Summary

  1. Ghana’s media regulator looks at rules on the broadcast of pornography
  2. Djibouti accuses Eritrea of sending troops to border
  3. Eight Ethiopians ‘missing after London fire’
  4. Uganda’s president says he has a close friendship with Queen Elizabeth
  5. Four die in Kenya roadside bomb
  6. Archaeologists in Ethiopia find evidence of historical trading hub
  7. The UN “deeply concerned” by images of abuse of migrants in Libya
  8. Tanzania authorities shut down the Mawio weekly paper

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

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Scroll down for Friday’s stories

We’ll be back next week

That’s all from the BBC Africa Live page this week. Keep up to date with what’s happening on the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today’s wise words:

If a snake fails to show its venom, children will use it to tie firewood.”

An Igbo proverb sent by Henry Amadiegwu in London, United Kingdom

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

And we leave you with this picture from a runner get pelted with paint in Kenya’s colour run. It’s one of our favourite pictures from the week.

Runner on Colour Run

Mercy Juma

Djibouti accuses Eritrea of sending troops to border

Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf has accused neighbouring Eritrea of sending troops into a disputed area on the border.

There was no immediate independent confirmation, or response from Eritrea.

The minister said Djibouti wanted a peaceful solution but was prepared for conflict if necessary.

It comes after Qatar withdrew its peacekeepers from the border region, apparently because the two East African countries sided with Saudi Arabia in its dispute with the Qataris.

Djibouti and Eritrea fought on the border in 2008 eventually accepting Qatar’s offer of mediation and peacekeepers.

Ancient city shows proof of East African trading with India

We reported earlier that archaeologists have discovered an ancient, forgotten city in eastern Ethiopia thought to date back as far as the 10th Century.

One of those archaeologists, Prof Timothy Insoll, told Focus on Africa that the discovery in Harlaa shows traders were coming from as far afield as India.

Central African Republic ‘sliding backwards’

Central African Republic is “sliding back into an emergency situation,” the MSF aid agency says.

It blames renewed fighting in different parts of the country in several locations across the country, which MSF says led to “massive displacement on a level not seen since 2014”.

MSF adds that civilians are being targeted on the basis of their ethnicity or religion.

It describes the situation in the town of Bria where 41,000 out of a total of 47,000 inhabitants have been displaced by the fighting.

It says that 25,000 of them are in a camp designed to accommodate 3,000 people and its ability to care for them is “increasingly under threat”.

Bria

AFP

Thousands of people in Bria are now living in makeshift homes

Eight Ethiopians still missing after London high rise fire

Eight British nationals of Ethiopian origin are still missing after a huge fire engulfed a west London tower block in the early hours of Wednesday, says the Ethiopian Embassy:

UPDATE: 8 British nationals of |n origin still missing after the fire. Amb. Hailemichael & diplomats visit families.

Report

The Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK Hailemichael Aberra Afework said the families were known to the embassy:

I cannot imagine what these families must be going through right now. This has hit home, especially because we know these families. The embassy and the Ethiopian community stands united at this difficult time and is providing ongoing support to them.”

Thirty people have died and 12 people remain in critical care. The BBC understands that at present there could be as many as 76 people missing as a result of the blaze.

Grenfeld Tower

Reuters

Three victims have been named: Five-year-old Isaac Shawo, artist Khadija Saye and Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Train driver ‘stops train to buy peaches’

Tunisia’s national railway says that it has opened an investigation after a video emerged online showing a driver apparently stopping a train to buy peaches, reports the AFP news agency.

The short video, which appears to be filmed from inside a train, shows crates of fruit placed at the edge of the railway and a vendor climbing onto the train to give a plastic bag to someone:

“Look, he stops an entire train to pick up peaches,” said one passenger, while others stood up to watch the scene.

It is not clear when the incident happened.

Lord’s Resistance Army ‘steps up Congo attacks’

Joseph Kony

AFP

A US-backed search failed to track down Joseph Kony

A UN report says the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has stepped up attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reports the Reuters news agency.

