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  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We're back on Friday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live team. We'll be back tomorrow, but in the meantime there is an automated service.

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

    A reminder of our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: You dig the dog out of the hole then it bites you." from A Beti proverb from Cameroon sent by Gertrude Onana in London, the UK
    A Beti proverb from Cameroon sent by Gertrude Onana in London, the UK

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this image of a young flag seller in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, on the day the country turned 60:

    A boy sells the Nigerian flag in traffic in Lagos, Nigeria 01 October 2020
  2. Flooding kills 41 in northern Nigeria

    Map of Nigeria

    At least 41 people have died due to flooding in northern Nigeria, and more than 10,000 have been forced from their homes.

    The head of the emergency agency in Jigawa state, Yusuf Sani Babura, told the BBC's Chris Ewokor that many families whose houses were destroyed are now staying in temporary shelters in public schools.

    Many have also lost their livelihoods after crops and livestock were washed away.

    A number of environmental experts have criticised what they called the poor preparations of the authorities to mitigate the effects of widespread flooding in Nigeria.

  3. Streets quiet on 'Ambazonia independence day'

    Killian Ngala

    BBC News, Yaoundé

    Today, Thursday, marks three years since separatist fighters in Cameroon tried to declare the independence of the Anglophone regions and said they were creating Ambazonia.

    But unlike previous years, when the separatists would hoist flags and sing the anthem to the putative state to mark their independence day, the streets of the main cities in the English-speaking regions were largely deserted.

    The Cameroon army said that there had been no reports of separatist activity recorded across the region.

    The same calm atmosphere has been reported in the country’s South West region, except for the rural community of Alo’o. A video circulating on social media from Alo’o shows suspected separatist fighters marching and waving flags, under the command of a certain General Ayeke.

    From his prison cell in the capital, Yaounde, separatist leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe has tweeted that no square inch of Ambazonian territory will be ceded, and warned that either the independence of the territory is restored, or the resistance will continue forever.

    A teachers and lawyers strikes in 2016 morphed into political demands, with many English speakers asking for outright independence.

    The government responded with lethal force and then a violent uprising began.

    The ensuing fighting between separatists and government soldiers has so far led to the deaths of at least 3,000 people and forced over a million to flee their homes, according to the United Nations

    Read more:

    Video content

    Video caption: Witnessing Cameroon's descent towards civil war
  4. Semenya 'up for fighting court decision'

    Caster Semenya
    Image caption: Caster Semenya has won the Olympic 800m title twice and the world title three times

    The lawyer for South African athlete Caster Semeny has said she is "up for further fighting" after she lost her appeal in Switzerland last month against the restriction of testosterone levels in female runners, AFP news agency reports.

    Semenya is not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking testosterone-reducing drugs, following a 2019 rule change by governing body World Athletics.

    Lawyer Gregory Nott told AFP that the runner was prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban. That process could take a few months, he added.

    Athletics' governing body brought in a rule that athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) like Semenya must either take medication in order to compete in track events from 400m to the mile, or change to another distance.

    Athletes with DSD have higher levels of natural testosterone, which World Athletics believes gives them a competitive advantage.

    Read more:

  5. Ethiopia arrests 500 ahead of major Oromo festival

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News, Addis Ababa

    Authorities in Ethiopia’s most populous state Oromia say they have arrested more than 500 people who they alleged were working to cause disturbances during the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival, observed by the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group.

    Oromia police commissioner Ararsa Merdasa said on Thursday that in addition to the individuals, a number of firearms, pistols and hand grenades were seized.

    The arrests come amid growing concerns about political violence in the country.

    The festival will be celebrated on Saturday and Sunday in the capital, Addis Ababa, and across Oromia.

    Unlike previous years in which tens of thousands of people attended the festival, this year fewer people will be able to go as the authorities have put restrictions that they said are necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    People dressed in traditional costumes
    Image caption: Last year, the festivities attracted huge crowds in Addis Ababa
  6. Lupita's children's book 'coming home'

    A children's book by Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o has been released in East Africa in the Swahili and Luo languages, she has said in a tweet.

    View more on twitter

    Sulwe, published last year in English, is about how a young girl begins to understand how standards of beauty have been related to skin colour.

    She came to this realisation as she noticed how people praised her lighter-skinned sister.

    Lupita told the BBC last year that she had been the "victim of colourism" as a child, when she "wished to have skin that was different".

    On Thursday she said she hoped that the message of Sulwe "can travel the world for readers of all ages, but it's especially meaningful to bring it home".

    Video content

    Video caption: Lupita Nyong’o on racism, colourism and Justin Trudeau
  7. Two people die in Kenya brawl after bars reopen

    Just a day after bars reopened in Kenya, two people died in a bar brawl in the capital, Nairobi.

    The ministry of health's secretary Rashid Aman on Wednesday said bar owners should follow the guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

    He termed the deaths "unfortunate" and said the incident was "sad and alarming".

