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  1. Report blames pilot error for Tanzania plane crash

    Workers use a crane to pull the crashed Precision Air aircraft out of Lake Victoria in Bukoba, Tanzania, on November 8, 2022
    Image caption: Nineteen people died in the plane crash

    A report of an investigation into the November plane crash in Tanzania says pilots failed to heed warnings from an automatic alarm system.

    Nineteen people were killed in the 6 November crash into Lake Victoria, as the plane attempted to land in the lakeside town of Bukoba.

    An initial report from the transport ministry painted a damning picture of the emergency services' preparedness to deal with the disaster prompting anger over the response.

    President Samia Suluhu promised a formal investigation into the matter as the government distanced itself from the preliminary report.

    On Thursday, a second preliminary report said a warning system that three alerts about "the excessively high descent rate" was "not followed by corrective action by the flight crew".

    The report also noted that the weather condition was bad amid poor visibility, which "may have contributed to the failure to react to terrain warnings during the final approach".

    Fishermen were first at the site of the crash, and spearheaded rescue efforts.

    There had been 43 people on board and 24 survived. The two pilots were among the dead.

  2. SA opposition vows to 'protect' Putin from ICC arrest

    EFF leader Julius Malema
    Image caption: EFF says the South African government should not give in to ICC pressure

    South African opposition minority party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is welcome to visit Pretoria despite an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him.

    The ICC, which South Africa is a signatory to, has accused Mr Putin of war crimes, which include the kidnapping of Ukrainian children in Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

    Mr Putin is scheduled to travel to South Africa for the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in August.

    EFF leader Julius Malema on Thursday said no one was going to arrest Mr Putin while in South Africa, a country where Russia "played a huge role to support the struggle for freedom".

    Mr Malema said that the South African government should not give in to pressure from the ICC, which he accused of "hypocrisy".

    "Putin is welcomed here. No one is going to arrest Putin. If need be, we will go and fetch Putin from the airport to his meetings. He will address, finish all his meetings, and we will take him back to the airport," Mr Malema said.

    "We know our friends. We know the people who liberated us. We know the people who supported us,” he added.

    South Africa has close diplomatic relations with Moscow in spite of Western condemnations. Last month, its navy held joint exercises with Russian forces off the coast of South Africa. It has also abstained during UN votes condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    In 2015, the South African government was criticised for letting then Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir leave the country despite an ICC arrest warrant.

  3. Ex-DR Congo militia leader appointed minister

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    Former Vice President Bemba spent ten years in the International Criminal Court (ICC) prison for crimes committed by his troops in Central African Republic.
    Image caption: Jean Pierre Bemba, a former Congolese vice-president, was once convicted of war crimes before being cleared on appeal

    The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, has appointed a former militia leader, once convicted of war crimes, as his new defence minister.

    Jean Pierre Bemba, a former Congolese vice-president, was cleared on appeal by the International Criminal Court in 2018.

    He was convicted of failing to prevent his militia from committing crimes.

    His appointment comes as the Congolese army battles the Rwandan-backed M23 rebels in the east of the country.

    Mr Tshisekedi also appointed his former chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe, as minister of economy. Mr Kamerhe was convicted of embezzlement but freed on appeal last year.

    The changes comes as the country is due to go to the polls in December in which Mr Tshisekedi is expected to run for re-election.

  4. Odinga demands release of Kenya MPs detained over protest

    A riot police officer fires tear gas to disperse supporters of Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga
    Image caption: Police fired teargas on Monday to disperse protesters

    Four Kenyan MPs have been charged with unlawful assembly after taking part in anti-government protests on Monday, the Reuters news agency says quoting their lawyer.

    During the demonstrations police tear-gassed opposition leader Raila Odinga's convoy in the capital, Nairobi.

    Running battles took place on the main Kenyatta Avenue between police and demonstrators, some of whom threw stones at the security officers.

    The protests also spread to other cities, with a university student reportedly shot dead in Kisumu.

    Speaking on Thursday, Mr Odinga condemned what he described as “illegal arrests” – two of those held were leading members of the opposition in parliament. In all more than 200 people were detained.

    Mr Odinga said “these patriotic Kenyans… have done nothing wrong. We demand that the charges be dropped unconditionally with immediate effect.”