Forty LRA rebels kidnapped 61 civilians in the Tanganyika mining area on 7 June, Reuters adds.

The report says they were forced to move goods looted by the LRA and then later released.

Earlier this year, the US pulled out their forces who were supporting the search for the LRA’s leader Joseph Kony.

The UN Special Representative for Central Africa, Francois Lounceny Fall, told the UN Security Council this week that he was concerned the US leaving would “create a security vacuum”.

Poor harvest causes maize shortages

Kenya is grappling with a maize shortage that is making it hard for consumers to find flour in the shops. Government silos are out of stock and maize imports do not match the high demand.

The BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi went to the agricultural region of Eldoret in western Kenya to find out what has gone wrong with the country’s agricultural planning.

Sudan rebel leader survives attempt to unseat him

BBC World Service

The leader of the biggest rebel group in Sudan, SPLM-North, insists he is still in control despite attempts to overthrow him from within the movement.

Malik Agar told the BBC that there had been a failed coup attempt against him by his deputy, Abdelaziz al Hilu.

Last month, there were deadly clashes between two different factions in rebel territory.

Supporters of Mr Abdelaziz believe he should be in charge of SPLM-North.

They say they have barred Mr Malik from the biggest area under their control, the Nuba Mountains.

He says he intends to visit the area soon.

A BBC correspondent says the divisions come at a bad time for the rebels, as Western countries are forming closer ties with the Sudanese government.

Malik Agar

AFP

Malik Agar says he is still in charge of SPLM-North

In Pictures: Lesotho inauguration

Pictures are coming through of the inauguration of Lesotho’s new Prime Minister Tom Thabane:

Newly appointed Lesotho prime Minister Thomas Thabane (L), leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party, receives the nation flag of Lesotho from former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili (R) during his inauguration on June 16, 2017 in Maseru.

Getty Images

Newly appointed Lesotho prime Minister Thomas Thabane (L), leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party, is sworn in on June 16, 2017 in Maseru.

AFP

Mr Thabane, in the yellow tie, attended the ceremony with one of his wives, Ma Isaiah Ramoholi, in matching yellow.

Newly appointed Lesotho prime Minister Thomas Thabane (L), leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party, and his wife "Ma Isaiah Ramoholi Thabane arrive to attend his inauguration on June 16, 2017 in Maseru

Getty Images

The new prime minister’s estranged wife, Lipolelo, was shot dead earlier this week and the police are yet to catch the killer.

Read more: Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane sworn in despite wife’s killing

Local administrator among dead in Kenya attack

The BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi has more details on the explosion which killed four people in Mandera, north-east Kenya (see earlier entry):

According to Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia, the private vehicle had 24 passengers on board and was travelling to Mandera from the town of Elwak.

Among those killed was a local administrator. The injured are being treated at the Mandera District Hospital.

Only last month eight security officers were killed in two separate bomb attacks in Mandera.

Debate rages in Ghana over porn on TV

Ghana’s broadcasting watchdog is looking into whether some TV channels have breached regulations by showing what has been described as pornographic content.

The films shown by a number of free-to-air channels in Ghana after 9pm have sparked a big debate.

Two radio personalities have lodged a complaint with the National Media Commission saying that after “painstaking monitoring” they concluded that the TV stations broke broadcasting guidelines.

In their letter, published by Joy FM, they quote a section of the guidelines saying that programmes should not offend the “moral dignity… of the audience”.

The executive secretary of the regulatory body, George Sarpong, told BBC Focus on Africa that there was “no specific law” banning the broadcasting of pornography.

But he said that the National Media Commission is looking at more than the precise laws but also “what constitutes our collective sense of morality”.

Kenyboard with xxx on it

iStock

Bomb blast ‘kills four’ in Kenya

Four people have died in the latest bomb attack in north-east Kenya, the Reuters news agency is reporting quoting a senior government official.

