Africa Live: Nigeria kidnappers free 27 college students
The students, held for nearly two months by gunmen, will undergo medical tests - and more stories.
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New president challenges Tanzania's Covid denial
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Is this the end of Joseph Kony’s LRA?
For some Ugandans, finding any sense of closure is still proving hard
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was once a force to be reckoned with in northern Uganda.
“Close friends of mine were abducted [at the time],” says reporter Benson Ongom in the northern city of Gulu. “They were taken to the bush and we never saw them [again]."
Today, the LRA’s forces are depleted and their leader, Joseph Kony
, is in hiding.
On Thursday, one of Kony's top commanders, Dominic Ongwen
, will be sentenced by the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
“Dominic Ongwen was a merciless commander. If he says ‘murder’, he means it. It means you have to be killed,” says Mr Ongom, who’s reported extensively on the LRA’s rebellion.
And yet, for some people back in Uganda, finding some sense of closure is still proving hard.
But why? And what happens now to whatever’s left of the LRA?
Subscribe to the show on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts.
Malian woman gives birth to nine babies
Nonuplets are extremely rare - and doctors had thought Halima Cisse was carrying seven babies.
Kenya's Zoo FC hit back at Fifa sanctions
By Celestine Karoney
BBC Sport Africa, Nairobi
Kenyan club Zoo FC will appeal against Fifa sanctions for match manipulation insisting they are whistleblowers highlighting the issue.
Jubilation as missing anti-Buhari priest resurfaces
Father Ejike Mbaka is known for his strong political views
Protesters in the south-eastern Nigerian city of Enugu went into wild jubilation after a popular Catholic priest was seen hours after protests were held over his absence.
Father Mbaka reportedly went missing just days after he called for President Muhammadu Buhari's resignation over rising insecurity in the country in a widely shared video.
While it was not clear where he was coming from, Father Ejike Mbaka emerged to the protesters from a car and acknowledged cheers from the crowd. He promptly re-entered his car without making any comments.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, Father Mbaka's followers had marched in protest to the residence of the Bishop of Enugu Calixtus Valentine Onaga, the priest's superior.
They demanded to see the priest, who had been absent during the weekly Mass at his Adoration Ministry's grounds in Emene area of the city.
His church workers had told faithfuls gathered at his Adoration grounds for the usual weekly prayer meeting that they had not seen him from the time when he had told them he was going to meet the bishop two days earlier.
He is known to be a controversial and popular Catholic priest with strong political views.
He has been in the crosshairs of the government after he took the unusual stance against President Buhari whom he had openly supported in the 2015 and 2019 elections.
The presidency had responded alleging that he changed his position after his request for contracts were turned down. The priest denied the allegations.
Ethiopia officially labels TPLF a terror group
BBC News, Addis Ababa
Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament has approved with a majority vote a resolution by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet designating the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLF-Shene) as terrorist organisations.
The cabinet resolution was on 1 May.
The TPLF - dominant in Ethiopian politics for three decades until 2018 - has been fighting with the federal government since November in Tigray state.
Authorities often accuse OLF-Shene of being behind attacks that target ethnic Amhara and other minorities living in the largest Oromia state.
The move comes a month before Ethiopia's national elections.
Zulu queen due to be buried in private ceremony
Zulu people in traditional attire mourned the queen
The Zulu Queen, Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, is due to be laid to rest in a private ceremony South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.
She died unexpectedly in Johannesburg last week, a little over a month after the death of her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Her family has not yet made public the cause of her death.
Amid great ceremony, Zulu maidens accompanied Queen Mantfombi's body back to her palace late on Wednesday.
A decision on who will now lead the Zulu kingdom is expected after the funeral.
Ethiopia appoints new interim governor of Tigray state
The Tigray crisis has made it difficult for humanitarian aid workers to access the region
The Ethiopian government has appointed Dr Abraham Belay as chief executive of the interim administration of the northern Tigray regional state.
Dr Abraham is the current president of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) and also serves as minister of innovation and technology.
He replaces Dr Mulu Nega, who took up the post on 15 November 2020 shortly after a military operation in the Tigray region to oust officials from the former ruling Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
The TPLF has since been designated a terrorist organisation. Some of its key leaders and forces have been arrested, while others are said to be on the run as an insurgency persists in remote parts of Tigray.
Dr Abraham's appointment comes as the federal government plans to launch an inclusive national dialogue to end the political and humanitarian crisis in the troubled region.
The authorities have also pledged to increase security and humanitarian access as allegations of attacks linked to federal and Eritrean forces continue to be reported.
23:54 5 May
Kenya detects five cases of India's Covid variant
Kenya has already rolled out its Covid vaccination campaign
Researchers have detected five cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant in Kenya.
The health ministry says the tests were done before the ban on flights to India was imposed.
The five cases were identified from samples collected in people working in a fertiliser plant in western Kenya.
The country temporarily suspended passenger flights to India two weeks ago. Dr Patrick Amoth from the health ministry says the ban couldn’t have stopped this happening.
India is currently experiencing the worst Covid-19 surge in the world, with hundreds of thousands of new cases being reported every day.
Despite this, the World Health Organization is yet to classify the Indian strain as a "variant of concern".
Kenya is now the second African country after Uganda to identify the Indian variant.
23:43 5 May
How can Nigeria tackle insecurity?
The country is experiencing daily violence, ranging from kidnappings to religious conflict
The office of President Buhari has also alleged that some religious and past political leaders are plotting to throw the country into a tailspin.
