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  1. Head of presidential guard named DR Congo army chief

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Democratic Republic of Congo's President Félix Tshisekedi has named Lieutenant-General Christian Tshiwewe Songesha as the new chief of general staff of the country's armed forces (FARDC).

    In a statement on Monday night, the president’s spokesperson said the 54-year-old general will replace Gen Célestin Mbala Munsense, who has held the post since July 2018.

    Gen Munsense is on the list of army veterans set to retire, French broadcaster RFI reports.

    Mr Tshiwewe has been commander of the president's security forces since 2020. He trained in Sudan, Angola, and the Kinshasa defence academy,

    The Congolese army has been battling armed groups in the east of the country for three decades.

    Over the last three months, the M23 armed group has made gains against the army to occupy the strategic border town of Bunagana and areas around it in North Kivu province.

  2. Neighbour rescues 13 Zambia women held for six months

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Image caption: The abductors were demanding a ransom for the 13 captured women

    Thirteen young women who were abducted by unknown people in Zambia have been rescued months after they disappeared.

    The women, aged between 17 and 28, include a mobile money booth operator who became the face of the abductees after a video in which she appeared being beaten with a metal rod while pleading for mercy went viral about six months ago.

    The abductors were demanding a ransom.

    Police had launched a manhunt which yielded nothing.

    But on Monday, one of the abductees managed to scale a wall of the house where they were being held in the capital, Lusaka’s Chalala residential area.

    She then alerted neighbours who broke in to rescue the rest of the women.

    Robby Chitambo, who was the first to respond to the distress call, mobilised his friends to break into the house, and narrated graphic details of what he saw.

    He said he found a casket, used condoms and sanitary pads in the house before calling police who later arrived at the scene.

    “We helped the ladies by taking them out. One of them is pregnant. We found a casket and a shrine inside the house. There were also charms, pads and condoms everywhere," he narrated.

    In a statement, Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba said that all the victims were taken to a medical facility.

    He said they had arrested a suspect who was helping police with investigations.

    Zambians on social media have welcomed the development.

    "What’s the equivalent of a knighthood in Zambia... Whatever it is, safe to say #RobbyChitambo is a perfect fit," a Twitter user said.

  3. Ukraine foreign minister begins Africa tour in Senegal

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Image caption: Ukraine Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba (left) is on a visit to Senegal

    There has been sparse media coverage in Senegal following a visit to Dakar by Ukraine Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who is embarking on an African tour.

    The Ukrainian diplomat met Senegal's Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall and they signed several bilateral co-operation deals.

    Mr Kuleba is on an apparent counteroffensive tour following a visit to the continent by Russia's top diplomat Sergei Lavrov in July, ahead of plans to host the second Russia-Africa summit in Ethiopia next year.

    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly made overtures to African leaders to condemn Russia over its invasion of his country.

  4. South African police probe German tourist's killing

    Police in South Africa are investigating the killing of a German tourist during an attempted carjacking in the eastern Mpumalanga province.

    The victim was part of a group of four German tourists who were waylaid on Monday evening while travelling towards a safari lodge at the Kruger National Park.

    The gang is said to have ordered the tourists to open the doors of their vehicle, but when the driver reportedly locked all the doors, one of the suspects shot him through the window, police said.

    Local police said the tourist died on the spot and the suspects sped off without taking anything.

    "This is really cruel and uncalled for given the economic challenges that our country is facing," police boss Semakaleng Daphney Manamela said.

  5. Nigeria gunmen disguised as guards kill 12 people

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    Image caption: The gunmen pretended to be searching for fleeing armed criminals

    Police in Nigeria say gunmen have shot dead at least 12 people and stolen dozens of cattle in the north-eastern state of Taraba.

    Residents said some of the attackers were disguised as local security guards during the raid of the remote village of Mubizen.

    They pretended to be searching for fleeing armed criminals and asked members of the community to come out and help with the search.

    But the attackers then opened fire on the crowd.

    Four people have been arrested in connection with the raid.

    Nigeria is grappling with a wave of violence by armed criminal gangs as well as Islamist insurgents.

  6. Kenya allows farming and imports of GM crops

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Image caption: President William Ruto's government has turned to GM crops to boost yields

    Kenya has authorised the cultivation and importation of genetically modified crops and animal feeds, ending a decade-long ban that had been imposed due to health fears.

    It comes as the country is experiencing a devastating drought. The worst drought in 40 years has left millions facing hunger.

    President William Ruto's government has turned to genetically modified crops as a way of helping boost yields.

    It says the country needs seeds that are resistant to drought, pests and diseases.

    A decade ago the production and import of GM crops was banned due to concerns over possible health risks.

    It was clearly an unpopular decision with America, which is home to major producers of genetically engineered seeds.

    In July, Joe Biden's administration announced a new partnership with Kenya which included a commitment to boost trade in the agriculture sector.

    Despite the prospect of better yields some are wary that farmers could become too reliant on rules laid down by foreign, private companies.

  7. South Sudan steps up Ebola surveillance

    Nicola Mandil

    BBC News, Juba

    South Sudan's health officials are testing samples from five people to see if they have contracted the Ebola virus.

    The suspected cases were detected in three regional states bordering neighbouring Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, local media reported.

    Uganda is currently dealing with an outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever. Forty-three cases have been confirmed and nine deaths have been recorded.

    But in South Sudan, no case has been confirmed so far.

    Mabior Kiir, the head of planning and information at the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre told reporters in the capital, Juba, that one suspected case was detected in Eastern Equatoria state’s Nimule town on the border with Uganda.

    One case was from Yambio, capital of Western Equatoria atate, which borders DR Congo. The remaining three cases were detected in Yei and Kajokeji towns in Central Equatoria state which also share borders with DR Congo and Uganda.

    Mr Mabior disclosed that one of the ill patients identified from Kajokeji had died. But it was not clear whether that person died of Ebola.

    The health authorities in South Sudan said they are intensifying surveillance and screening at border entry points with Uganda in an effort to detect any suspected cases of Ebola.

  8. Kenya issues warning about Sofia contraceptive pill

    Grace Kuria

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Image caption: the Kenyan authorities have circulated this image of the pill packets

    Kenya's Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has warned people against using the oral contraceptive pill that goes by the name Sofia.

    The pill is suspected to be circulating on the Kenyan market and is said to be substandard and as such poses a great risk to the health and safety of the public.

    Sofia "is not authorised for use or distribution in Kenya”, PPB’s CEO Dr Siyoi said in a statement.

    “The PPB warns members of the public against trading, distributing, wholesaling, retailing, issuing, or dispensing this product as it amounts to illegal activities and endangers the safety and health of the public.”

    Last week, health official Dr Albert Ndwiga said that despite claims to the contrary, “the tablet is not herbal at all [and] contains very high levels of oestrogen and progesterone that are toxic to a lot of people”.

  9. Tanzania president warns ministers to toe the line

    Alfred Lasteck

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Image caption: President Samia Suluhu said that ministers need to understand the limits on their power

    Tanzanians have been left wondering why President Samia Suluhu sacked the country’s Foreign Minister, Liberata Mulamula, at the weekend.

    But perhaps hinting what was behind the move, at the swearing in of new ministers in Dar-es-Salaam today, the president issued a stern warning to people in her government.

    "Once we agree on something, you are part of it. You can't go out and claim that the decision was just a directive, not your will," the AFP news agency quotes her as saying.

    "You need to know the scope of your powers so that when you want to go beyond, you seek permission from higher authorities."

    Ms Liberata was replaced by Dr Stergomena Tax.

  10. Home of Mnangagwa challenger targeted by arsonists

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC News, Harare

    Zimbabwe police say they are investigating an arson attack on the home of Sybeth Musengezi who is mounting a legal challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 2017 rise to power.

    The case was due to begin on Monday, but Mr Musengezi's lawyer told the BBC that the matter was removed from the court roll, pending the outcome of the appeal against two other parties joining the case.

    Mr Musengezi, who says he is a Zanu-PF member, said his house was attacked by four men with their faces covered. They threw an incendiary object into his vehicle and into his home, he told the BBC.

    He and his family were unharmed but one room and his vehicle were damaged. He said that while the police should be allowed to conduct their investigations, he believed the motive was political.

    Last October, he lodged a case challenging the legality of the Zanu-PF central meeting that appointed Mr Mnangagwa as party leader after Robert Mugabe was ousted in 2017.