It adds that 11 people were also injured when the vehicle they were travelling in set off an explosion.

In May, at least eight police officers died in two similar attacks in north-east Kenya – both claimed by the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

Troubled waters for Lake Tanganyika

Millions of people rely on Lake Tanganyika for their livelihoods. But the largest lake in Africa is in crisis.

It is suffering from the effects of climate change, over-fishing and deforestation and has been nominated by the Global Nature Fund as the “most threatened lake of the year”.

The BBC’s Sammy Awami has more for Africa Business Report.

Zambia churches demand opposition leader’s release from prison

Hakainde Hichilema

Getty Images

Zambian churches have urged the government to release the main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema who is being held in prison over treason charges.

They are asking for him to face trial under house arrest instead.

He was arrested in April after the convoy he was travelling in allegedly refused to make way for President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade.

Church leaders said in a joint statement that they objected to the prolonged detention of Mr Hichilema, popularly known as HH:

HH is not an ordinary criminal but a political prisoner who should be treated with respect.”

The statement added that the churches view the imprisonment of Mr Hichilema with “growing amazement and alarm” and that Zambia is “a dictatorship in which force and violence are used to intimidate the population and subdue opposition”.

Mr Hichilema’s case is due to be heard in Zambia’s High Court.

Artist of Gambian heritage named as victim of London fire

Photographer Khadija Saye has been named by her friend British MP David Lammy as one of those killed in Wednesday’s fire at a tower block in London.

May you rest in peace Khadija Saye. God bless your beautiful soul. My heart breaks today. I mourn the tragic loss of a wonderful young woman

Report

Ms Saye was a photographer of Gambian heritage whose most recent work is on display in the diaspora pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

The official death toll stands at 30 but the BBC understands up to 76 people could be missing.

It is thought that many of those are African or of African heritage.

Siemens: We can power 50% of Africa within five years

CEO of Siemens Joe Kaeser told BBC Africa Business Report that he thinks the company could increase the proportion of people who have access to electricity in Africa to 50% within five years.

It currently stands at 35%.

He told the BBC’s Matthew Davies that the company would be able to boost the percentage so quickly because electricity is now decentralised.

In the past, providing electricity meant building a big power station and a large electricity grid.

But now he says solar and wind power can be on smaller grids.

Watch the full interview:

Pangolin scales worth $1.2m seized in Malaysia

Malaysian Airports Customs Director Hamzah Sundang displays seized pangolin scales during a press conference at the Customs Complex in Sepang on June 16, 2017.

AFP

A $1.2m (£940,000) shipment of illegal scales from the critically endangered pangolin have been uncovered in Malaysia, officials have told AFP news agency.

AFP says customs officials at Kuala Lumpur International Airport discovered 16 boxes of the smuggled scales weighing almost 400kg (880 pounds).

The shipment had come in from Ghana on a Turkish Airlines flight, adds AFP.

In China and Vietnam pangolin meat is considered a delicacy, and their scales are deemed to have medicinal properties.

They are often cited as being the most trafficked mammal in the world – this picture was captured in a raid earlier this week in Indonesia:

Pangolin coming out of a box after anti-smuggling raid in Belawan, North Sumatra 14 June

AFP

South Sudan education campaigner receives MBE

British-South Sudanese Akuja de Garang has collected her MBE from Buckingham Palace, which was awarded for her work in education in South Sudan.

Ms de Garang came to the UK as a refugee as a young girl.

But after her own university education she was “determined to contribute to the rebuilding of her country”, says Girls’ Education South Sudan (Gess), the charity she works for.

Gess says its work aims to encourage South Sudanese girls to get into the classroom and stay there.

Ms de Garang said:

If I can inspire even just one girl to reach for greatness, to never give up, then everything will have been worthwhile.”

Athlete’s wig falls off during long jump

Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare had a hair-raising moment during a track and field meeting in Oslo on Thursday, when her wig fell off as she jumped.