    The bars were allowed to operate until 22:00 local time, an hour before the start of the curfew.

    On Tuesday after bars were allowed to reopen, revellers filled pubs and local television reports showed packed bars.

    Kenya has 38,529 confirmed cases of coronavirus including 711 deaths.

  8. Genocide suspect lawyer wants client to go to The Hague

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Composite picture of Felicien Kabuga
    Image caption: Félicien Kabuga, once one of Rwanda's richest men, was detained in France in May

    The lawyer for Rwandan genocide suspect Félicien Kabuga wants him to be tried in The Hague rather than a UN tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania.

    His comments come a day after a top French court backed a decision to send him to East Africa.

    Lawyer Emmanuel Altit told the BBC it could be a “violation of his rights” to transfer him to Arusha “considering the global pandemic, his health and age”.

    Mr Kabuga is alleged to have funnelled money to militia groups as chairman of the national defence fund. In May, he described the accusations as "lies".

    France's extradition law says that Mr Kabuga now needs to be transferred within a month.

    Mr Altit said he will ask the court in Arusha to send the case to The Hague, Netherlands.

    Read more:

  9. Google celebrates life of black composer

    Google Doodle showing Ignatius Sancho

    Google is marking Black History Month in the UK with a Doodle of 18th Century composer and influential arts figure Ignatius Sancho.

    He was born on a slave ship in 1729 on its way across the Atlantic from West Africa.

    The child was then taken to the UK and sold to three wealthy ladies, according to historian David Olusoga.

    View more on twitter

    With the help of one aristocratic figure he began to be educated. As a young man he fled the household of the three women, found another home and learned about music, poetry and writing.

    Sancho went on to write plays, poetry and music and also set up a salon where similarly creative people could meet.

    Also, because he came to own some property, Sancho is known as the first black person in Britain to have been allowed to vote.

    As a side note, there is a bit of discussion about the portrait that Google based its Doodle on.

    It used to be associated with Olaudah Equiano, who was born in what is now Nigeria and later became a campaigner against the slave trade. But it is now thought to be of Sancho.

  10. Sudan flooding 'hits third of farmland'

    BBC World Service

    A boat moving through floodwater

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says the record floods in Sudan have affected nearly one third of cultivated land, and close to 600,000 households.

    Over a million tonnes of grain have been destroyed, particularly sorghum, which is a staple crop, and many families are having to cut down to one small meal a day.

    The floods have killed over 100 people.

    Incomes have been affected too, as commercial crops including bananas and mangoes have also been badly hit.

    The FAO says that the locust storms which have devastated crops in the Horn of Africa also still threaten the country.

  11. Ecowas hints at sanctions removal - Mali presidency

    Transition Mali President Bah Ndaw (R) is seen with Malii Interim Vice President Colonel Assimi Goita (L) during his inauguration ceremony at the CICB (Centre International de Conferences de Bamako) in Bamako on September 25, 2020
    Image caption: Coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita (L) is President Bah Ndaw's (R) deputy

    The West African regional bloc Ecowas has "hinted" that sanctions against Mali "could soon be lifted", a tweet from the office of Mali's interim president says.

    Ecowas imposed the punitive measures after the military overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Ke?ta in August.

    It had demanded the resumption of civilian rule, but despite a civilian president, Bah Ndaw, and prime minister, Moctar Ouane, being appointed, the sanctions are still in place.

    Earlier this week, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said there were still some "grey areas" that needed to be worked out before relations could return to normal.

    For instance, Mali's new vice-president is the former junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, and Ecowas wants to make sure that he cannot become president.

    Mr Ndaw is a former military officer and defence minister.

    Read more:

  12. Kenyans react to the planned relocation of 'iconic fig tree'

    Kenyans online have criticised government's plan to relocate a mature fig tree that is along the planned route of a new highway under that's construction.

    Some are upset about the environmental damage while others are concerned about the cost.

    The highways authority said the relocation was part of its conservation efforts:

    View more on twitter

    Some Kenyans online joked of how much would be spent in the relocation.

    "I hope it won't cost one billion to do that. I saw Singapore moving trees so easily and effortlessly, you can consult the experts rather than tendering to Escobar wa Kemsa," Shukry wrote referring to alleged corruption at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).

    Others wondered why that particular tree was being relocated while others were cut down.

    "Why didn't you do this for all the 'iconic' trees you've mowed down on this road?" Carol Nyaga wrote.

    "Why didn't you relocate all the other trees especially along Waiyaki way? Me thinks you guys should embark on a massive tree planting campaign," Israel Otieno tweeted.

  13. Coronavirus: Uganda reopens borders for passengers

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Uganda Airlines at Entebbe Airport
    Image caption: The national carrier Uganda Airlines has resumed regional flights

    Uganda has reopened its international borders for the first time since March when they were closed as a control measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

    The East African country closed its borders to passenger travel even before it registered its first case of Covid-19, but continued to allow both land and air cargo.