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  5. Video content

    Video caption: 'The biggest problem is stability' - Gelson Fernandes on issues facing African FA's.

    'The biggest problem is stability' - Gelson Fernandes, Fifa's director of member associations Africa, on the issues facing African football federations.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Somalia’s all-women media team breaking the stereotypes

    Meet Somalia's all-female media team which fights and highlights the stereotypes female journalists are facing.

  7. Burkinabe militants kill 14 in attack in north

    BBC World Service

    Map of Burkina Faso

    Security sources in Burkina Faso say jihadist insurgents have killed 14 people, including four soldiers, near the northern city of Kaya.

    The attack coincided with a visit by interim leader Captain Ibrahim Traoré.

    It targeted a unit of soldiers and defence volunteers tasked with protecting repairs to water supply facilities in the town of Zorkoum.

    The withdrawal of French forces from Burkina Faso and Mali, and their replacement by mercenaries from Russia's Wagner Group, has done little to turn the tide of jihadi violence.

    Read more: Have Wagner mercenaries helped Mali's fight against jihadists?

  8. What freedom feels like after two years' captivity

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    French hostage journalist Olivier Dubois, who was held hostage in Mali for nearly two years, arrives at the Villacoublay airport, in Velizy-Villacoublay, near Paris, France, March 21
    Image caption: Olivier Dubois returned to France on Tuesday

    A French journalist who was held captive in northern Mali for nearly two years has told the BBC that he is "slowly but surely" getting used to the idea that he is now free.

    Olivier Dubois was abducted in 2021 in the city of Gao by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) - the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel region.

    He was released on Tuesday, along with an American captive, and flew back to France.

    In an interview with Focus on Africa radio, Dubois said that he imagined that something may have been given in exchange for his freedom - either money or jihadi prisoners - but he was not aware of the specifics of the deal.

    One of the topics of conversation among Dubois' captors was how much he was worth, he said. Some estimated 5m euros ($5.4m;£4.4m) and others reckoned double that.

    He said he was never beaten and tried to maintain good relations with those holding him. However, he was subjected to a mock execution after a failed attempt to escape.

    In order to maintain his sanity, Dubois created a regular daily programme of events which included sport, studying the Quran and cooking.

    A self-confessed foodie, the journalist said it was tough preparing good food with limited ingredients, but he enjoyed making pasta and bread stuffed with dates.

    As for what next, Dubois said he now needs to connect with his family and will take some time to think about his future.

  9. Shock and self-reflection as Nigeria reacts to verdict

    Ike Ekweremadu
    Image caption: Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a prominent Nigerian politician

    Nigerians have been reacting to the news that a senior politician has been convicted of organ trafficking in a court in London.

    Ike Ekweremadu, 60, had served as the deputy president of Nigeria's senate.

    He was found guilty of offering money to a man who he brought to the UK to get his kidney in order to help his sick daughter.

    While it is lawful in the UK to donate a kidney, it becomes criminal if there is a reward of money or other material advantage.

    One woman told the BBC's Chris Ewokor it could serve as an example to others in Nigeria.

    "I don’t see anything wrong with the conviction," Elizabeth Bankole said. "It is only in Nigeria that people commit crimes and get away with it, and you don’t expect that same madness to be attainable in other nations of the world. I look forward to the day that the judiciary will not compromise and deal out judgement as is fit."

    Another was in shock over the verdict.

    "I’m numbed, I’m pained," ldris Arafat said. "This is a very big man in Nigeria and he has a sick child and he was struggling to get help. It’s an eye opener that before you do anything you must ask about what the law says and you have to act within the law. I have a sick child too – but I would not be desperate enough to break laws."

  10. Meta barred from sacking Facebook moderators in Kenya

    Meta graphic
    Image caption: Facebook has been given seven days to respond to the lawsuit

    A court in Kenya's capital Nairobi has barred Meta, Facebook's parent company, from laying off its content moderators pending determination of a lawsuit that is challenging their planned dismissal.

    The labour court also barred Meta and its outsourcing firm, Sama, from hiring other moderators to replace the sacked ones.

    The lawsuit was filed by 43 Facebook moderators in Kenya, hired by Sama on behalf of Meta. They allege that the redundancy exercise being undertaken was unlawful.