Nigerian athlete’s wig falls off during long jump

Whether the mishap played its part in her finishing seventh is unclear, but the 28-year-old laughed it off on her Instagram account, saying:

When you talk about something for so long and it eventually happened. 😂😂😂😂😃😂😃 Oh well, it is what it is then… ”

Eritrea troops ‘occupy’ disputed territory on Djibouti border

Djibouti has accused Eritrean troops of occupying disputed border territory after Qatari peacekeepers pulled out, the Reuters news agency reports.

It quotes Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf as saying:

Qatari peacekeepers withdrew on 12 June and 13 June. On the same day there were Eritrean military movements on the mountain. They are now in full control of Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Island.”

Reuters says that both Djibouti and Eritrea lay claim to these areas.

Museveni: ‘Queen Elizabeth and I are friends with mutual benefits’

The West Africa correspondent for the Guardian has noticed that Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has tweeted a curious detail on his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II:

Here’s the original tweet, which was preceded by a few others about his long relationship with the Queen.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

We are friends with mutual benefits. I am now speaking English. I refer to the British language as a captured weapon we are now employing.

Report

I have always followed the Queen. When I was young my mother showed me a picture of a young lady and said, “this is the Queen of England.”

Report

It is not clear whether President Museveni is aware that the phrase “friends with benefits” is a euphemism for an acquaintance you have casual sex with.

Nigeria apologises for selling Saudi dates meant for IDPs

Nigeria has apologised to Saudi Arabia after 200 tonnes of dates that were a Ramadan gift were found on sale in local markets.

Dates are traditionally the first things Muslims eat when they break the Ramadan fast each evening.

The dates were intended for some of those who have fled their homes because of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

Nigeria’s foreign ministry said an investigation was under way. However, no arrests have yet been made.

The apology was made by the Nigerian foreign ministry, which stressed it had no responsibility for the dates after they had been distributed in the north-east of the country, which has been worst hit by Boko Haram attacks.

Dates in a market

AFP

Dates are traditionally used to break the Ramadan fast

Tom Thabane inaugurated as Lesotho’s prime minister

People in Lesotho are watching the inauguration of their new Prime Minister Tom Thabane:

TOM THABANE is New PRIME Minister, has accepted and now custodian of flag and constitution from outgoing PM MOSISILI

Report

One person took a particular liking to the animated sign language:

It had earlier been thought that the inauguration could have been delayed after Mr Thabane’s estranged wife was shot dead earlier this week.

South African film director says Ghanaian copied his film

South African film director Tim Greene has posted on Facebook that he has discovered a Ghanaian film which has copied his own film “word-for-word”.

He posted a short video showing scenes from both his film Skeem and the Ghanaian film John & John to prove the point:

John & John was released over the Easter weekend this year and Ghanaians were quick to notice the similarity then.

The director, Kofi Asamoah, told the press at the time that John & John was an adaptation of Tim Greene’s film.

Some media report that Mr Asamoah had said he had been in conversation with Tim Greene’s team since 2014.

But Tim Greene said yesterday he had “never heard of them”.

When asked if he was going to sue, Mr Greene said “You’d think. But it’s a cost v rewards thing.”

Someone who says he was an actor in the film even went on to apologise to Mr Green on Facebook.

Bex TheThesp said:

“Errrm I was in John & John, for my sins I hadn’t seen Skeem prior to acting in it… forgive me Tim Greene.”

It seems Mr Greene was in the forgiving mood:

“All good, bra. it’s a bit shocking, but it’s not like someone killed someone!” he said.

Zimbabwe’s breakdance king who uses a wheelchair

When Zimbabwean Blessing Fire was born, he was told by doctors he would never be able to walk like a “normal child”, but no-one said anything about breakdancing.

He uses crutches or a wheelchair to move long distances but is able to walk.

His brother’s gymnastics inspired him to take up breakdancing and now he dances in an award-winning crew.

