
Manchester-based firm Inventid designed the SM100 solar light, which retails for $5 (£3.85) in African countries.
It was developed in collaboration with China’s Yingli and charity Solar Aid.
The hand-sized lamp runs for eight hours when fully charged. As well as a stand, it has strap slots so it can be used as a head torch or tied to a bike.
The SM100 was trialled with 9,000 families in three African countries, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia, and the new light is now on sale.
The headline figure from the latest annual report from the African Development Bank shows that economic growth on the continent slowed to 2.2% in 2016 from 3.4% the previous year.
But the authors expect it to rise again this year and next.
Of course, this disguises big regional variations with East African countries leading the continent in terms of the pace of economic growth.
There is a lot of detail to explore in the 300-page report, but here are some other interesting highlights.
1. Unemployment behind protests
The authors found that a third of all public protests in Africa from 2014 to 2016 were about employment opportunities.
They say that with a boom in the youth population job creation will “remain the core challenge for African policy-makers”.
2. Remittances are growing
Remittances – money sent from abroad – are projected to increase to $66.2bn (£51bn) this year. That’s 2.4% higher than in 2016.
One chart shows that more than 30% of Liberia’s GDP is made up of remittances, Cape Verde gets more than $380 per person in money sent from overseas, and in total Nigeria gets $20bn.
3. EU trade is crucial
If you take the European Union as a whole then it is the continent’s biggest trading partner accounting for 30% of everything African countries export. Meanwhile, only 15% of exported goods go to other African countries.
If you take countries individually then China is Africa’s biggest trading partner, followed by India, France and the US. The UK comes in ninth.
Angolan soldiers recruited by South Africa’s apartheid regime to fight against their homeland now live in squalor, reports AFP news agency.
Some 3,000 Angolan-born men live in Pomfret, a town in a far-flung northern corner of South Africa, AFP says.
The unit had been formed to fight the apartheid regime’s enemies across southern Africa.
The soldiers were relocated to the town when the cold war ended but the battalion was disbanded in 1993 – a year before the African National Congress (ANC) took power in South Africa, heralding the end of minority rule.
Many opted to remain as they felt stranded between South Africa, where their service is scorned, and Angola, where they are seen as traitors.
“Angolans say we killed them. The ANC here think that we killed their fighters,” said Alexander Joaquim, a 74-year-old veteran of 32 Battalion told AFP.
South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) must act urgently to prevent the the country from becoming a “mafia state”, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said, as he increasingly distances himself from President Jacob Zuma who is facing widespread allegations of corruption.
Speaking at a rally in the mining town of Rustenburg yesterday, Mr Ramaphosa said:
“If the ANC is to recover its leadership role in society, then it is absolutely imperative that we act with urgency and purpose and make sure that we never become a mafia state. Because once we become a mafia state all the wheels have come off.”
His comments came after the highly respected South African Council of Churches warned last week that a powerful elite was “systematically siphoning state assets” and South Africa “may be inches away from a mafia state from which there could be no return”.
Mr Ramaphosa told the rally:
It’s something that should make all of us sad, that the South Africa of Nelson Mandela is now being said to be on the brink of becoming a mafia state.”
Bloomberg news agency quoted Mr Ramaphosa as saying that a judicial commission of inquiry should be appointed to investigate allegations of “state capture”.
It must be investigated and put to bed before 2019, because 2019 is our destination for the ANC to win elections.
It is only through this commission that we can ascertain to what extent our state-owned companies have been used improperly to enrich and benefit a few people and their families.”
The wealthy Gupta family has been repeatedly accused of wielding undue influence in Mr Zuma’s government. Both the family and Mr Zuma deny the allegation.
Mr Ramaphosa is campaigning to succeed Mr Zuma as ANC leader at the party’s five-yearly elective conference in December, and as president after the general election in 2019.
Mr Zuma is backing his ex-wife and former African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the leadership race.
The number of people displaced by conflict inside the Democratic Republic of Congo last year was higher than that in Syria or Iraq, according to research by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
The Democratic Republic of Congo had a spike of 922,000 new displacements caused by conflict last year, compared with 824,000 and Iraq with 659,000, the NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center said.
NRC secretary-general Jan Egeland told BBC Newsday that “it is surprisingly not Syria nor Iraq” at the top of the list.
Mr Egeland said it was a “total myth that they [people fleeing violence] come all to Europe, they come all to America. Most people are displaced within their own country”.
Listen to the full interview on Newsday:
More girls than boys finish secondary school in North and southern Africa, says a report by the African Development Bank.
It also found that Central Africa, where female completion rates are the lowest in Africa, the gender gap is rapidly narrowing – with nearly three times more girls completing secondary school since 2005.
The wide-ranging report found Africans are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of life.
People are still commenting on pictures posted by the singer Beyonce yesterday of her so-called African-themed push party.
Entertainment news site E! Online quotes an insider as saying “the decor was African-themed and very colorful with lounge seating areas, floor pillows and rugs on the floor… and African dancers and drummers walking around”.
Vogue explains that a push party is like a baby shower but both genders can attend.
Here are Beyonce’s own pictures from the event.
The singer announced in February that she was pregnant with twins.
The court case of Zambia’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who wants treason charges against him dropped, has been postponed to Wednesday after the magistrate fell ill his United Party for National Development (UPND) has tweeted:
A South African big game hunter died after being crushed by an elephant that had been shot on a game reserve in Zimbabwe, reports South Africa’s News24 site.
Theunis Botha, 51, was leading a hunt with clients when the group accidentally walked into the middle of a breeding herd of elephants, Zimparks spokesman Mr Simukai Nyasha told the UK-based Telegraph newspaper.
A source who did not want to be named told Netwerk24 (In Afrikaans) that one of the hunters shot an elephant after she lifted Mr Botha with her trunk. The shot was fatal and as the elephant collapsed, she fell on Mr Botha, News 24 adds.
Violent clashes broke out yesterday between rival factions of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party at its provincial headquarters in the second city, Bulawayo, the state-owned Chronicle newspaper reports.
Provincial youth league chairperson Anna Mokgohla was brutally assauled by some war veterans while Bulwayo central district chairperson Magura Charumbira was stabbed in the head and face, the newspaper adds.
Youth also threw stones and smashed windows,saying they did not recognise the party’s provincial leadership, the Chronicle reports.
Police were called in to curb the violence, it adds.
Zanu-PF has been hit by worsening divisions as rival factions position themselves to succeed the 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, even though he has been nominated to stand for re-election next year.
The wife of Zambia’s main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, has appealed to the international community to help free her husband.
Mutinta Hichilema said the erosion of democracy in her country, and its rapid slide towards a dictatorship, could no be ignored.
She made the comments as the UK government said investors were unnerved by the continued detention of her husband on treason charges.
Today, a magistrate is expected to decide whether his case will be dropped or referred to the High Court.
Mr Hichilema’s United Party for National Development (UPND) has been tweeting about his detention: