A CROSS AFRICA

Kargbo denies match-fixing allegation

Sierra Leone’s footballer Ibrahim Kargbo has denied allegations by the Dutch Football Association that he was involved in match-fixing in Holland (see 14:38 post).

Kargbo, who came to the BBC office a short while ago, told Nick Cavell that it’s unbelievable to accuse him of fixing a match in a club that he has been a best player for three years.

“It’s not in my style. It’ss not in my football,” he said.

“For me, it’s a lot of stress. It has killed my career. I have been having a sleepless night for something I knew nothing about,” Kargbo added.

He also denied any knowledge of match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, with whom he was accused of  collaborating to fix matches.

BBC

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Crew ‘unaware of dead man on plane’

The foreign crew of the US-registered cargo jet impounded at Zimbabwe’s main airport did not know there was someone else on the plane, the Associated Press news agency quotes an unnamed police officer as saying.

It appears from photos on social media that the dead person, suspected to be a stowaway, had sneaked into the plane’s landing gear which severed his arm when it contracted, causing blood to splatter onto the fuselage and arousing suspicion of the ground crew when the flight landed in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, AP reports.

The crew included two Americans, a South African and a Pakistani, Zimbabwe’s state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

See our 13:29 post for more details 

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Crippling strike in Guinea

Alhassan Sillah

BBC Africa, Conakry

Getty Images

An indefinite general strike called by trade unions in Guinea has paralysed the capital, Conakry, and other cities.

Shops, banks and offices remained closed and streets empty in Conakry on the first day of the strike.

Union leaders are demanding that prices of basic commodities and fuel be brought down by the government.

However, authorities have resisted the pressure.

Youths, who have barricaded roads in Conakry, have fought running battle with the police.

Getty Images

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Libya’s unanswered questions

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

Libya’s internationally-backed presidency council has proposed a new cabinet for the country which has had two competing governments since 2014 (see 09:18 post).

However, even if the parliament endorses the new cabinet, questions over security arrangements, and when it will move to the capital, Tripoli, remain largely unanswered.

Western diplomats and ministers are eager to see a unity government in place so they can seriously weigh their military options in helping to fight the expansion of the so-called Islamic State group in Libya.

Getty Images
Libya has two rival governments, one in Tripoli, and the other in eastern city of Tobruk

There have been increased public calls, from Washington to Paris, on the need for the military to address what they see as a growing and dangerous threat on Europe’s southern shores.

Some have even suggested that they may not wait until a new government is in place.

However, regional players like Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have voiced concerns over any unilateral military action by Western powers.

They worry it will further destabilise the region.

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Nigeria militants kill Cameroonians

Enoh N’Dri

BBC Africa, Dakar, Senegal

A Cameroonian military officer and a soldier have been killed after their convoy hit a land mine as they returned from an operation against militant Islamist group Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria, an army spokesman has said.

Senior commanding officer Lt Col Kwene Belthus was killed on Sunday in northern Kerawa town, which borders Nigeria, Col Didier Badjeck said.

AFP
Security along the border with Nigeria has been stepped

Cameroon’s troops had killed more than 160 militants and had freed nearly 100 Nigerians hostages during the operation, he added.

Cameroon is part of a regional force battling the militants linked to the Islamic State group.

The militants have been intensifying attacks in northern Cameroon using female suicide bombers.

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Crowd surges through Kampala

The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga has sent us a video of thousands of supporters of opposition presidential candidate Kizza Besigye joining him on the campaign trail in the capital, Kampala, ahead of Thursday’s tightly contested election:

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Sierra Leone’s Kargbo accused of match-fixing

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Kargbo has been banned from playing in Netherlands

The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) says it has uncovered evidence of match-fixing by former Sierra Leone international Ibrahim Kargbo.

It is alleged that in August 2009 Kargbo, then a Willem II player, tried to fix a match against FC Utrecht.

The KNVB also said Kargbo had tried to fix the result of a benefit match between Willem II and Sierra Leone in 2009.

Kargbo was suspended by the Sierra Leone Football Association in 2014 over match-fixing allegations.

Kargbo has not yet commented on the allegations but will be speaking to the BBC shortly.

We will bring you his reaction right here on the BBC Africa Live page.

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Uganda election: Hospital conditions exposed by opposition

Ugandans go to the polls this Thursday and President Yoweri Museveni’s 30-year hold on power is at stake.

One major issue is healthcare and whether the president has done enough after opposition leader Kizza Besigne exposed poor conditions in the medical system.

