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  1. UN peacekeepers leave Congolese town - governor

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Image caption: Dozens of people were killed in anti-UN protests in eastern DR Congo

    UN peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) have left the eastern town of Butembo following last month's deadly protests over their perceived failure to end rebel violence, a government official has said.

    "Monusco has already left. As for the equipment still in the city, we are going to meet in Goma with those in charge of the mission to see how to transfer it, as well as the few personnel remaining in Butembo," said the governor of North Kivu province, Gen Constant Kongba Ndima.

    He said the movement of the UN mission's personnel and equipment would be supervised by Congolese security services.

    A Monusco spokesperson, Ndeye Khady Lo, said that the "mission has proceeded to a temporary redeployment of its personnel outside Butembo... after consultations with local and national authorities".

    Demonstrations against the peacekeeping mission were held in North Kivu at the end of July. The protesters demanded that the troops leave the country.

    The Congolese government said 36 people were killed and 170 others were injured in the demonstrations.

  2. South Sudan ‘most violent' place for aid workers – UN

    Nichola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    Image caption: The UN has called for joint action to address the humanitarian crisis

    The UN says South Sudan continues to be the "most violent context" for aid workers in the world followed by Afghanistan and Syria.

    Five aid workers have been killed in the line of duty since the beginning of this year

    It has prompted the UN humanitarian co-ordinator in South Sudan, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, to call for joint action to address the humanitarian crisis and an immediate end to attacks against civilians and aid workers.

    She made the call in the capital, Juba, on the eve of World Humanitarian Day, which is celebrated annually on 19 August.

    Across South Sudan, aid workers and mostly nationals continue to be affected by armed violence, bureaucratic impediments and targeted violence, the UN says.

    “It takes a village to raise a child. In the same way, it takes an array of partners to support crisis-affected people. We need urgent collective efforts to help the vulnerable population in South Sudan,” said Ms Nyanti.

    She added: "All armed factions must immediately cease targeting civilians, humanitarian personnel and their assets. Impunity must end.”

  3. Police contact SA minister over sexual assault claim

    Image caption: Enoch Godongwana was appointed as finance minister in August 2021

    South Africa's Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana was on Thursday contacted by police over a complaint of sexual assault made against him, he is quoted as confirming to local media.

    The assault complaint was made by a woman employed at a hotel where the minister stayed with his wife in the eastern Mpumalanga province earlier this month.

    Mr Godongwana denies any wrongdoing.

    Police on Thursday informed the minister of the complaint against him.

    “I am relieved to have finally been contacted by the police and given the opportunity to hear what I am being accused of. I am also glad to have the opportunity to place my denial on record. I take the allegations very seriously,” the minister is quoted as saying.

    He also ruled out resigning as finance minister.

  4. Wildlife trafficker from Uganda sentenced in US

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: The largest markets for rhino horns are in China and Vietnam

    A court in New York has sentenced a Ugandan resident to more than five years in prison for conspiring to traffic millions of dollars worth of rhino horns and elephant ivory.

    Moazu Kromah was extradited from Uganda to the US three years ago.

    He pleaded guilty in March to being part of a gang which transported nearly 200kg (441lb) of rhino horns and 10 tonnes of elephant ivory worth more than $7m (£5.8m).

    The items came from East Africa and were destined for buyers in the US and south-east Asia, where rhino horn is much sought.

  5. Horn of Africa drought 'beyond imagination' - UK

    Richard Kagoe

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Image caption: The drought in Somalia has led to mass displacements

    The UK's Minister for Africa has issued a damning warning that the Horn of Africa is suffering it’s worst drought in decades with millions suffering its impact.

    “It’s beyond imagination,” says the minister, Vicky Ford.

    More than seven million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

    This has led to mass displacements as people trek for hundreds of kilometres in a desperate search for food and water.

    Four consecutive failed rainy seasons, armed conflict, rising food costs and the impact of Covid-19 are fuelling this enormous humanitarian crisis.

    The UK minister is now calling for partners and international donors to act urgently to prevent a large-scale loss of life.

    In Somalia alone, more than 380,000 children are considered severely malnourished and at risk of dying before the end of the year, according to Ms Ford.

    The UK government has committed to spend £150m ($178m) this year in humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa region. So far, £76m have been spent.

    Somalia is the worst affected country but millions more in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya are also suffering because of the drought.