    Mr Musengezi argues the party did not follow its own constitution and that Mr Mnangagwa is not the legitimate head of the party.

    “I don’t have a problem with Mr Mnangagwa leading Zanu-PF, but the leaders have to be democratically elected,” he told the BBC, adding that the arson incident would not deter him.

    Mr Musengezi was arrested earlier this year and charged with fraud for using the incorrect address when he became a member of Zanu-PF in 2012. He said the charge was meant to silence him and it was later thrown out.

    Prior to the alleged attack, he said unmarked cars had parked outside his home and that he has received death threats.

    Zanu-PF spokesperson, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, told the BBC that the party rejected any suggestion that Zanu-PF was behind the attack. He accused Mr Musengezi of attempting to gain a profile by playing the victim.

  11. Ugandan officials screening for Ebola at border

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Image caption: Health workers are at risk from treating Ebola patients

    Health officials at a major Uganda-Kenya border crossing say they have intensified screening of cargo truckers and other travellers to prevent the export of Ebola cases.

    An official at the Malaba border in the east told the BBC that teams had already been screening for several infectious diseases since the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic, but have now increased their level of alertness.

    Health teams are taking details of travellers’ point of origin in Uganda, and checking for symptoms like fever, headaches and stomach pains.

    Positive Ebola cases have been steadily rising. The latest figures from the health ministry show that confirmed cases now stand at 43, and nine of these have died.

    One of them was a Tanzanian doctor, who died on Saturday. Dr Mohammed Ali was an intern at Mubende regional hospital where the first confirmed case had been treated.

    The 37 year old was buried in western Uganda on Sunday, according to international health protocols for infectious disease epidemics.

    Health teams say they have traced at least 800 people who are suspected to have come into contact with people who tested positive for Ebola. They are under observation.

    Read more on this story:

  12. Lesotho soldier shot dead by jihadists in Mozambique

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    A soldier from the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) has been shot dead in a jihadist attack in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, the Lesotho Times reports, citing government sources.

    Another eight LDF soldiers were injured in the fighting but are in a stable situation and are being treated for their injuries.

    The soldiers were part of a southern African force sent to Mozambique to support the fight against the jihadists in the north.

    This is the first death in combat of an LDF soldier in Mozambique.

    A total of 125 LDF soldiers were first deployed to Mozambique in August 2021 as part of a Southern African Development Community initiative to assist the Mozambican government in their fight against militant Islamists.

  13. Car bomb attacks leave nine dead in Somalia

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Police in Somalia say at least nine people, including senior regional officials, have been killed in car bomb attacks that have been claimed by the Islamist group al-Shabab.

    The explosions in the city of Beledweyne also injured several people and destroyed buildings.

    Correspondents say the attack was possibly in retaliation for the killing of a senior al-Shabab member over the weekend.

    The Somali government said Abdullahi Nadir - who had a $3m (£2.6m) bounty on his head - was killed in a drone strike.

    Last month, it said Turkish drones had been deployed in the fight against the jihadists. Al-Shabab has recently lost territory and many fighters during clashes.

  14. Museveni's son tweets about Uganda capturing Kenya

    No, it is not a parody account - the son of Uganda's long-serving president did just tweet about his disappointment that Kenya's former President, Uhuru Kenyatta, did not run for an unconstitutional third term in the recent elections, and joked (?) about invading Kenya

    View more on twitter

    Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba also tweeted that he is not interested in the constitution or rule of law. "For us there is only the Revolution and you will soon learn about it," he said cryptically.

    View more on twitter

    Some say that Lt Gen Kainerugaba, who is known for his sometimes outspoken tweets, is being groomed to replace his father, Yoweri Museveni, as Uganda's president.

    Mr Museveni has been in power since 1986.

    Since that time, Kenya has changed president three times and some Kenyans were left baffled by what Lt Gen Kainerugaba had to say. They also wondered whether everything was okay with him.

    But the Ugandan then upped the ante and said his army could capture the Kenyan capital in two weeks.

    View more on twitter

    Clearly relishing the Twitter tussle he was having he then asked: "After our army captures Nairobi, where should I live? Westlands? Riverside?"

    View more on twitter
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