Catherine Byaruhanga visited a hospital in the northern town of Abim.

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Uganda police assurance on Besigye

Ruth Nesoba

BBC Africa, Kampala

BBC
Mr Besigye’s supporters are out in force in Kampala

Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga says opposition presidential candidate Kizza Besigye is free to campaign in the capital, Kampala, as long as he sticks to the rules barring political activity in the central business district.

He insisted that Mr Besigye had not been arrested earlier today, and had just been “restrained” for a while from using Nasser road in the city centre.

Police were also worried about Mr Besigye’s safety, as they could not contain the crowds, Mr Enanga added.

He has since been allowed to carry on with his campaign rallies ahead of Thursday’s fiercely contested elections.

Mr Besigye is running against President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 30-year rule.

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Al-Shabab behind Somalia killing

 Somalia’s militant Islamist group al-Shabab says it planted the car bomb which killed former Defence Minister Muhidin Mohamed in the capital, Mogadishu, Reuters news agency reports.

See our 12:55 post for more details

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Plane body that of ‘stowaway’

Nomsa Maseko

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

The body found on a cargo plane impounded at Zimbabwe’s main airport in Harare is presumed to be that of a stowaway, South Africa’s central bank has said.

Earlier, Zimbabwe’s state-owned Herald newspaper reported that the body, dripping with blood, was found on the US-owned Western Global Airlines plane when it stopped in Harare for refuelling.

It was flying from Germany to South Africa, and transporting South Africa’s currency, it said.

In a statement, the bank said it was working with the relevant authorities to ensure that the cargo was released and brought to South Africa.

See our 09:00 post for more details

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‘The Longest Kiss in Africa’

AP

Zimbabwean MP Joseph Chinotimba and his wife Vimbai have kissed their way into the book of African Records, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The couple scooped the top prize after kissing for a record 10 minutes and 17 seconds at an event in the capital, Harare, dubbed “The Longest Kiss in Africa Challenge”.

It was organised by the Book of African Records as part of Valentine’s Day celebrations on Sunday.

AP
The couple walk off stage after being declared winners

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Somalia ex-defence minister killed

Somalia’s former defence minister has been killed in a car bomb in the capital Mogadishu, police have said, AFP news agency reports.

Muhidin Mohamed, who was defence minister in 2008,  died after an explosive device was attached to his car, police officer Ibrahim Mohamed is quoted by AFP as saying.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion in which another person was also wounded, it adds.

Militants Islamist group al-Shabab has been carrying out deadly attacks in Somalia in its quest to establish an Islamic state.

It has targeted officials of the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, which is supported by 22,000 African Union troops.

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Huge crowds rally behind Besigye

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa Uganda correspondent

BBC

Thousands of people are following Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Kizza Besigye’s convoy through the capital, Kampala.

Mr Besigye is making his way to a university where a large crowd is waiting for him.

Earlier, Mr Besigye was detained for about two hours after police accused him of disobeying orders not to disrupt traffic.

He is the main opposition candidate standing against President Yoweri Museveni in Thursday’s tightly contested election.

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SA urged to sell failing state companies

South Africa’s government should sell some state companies to improve public finances which have been hit by a weak economy, a privatisation team commissioned by President Jacob Zuma has recommended, Reuters news agency reports.

Many of South Africa’s 300-odd state entities are struggling, including power utility giant Eskom and national carrier South African Airways (SAA).

The report, released over the weekend, did not mention any companies but analysts believe it is unlikely to affect big firms like Eskom and SAA, Reuters reports.

If Mr Zuma’s government were to adopt the recommendation, it would mark a departure from the governing African National Congress’s stance since coming into power in 1994, that leading state companies should not be sold off, it adds.

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Are Boko Haram fighters trained in Somalia?

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

AFP
Boko Haram is loyal to IS

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud did not give any indication of when Nigerian militants received training from al-Shabab in Somalia.

In the past, al-Shabab has spoken of various nationals, including Nigerians, coming to Somalia for training.

But things are different today. Boko Haram is now the West African branch of the so-called Islamic State (IS) while al-Shabab remains staunchly loyal to al-Qaeda. So It is difficult to see the two of them still linking up, as Somalia’s president suggests.

The Somali group is taking a tough stance on any of its members seen to be IS sympathisers, and recently fought against a breakaway faction.

So It is difficult to see Boko Haram and al-Shabab still linking up. However, the militants in Nigeria are not a monolithic force, and it possible that some of them have links with al-Shabab.

However, they are not neccesarily Boko Haram members, and could be from another militant faction.

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