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  6. Sierra Leone protests caught police unawares - president

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Freetown

    Image caption: Police officers are being investigated over civilian deaths

    Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada Bio says the nature of last week's protests against his government caught the police force by surprise.

    The protests resulted in 25 deaths including five police officers.

    "We have had challenges with the police force. But we know the nature of the protests definitely took them by surprise," he said.

    "We all knew they [protesters] wanted to come out, but we did not have an identifiable group or person leading them," he added.

    President Bio again blamed the opposition for trying to topple his government, an accusation the opposition All People's Congress party has denied.

    He said a forensic and independent investigation was being conducted to unravel the truth.

    "It's a forensic investigation. There are footprints, there are people who incited, who called on the people to go out to kill. There were people inciting the military and telling them to come to State House," he said.

    President Bio also defended a reshuffle in the military leadership following the protests, and denied threats of a military takeover.

    "Heads of security institutions can be removed for different reasons. It's my right when I think its right."

  7. Firefighters say Algeria wildfires under control

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: Algeria's wildfires have killed at least 37 people

    Firefighters in Algeria say they have brought under control the wildfires that have killed at least 37 people, including five members of the same family.

    A spokesman said 16 blazes were still being tackled but those in the worst-affected areas - the eastern Al-Tarf region near the border with Tunisia - were no longer a threat.

    Locals complain that the government continues to be ill-prepared for the summer wildfires which are becoming more common.

    At least 90 people were killed in blazes last year.

  8. Nigerian police find 20 bodies in suspected shrine

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Image caption: Police have arrested three people in connection with the mummified bodies

    Police in southern Nigeria have arrested three people following the discovery of 20 mummified bodies near Benin city in Edo state.

    The corpses were found in a building suspected to be used for a voodoo shrine.

    A police spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, told the BBC that the corpses of 15 men, three women and two children were discovered.

    It is not clear how long they had been there.

    He added that armed police officers and local vigilantes had raided the building just outside the city following a tip-off.

    The police suspect the bodies had been brought in from a morgue as they still had identification tags on them.

    Mr Nwabuzor said a suspect arrested at the scene where the bodies were found said that the owner of the place - who is now at large - was a former mortician at a hospital.

    The discovery has shocked the country and residents in the area say they were horrified.

    Many are asking how the bodies could have been hidden there without neighbours noticing any suspicious activities.

  9. Ghanaian man accidentally cuts his genitals in sleep

    Favour Nunoo

    BBC News Pidgin

    A Ghanaian farmer is in a distressed state after accidentally cutting part of his testicles and damaging his penis while sleeping.

    Kofi Atta has been in hospital since the accident happened at the beginning of this month.

    The 47-year-old told BBC News Pidgin that he is still raising money for surgery that doctors say he needs.

    But how did the accident happen?

    Speaking from hospital, Mr Atta said: “I was sitting in my chair when I dozed off. In my sleep I dreamt that I was cutting some meat in front of me."

    Somehow he then acted out his dream in real life.

    “I don’t remember how I picked up the knife."

    He recounted that neighbours responded to his screaming for help in his sleep. When they entered his home they saw that he was alone in the room and bleeding.

  10. Sudan police fire tear gas at anti-military protesters

    Zeinab Mohammed Salih

    Journalist

    The police in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, have fired tear gas at thousands of protesters who took to the streets to demonstrate against the military junta.

    Young men and women carried the Sudanese flag as well as large pictures of those who had been killed in previous protests. They chanted “no to military rule” and “civilian government is the people’s choice”.

    They also burned tyres and threw stones at the police.

    The authorities closed one of Khartoum's bridges that links to an area of the city containing the military headquarters. That was where people gathered in 2019 before the coup against President Omar al-Bashir.

    This protest is part of the build-up to a planned general strike on 24 August.

    Last October, the army seized power from a civilian-led government that was supposed to run the country for a transitional period before elections following Bashir's 30-year rule.

  11. Algerians continue to battle deadly forest fires

    BBC World Service

    Emergency services in Algeria are continuing to try to put out forest fires in the north and far east of the country, which have killed at least 38 people and injured more than 200 others.

    Officials say that 11 children are among those who have died in the fires that have been ravaging the region for the past few days.

    Eyewitnesses say that many of those killed were in an animal park when they were surrounded by flames.

    The authorities fear that the fires may again spread because of fierce winds in the area.

  12. Somalis mourn death of great poet Hadraawi

    Juneydi Farah

    BBC News

    Renowned Somali poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame Hadraawi has died in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, aged 79.