Video journalist: Tendai Msiyazviriyo

Ethiopia find reveals historical trading hub

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Pot found

Prof Tim Insoll, University of Exeter

A team of archaeologists has uncovered an ancient, forgotten city in eastern Ethiopia thought to date back as far as the 10th Century when it is believed to have been the centre of trade in the region.

The discovery in Harlaa has revealed artifacts from as far afield as Egypt, India and China.

Beads found

Prof Tim Insoll, University of Exeter

Beads were also found at the site

Among the discoveries made is a 12th Century mosque as well as a cemetery used by the local Muslim population.

The lead archaeologist says the architecture of the mosque is similar to those found in southern Tanzania and Somaliland, proof of historic connections between different Islamic communities in Africa.

Also found were bronze and silver coins from 13th Century Egypt, along with jewellery and other artifacts from Madagascar, the Maldives, Yemen and China.

Farmers in the area have for years found strange objects, including Chinese coins on their land, prompting a local myth that the area was home to giants.

Archeologist

Prof Tim Insoll, University of Exeter

DR Congo future in ‘grave danger’

BBC World Service

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and nine former African heads of state have made an urgent appeal for a peaceful democratic transition in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Joseph Kabila did not step down when his mandate ran out last year, sparking a political crisis.

Under the terms of an agreement signed on New Year’s Eve, elections should take place this year.

But Mr Annan and the other African leaders say the deal is not being respected, and as a result the country’s future is in grave danger.

Joseph Kabila

AFP

President Kabila was supposed to step down at the end of last year

Egypt mass protests called over island hand over

BBC World Service

The authorities in Egypt say they are shutting the Tahrir Square underground station in the capital, Cairo, today for security reasons.

Several political parties and factions have called for mass protests in the famous square against parliament’s decision to hand over two strategic Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafeer, to Saudi Arabia despite several court rulings.

One member of parliament has already resigned in protest and several others are threatening to follow suit.

They are urging President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi not to ratify the decision.

Several lone protesters have already been arrested.

Islands in the Red Sea

AFP

Tiran (foreground) and Sanafir (background) are uninhabited save for peacekeepers and troops

Tanzanian newspaper banned in mineral saga

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Gold

BBC

Tanzanian weekly tabloid Mawio has been banned for two years after linking two former politicians with the ongoing minerals saga in the country.

A presidential commission said earlier this week that Tanzania has lost 188 trillion Tanzanian shillings ($84bn) over 19 years due to mining companies under-reporting the amount of minerals they have been exporting.

The tabloid is well known for its occasional investigative reports, but usually publishes detailed and critical articles against the government.

In a press release, the Minister for Information Harrison Mwakyembe said he had “no option” but to ban the newspaper.

Video ‘shows abuse of Ethiopia and Somali migrants’

The UN says it is “deeply concerned” after a video circulated on Facebook appearing to show about 260 Somali and Ethiopian migrants and refugees being held captive in Libya.

The UN’s International Organization of Migration (IOM) says the people, who can be seen “huddled fearfully” in a room, are in the custody of smugglers or criminal gangs.

The IOM says the film was recorded by a journalist based in Turkey via a video call from the criminal gang.

Grabs from the video

IOM

One person is quoted as saying:

I have been here one year. I am beaten every day. I swear I do not eat food.”

It is not clear why the video call was made, but the IOM’s Mohammed Abdiker says:

Seeing a Facebook video of innocent migrants and refugees who have been abused and tortured is deeply concerning. IOM condemns the way that criminal gangs use social media in their shocking abuse of people held against their will and to extort money from their families back home.”

Libya is a major transit point for migrants trying to make their way to Europe.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with news stories on the continent.

Today’s African proverb:

If a snake fails to show its venom, children will use it to tie firewood.”

An Igbo proverb sent by Henry Amadiegwu in London, United Kingdom
A man holds a Python in the 'Python Temple'

Getty Images

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

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