    The moderators told the court that they have been given "varying and confusing" explanations for the redundancy, Daily Nation reported.

    At least 260 content moderators were set to lose their jobs, according to local media.

    Meta and Sama have been given seven days to respond to the application.

    The case will be heard on 28 March.

  11. Aid convoy arrives in jihadist-blockaded Burkinabe town

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    A UNHCR convoy in northern Burkina Faso
    Image caption: The convoy arrived for the first time in almost five months(file photo)

    A convoy of 74 trucks carrying food has arrived in Burkina Faso's northern town of Djibo by road for the first time in almost five months.

    Supplies to the town, which has been under a de facto militant blockade for months, were being airlifted to avoid attacks.

    "For the first time since November 2022, the northern town of Djibo has been supplied by road," French public radio RFI reported.

    "It's a real breath of fresh air," a shopkeeper in Djibo was quoted as saying.

    A security source told AFP that the convoy arrived on Tuesday after a three-week trek, "braving roadside bombs and ambushes".

    Residents of the town have been staging protests asking the transitional authorities to resolve the security and humanitarian situation in the area.

    Burkina Faso is battling an insurgency that spilled over from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

  12. US should respect Ugandan sovereignty over anti-gay bill


    BBC World Service

    Member of Parliament from Bubulo contituency John Musira dressed in an anti gay gown gestures as he leaves the chambers during the debate of the Anti-Homosexuality bill, which proposes tough new penalties for same-sex relations during a sitting at the Parliament buildings in Kampala
    Image caption: MP John Musira left parliament on Monday wearing a gown backing the anti-homosexuality law

    A Ugandan MP who voted in favour of a bill that targets homosexual people has told the BBC that if the US withdrew funding in protest it would amount to "modern genocide".

    The US government has said there could be repercussions should the measure be signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni.

    MP Charles Ayume - a medical doctor - told the BBC's Newsday programme that the US provided vital funding for critical life-saving areas like malaria and HIV. Ending these programmes would be a form of "modern genocide", Dr Ayume said.

    Responding to the US criticism of the bill passed by MPs on Tuesday, Dr Ayume said that Uganda's sovereignty should be respected. He added that there were things he objected to in the US, but he did not want to interfere in the politics of that country.

    According to the bill, people who identify as gay in Uganda risk life in prison. It also includes the death penalty in certain cases.

    Dr Ayume said that in backing the measure, he was representing the views of his constituents.

  13. Kenyans told to replace staple food amid drought

    Image caption: Maizemeal is a familiar food across east, central and southern Africa

    Kenyans have been asked to seek alternatives to maize as the country experiences a shortage of the staple food following a prolonged drought.

    High prices for maize flour amid a cost-of-living crisis is at the centre of opposition protests that started on Monday.

    Agriculture Minister Mithika Linturi told lawmakers on Wednesday that a shortage in the world market was making it difficult for the government to purchase the grain.

    "I therefore urge Kenyans to embrace rice, potatoes and other food substitutes. We have already brought tonnes of rice and we are bringing more next week,” Mr Linturi said.

    He was optimistic that the price of maize flour will reduce in the next 10 days when a ship carrying tonnes of maize and rice will dock in the country.

    A bag of 90kg of maize is currently selling at 5,600 Kenyan shillings ($43; £35) but will likely drop significantly when the imports arrive, local outlets report.

  14. Ethiopia PM appoints TPLF head as Tigray president

    Hanna Temuari

    BBC News, Addis Ababa

    Getachew Reda
    Image caption: Getachew Reda will lead Tigray's interim administration until elections are held

    Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed a senior member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Getachew Reda as the head of the newly established interim administration in the northern region of Tigray.

    The TPLF, which fought a two-year civil war against the federal government, nominated Mr Getachew last week.

    Tens of thousands of people died in the fighting and the conflict sparked a huge humanitarian crisis. All sides have been accused of committing war crimes by the US administration.

    The move is part of an implementation of the peace agreement the TPLF and the federal government had signed in South Africa.

    The interim regional administration will be in position until regional elections are held under the supervision of the electoral commission. The date is yet to be set.

    Ethiopia’s House of Peoples Representatives on Wednesday removed the terrorist designation of TPLF.