    Hadraawi was widely regarded as the greatest living Somali poet - dubbed by some as the Shakespeare of Somalia.

    Born in 1943 in Togdheer, he was known to Somalis by his nickname Hadraawi, meaning "the master (or father) of speech".

    The poet had been ill for some time.

    Hadraawi wrote the lyrics to more than 200 epic poems and the lyrics to more than 70 songs.

    His early work was broadcast across the region and in the 1970s he wrote poems that were critical of Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre's government.

    He ended up being imprisoned for five years for the work. After his release, he went into exile in Djibouti, but continued his political criticism through a series of poems that were memorised and widely recited.

    After the collapse of Somalia's central government in 1991, Hadraawi led a caravan for peace, which tried to promote understanding and reconciliation across the Somali regions and the diaspora.

    People have been sharing their condolences online:

    View more on twitter

    Listen to a programme made by the BBC's Mary Harper about the poet.

  13. US senator meets Ruto to discuss US-Kenya relations

    We reported earlier that US Senator Chris Coons is in Kenya for meetings with Deputy President William Ruto - who was declared the winner of last week's presidential election - as well as his main rival, Raila Odinga, who disputes the result. A meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta was also arranged.

    The US Embassy in Nairobi has now tweeted that the senator and Mr Ruto have met.

    They discussed "the US-Kenya strategic partnership, promotion of peace and security in the region, and ways to strengthen [the two countries'] economies".

    View more on twitter

    As deputy president, Mr Ruto still has official duties to perform, but in the tweet there was no mention of Mr Ruto's victory or the dispute around it.

    The deputy president tweeted that "the talks touched on the just concluded elections in the country".

    The US has not yet congratulated Mr Ruto on his win. Earlier in the week, the US Embassy in Nairobi did note that he was declared the winner and praised the electoral commission and Kenyans for the peaceful and orderly voting process.

    Senator Coons has also met Mr Odinga to discuss "shared democratic values", according to the US embassy's Twitter account. Again, there was no mention of whether the election was discussed.

    View more on twitter

    The senator also met President Uhuru Kenyatta in what was described as "a courtesy call".

  14. Ethiopia civil war: Both sides trade accusations over talks

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News, Addis Ababa

    Billene Seyoum, speaking for Ethiopia’s prime minister, has denied accusations by Tigrayan forces that they were being targeted by federal troops.

    On Wednesday, Tigrayan spokesperson Getachew Reda accused the government in Addis Ababa of undermining efforts to find a peaceful solution to the country’s civil war by “taking provocative actions against our forces”.

    But speaking to journalists on Thursday Ms Seyoum said the accusations were “deflections” and a way to avoid engaging in peace talks.

    Efforts to bring the warring parties together to end the 22-month conflict in Ethiopia’s north have reportedly shown progress in recent months. But in the past few days the two sides have exchanged strong words with the Tigrayan forces accusing the government of deliberately delaying talks.

    But Ms Billene said the government is “willing to engage anytime… and come to a conclusive agreement on an immediate ceasefire”.

  15. Emirates to suspend flights to Nigeria

    Image caption: The airline may reverse its decision if there are signs it will get the money it's owed

    The Dubai-based Emirates airline has said it will suspend flights to Nigeria from the start of September as it has been unable to repatriate its money from Nigeria.

    The problem has arisen because Nigeria has restricted access to foreign exchange, the Reuters news agency reports.

    The government has not yet commented.

    In a statement, Emirates said it had “made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.

    “[It is] regrettable there has been no progress.”

    Flights will stop from 1 September “to limit further losses and impact on our operation cost”.

    In June, the International Air Transport Association said that Nigeria was not handing over $450m (£370m) owed to various airlines, Reuters says.

    Emirates said it could reconsider its decision “should there be any positive developments in the coming days”.

    Affected travellers can get refunds for their tickets, it added.

  16. Kenya president-elect and opponent to meet US senator

    Kenya's President-elect William Ruto and his main rival in the recent election Raila Odinga are scheduled to meet US Senator Chris Coons who is on a five-country Africa visit.

    The US has not yet congratulated Mr Ruto following the official declaration that he had won last week's election. Mr Odinga has said he does not recognise the result.

    Senator Coons and his delegation will also meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    The senator arrived in the capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday night and will hold talks with the three leaders on "health, security, and economic prosperity", the US embassy said.

    The delegation will also meet conservationists, health providers and organisations working to empower girls.

    View more on twitter
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