23:13 5 May
Nigeria kidnappers free 27 college students
The release of the abducted students came just a day after protests by their distraught families
The remaining 27 students abducted from a forestry college in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna have been freed.
They were among 39 students seized from their dormitories by armed criminal gangs in March. A number of them had been released last month.
The authorities say the victims freed on Wednesday will be medically examined after suffering the longest stay in captivity since armed criminal gangs intensified mass kidnappings of students for ransom in recent months.
The release of the abducted students came just a day after their distraught families protested outside the Nigerian parliament in the capital Abuja demanding more action from the authorities to rescue the captives.
The college students were held for nearly two months by the gunmen. The release will be a huge relief for the victims and their families.
A prominent Islamic cleric who has been spearheading negotiation efforts with various armed criminal gangs Sheikh Ahmad Gumi told the BBC that he and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo intervened to secure the release of the college students. It’s not clear whether a ransom has been paid.
Nigeria has seen a sharp rise of mass abductions of students since December with more than 800 taken as security situation continues to deteriorate across Nigeria. Most of them have been released after negotiations.
22:40 5 May
Rwanda gyms reopen after a year of Covid closure
People were allowed to exercise outside
The cabinet in Rwanda has eased restrictions in most parts of the country as infection rates decrease.
Curfew time has been relaxed to start at 22:00 local time (20:00GMT) and this will allow businesses and restaurants to be open for longer hours.
Gyms have been allowed to reopen gradually after more than a year of closure.
Tight restrictions remain in place in some parts of the country that still have high infection rates.
22:09 5 May
Ousted ANC official hits back by 'suspending' Ramaphosa
The ANC suspended Mr Magashule as secretary general on Wednesday
Ace Magashule, the suspended secretary general of South Africa's governing party ANC, has hit back by seeking to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the party.
"I have also, in accordance with the powers vested in me as the secretary general of the ANC, and furthermore in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions, summarily suspended the president of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa," a defiant Mr Magashule is quoted by local media as saying.
The deputy secretary general of the party, Jessie Duarte, however said Mr Magashule had no authority to issue the president with a suspension letter and could not do so anyway on his own without the party's backing.
Mr Magashule said he was appealing against the "unconstitutional" decision to suspend him from the party - and insisted that he would remain in position until his appeal was determined.
The ANC suspended Mr Magashule on Wednesday and warned that other party members charged with corruption would face the same fate, if they don't resign within 30 days.
Mr Magashule has denied fraud, corruption and money laundering charges levelled against him.
21:35 5 May
US considers redistributing HIV drugs stuck in Kenya
More than 1.5 million Kenyans need the antiretroviral drugs
The US is considering moving HIV/Aids drugs stuck in a Kenyan port to other countries that need them, its embassy in Kenya says.
More than 1.5 million people living with HIV need the drugs and rationing has been taking place in health centres to stretch the available drug supplies.
The anti-retroviral drugs arrived in January and have been at the Mombasa port due to an ongoing stalemate on tax and permits.
The embassy says considering the expiry date, it may be easier to move the drugs to another country for use.
The Kenyan government waived the taxes but a revenue authority official is quoted by the Daily Nation newspaper as saying that some containers are still awaiting a permit from the drugs agency.
An official from the drugs agency says a new permit needs to be applied for as the previous one has Kenya's medical supplies agency as the recipient
The donor, USAid, had given a private company the role of distributing the drugs while the government wanted its medical supplies agency to be in charge.
21:32 5 May
Thursday's wise words
Our African proverb of the day:
You give birth to a child, but not their character."A Beti proverb sent by Christian Messina Mvogo in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
20:54 5 May
High-ranking ANC official refuses to step down
Corruption charges against the secretary-general trigger a power struggle within the ruling party.
16:03 5 May
'I wake up every day thinking, what's next?'
Play video on original page
Tokyo 2020: The mental strain of the delayed Olympics
Two Olympic hopefuls tell the BBC about the mental health impact of the delay to the Tokyo games.
15:34 5 May
Mourners hold parade before Zulu queen's funeral
South Africa's Zulu nation awaits a decision on who will succeed the queen, who died last month.
10:53 5 May
Doctor slams 'appalling' quarantine hotel food
An NHS specialist self-isolating after visiting his dying father says he is being "fleeced".
10:32 5 May
Scroll down for Wednesday's stories
We'll be back on Thursday
A reminder of today's wise words:
If a person passes wind under the water, bubbles will come up eventually."
Sent by Okpala Brown Obi and Titus Nok, both from Nigeria.
We leave you with this picture from Laboma beach in Ghana's capital, Accra.
10:22 5 May
Tanzania president charms Kenyans
Presidential state visits can be a dour affair confined to polite exchanges and rigid schedules but they can be fun too, as Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu's two-day visit to Kenya has shown.
In several speeches she heralded the two nations' historic relationship, and close business links.
She also provided moments of humour in her speeches, teasing Kenyans on their mangled version of spoken Kiswahili which at times includes words that are unintentionally risque, and grammar mistakes that delight Tanzanians.
In a speech in parliament on Wednesday Ms Suluhu entertained MPs with anecdotes and punchlines sparking thunderous laughter and a standing ovation when she concluded her speech.
Her predecessor John Magufuli often had a contentious relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta, so many Kenyans will see Ms Suluhu, as one observer put it, as "a breath of fresh air".
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