    The national carrier, Uganda Airlines, on Thursday morning ran its regional flights to Nairobi, Kenya, and Mogadishu, Somalia, as scheduled.

    Other international airlines have also been landing and taking off.

    The civil aviation authority has advised out-bound travellers to be at the airport at least four hours before scheduled departure.

    Immigration officials at the airport are encouraging passengers to use self-service booths where available to minimise contact.

    Passengers coming into Uganda will be required to present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of their departure.

    Those who present a negative test will not be required to go into isolation.

    But if someone arrives without a test certificate, a sample will be taken and they will be made to quarantine at their own cost as they await results.

    The country experienced a rise in coronavirus cases in September, averaging about 1,000 new cases per week. Total cases are at over 8,000.

    Although the government has been working to increase the number of beds and the capacity of isolation centres across the country, health workers who have spoken to the BBC worry that resources might be stretched if cases continue to rise.

  14. Egypt police accused of targeting LGBT people

    BBC World Service

    A prominent human rights group has documented new evidence of the security forces in Egypt arbitrarily arresting LGBT people and systematically subjecting them to ill treatment, including torture.

    Human Rights Watch has drawn on interviews with a number of LGBT people prosecuted over the last three years under so-called debauchery and prostitution laws.

    One man said that the police beat him into unconsciousness and then left him to stand for three days in a dark, unventilated room with his hands and feet tied with a rope.

  15. Sierra Leone ex-president: Graft report is a witch hunt

    Ernest Bai Koroma
    Image caption: Ernest Bai Koroma led Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2018

    In a furious response, Sierra Leone's former President Ernest Bai Koroma has said that allegations of corruption made against him are "without merit and are a politically motivated charade calculated to impugn my hard-earned reputation".

    A report looking into corruption in the country under President Koroma identified 111 individuals consisting of former heads of parastatals, bankers, and businessmen as "people of interest".

    As a consequence, the government has imposed a travel ban on the ex-president and several other officials.

    In a statement, Mr Koroma called the report a "witch hunt" and said the government was hostile to him.

    He added that he had served the country "diligently, fairly and with honour and integrity" saying that he was known for his fight against corruption.

  16. #Nigeria60andUseless trending on Twitter

    A Twitter hashtag battle appears to be going on in Nigeria as people debate how to mark the country's 60th anniversary.

    #Nigeria60andUseless has been popular since midnight according to the tracking website trends24.

    No prizes for guessing the tone of those comments.

    One tweeter says: "Let's gather here and mourn... Today we celebrate incompetence."

    View more on twitter

    Another makes the claim that "no-one is proud of Nigeria".

    View more on twitter

    But the more neutral #NigeriaAt60 and also Happy Independence are jostling for attention.

    And some are having a go at the doomsayers for being so negative.

    One tweeter said Nigerians should "resolve to do better".

    View more on twitter

    And one member of the federal house of representatives said there is much to be "hopeful" about:

    View more on twitter
  17. Buhari urges unity on Nigeria's 60th anniversary

    Is’haq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the nation

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for unity as the country celebrates its 60th independence anniversary.

    Nigeria gained independence from Britain on 1 October 1960. Seven years later, a civil war erupted as the south-eastern region tried to form the breakaway Biafra state.

    Millions of people are believed to have been killed before the war ended in 1970.

    Tensions have persisted between the north and south and there have been rivalries between ethnic groups.

    ''An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is in our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester,'' President Buhari said in a televised address on Thursday.

    He promised to consolidate Nigeria’s democracy and called for patriotism.

    The president suggested that Nigeria’s population - now around 200 million and projected to be the third highest in the world by 2050 - is both a challenge and an asset for the country.

    The president said Nigeria’s revenues dropped by 60% this year largely due to the fall in global oil prices in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    He defended his government decision to withdraw a fuel subsidy which saw fuel prices rise by 11% in recent weeks. He said the subsidy was unsustainable.

    Mr Buhari said his government had managed to keep the economy moving despite lean resources and what he called "disproportionate" spending on security problems.


  18. Malawi MPs reject condom donation

    Malawi parliament
    Image caption: The leader of majority said MPs can afford condoms

    Lawmakers in Malawi have rejected a donation of more than 200,000 condoms from the Aids Health Foundation.

    They were to be placed in toilets within parliament buildings.

    The leader of the majority, Richard Chimwendo, said members of parliament did not need such a donation as they can afford condoms.

    The donation was given to the chairperson of the wellness committee, Maggie Chinsinga.

    Mr Chimwendo said a report published by a local newspaper on the donation had injured the reputation of MPs.

    The report had quoted Ms Chinsinga as saying that parliament dispenses about 10,000 condoms every month and sometimes "runs out of stock," Malawi's Nation newspaper wrote.

    The Deputy Speaker, Madaliotso Kazombo, said that was not true and demanded an apology.