Libya rivals agree 'historic' election plan Image copyright AFP Image caption Self-styled general Khalifa Hafta (R), whose fighters control the east of the country, was one of those who agreed to the plan Rival factions in Libya have agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on 10 December.
The four groups, meeting in the French capital, Paris, also agreed to adopt the necessary laws by mid-September.
French President Emmanuel Macron described the accord as historic and an essential step towards reconciliation.
Libya has been in a state of lawlessness since the toppling and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Africa Live: More on this and other stories How realistic are Libya's election plans? Why is Libya so lawless? The North African nation is now controlled by disparate armed groups and fighting is continuing in the east and south of the country.
European leaders see stabilising Libya as key to tackling jihadist threats and migration from the c..
The Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ambassador Kadangha Bariki Limbiyè of Togo, whose country currently holds the chairmanship of ECOWAS, called for a restructuring of the regional organisation.
In his speech at the opening, on Monday 28 May 2018, in Lomé, Togo, of an extraordinary AFC meeting on institutional reform, Mr Limbiyè reminded the audience of the importance of this reform for ECOWAS.
“This reform will provide ECOWAS with a new impetus for efficiency and pragmatism, to meet the requirements of modern governance rules that demand both soundness and thoroughness,” he said.
Limbiyè said it was therefore imperative to complete the restructuring of the Commission and other ECOWAS institutions in order to improve their intended operational efficiency and save resources for projects and programmes that would benefit West African citizens.
“To mark a radical change in its governa..
Mozambique 'jihadists behead' villagers Image copyright AFP Image caption Security has been increased in Cabo Delgado province since attacks blamed on Islamist militants began in October At least 10 people have been beheaded in northern Mozambique by suspected Islamist militants, officials say.
Children are reported to be among those targeted in the attack on Monjane village in Cabo Delgado province, a hub for mining and petroleum exploration.
An Islamist militant group has carried out sporadic attacks in the region in the last year.
It is believed to be making millions of dollars from selling timber and rubies.
Known locally as al-Shabab, the group was formed in 2015 as a religious organisation and has no known links to the Somali jihadist group of the same name.
Africa Live: More on this and other stories More about Mozambique One of the victims of the weekend attack was the leader of Monjane village, a local resident told the AFP news agency.
"They targeted the chief as..
Dear ECOWAS Citizens,
As we commemorate the 43rd anniversary of ECOWAS, I wish first of all, to pay glowing tribute to the founding fathers and those who took on the baton, for the great strides we have made due to their vision and determination. These pioneers, who were visionaries as well as activists, deserve our deep gratitude since, thanks to them, we can today enjoy the benefits of their achievements and look confidently to the future.
Whilst I say this, I am of course mindful of the fact that in spite of the shocks due to the fall in commodity prices and the crises which hit the global economy, our Community has recorded acceptable levels of growth, exceeding 7% in some countries.
I also call to mind the genuine progress we have made, some of which I would like to mention. They are:
• the further deepening of the democratic culture in our region, accompanied with even greater effectiveness in conflict and crisis prevention and resolution, due particularly to an efficient e..
Paris balcony boy's family thank Mali 'Spiderman' Mamoudou Gassama Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMalian 'spiderman' rescues Paris child - then meets French president The family of a small boy dramatically rescued after dangling from a balcony in Paris have expressed their gratitude the Malian man who saved him.
"He's truly a hero," the boy's grandmother said of migrant Mamoudou Gassama, who scaled four floors to pluck the child from danger.
The four-year-old's father, who had left him in the fourth-floor flat and gone shopping, faces charges of failing to look after his child, reports say.
Mr Gassama is to be given citizenship.
President Emmanuel Macron personally thanked him, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be offered a role in the fire service.
The boy had left Réunion, where his mother and grandmother live, about three weeks ago and moved to Paris to join his father, who was working there.
South African 'world's oldest man' wants to stop smoking Image caption Fredie Blom says there is no special secret to his longevity Fredie Blom spent most of his life as a labourer - on a farm and in the construction industry - in apartheid South Africa but he might soon be recognised as the world's oldest man, as the BBC's Mohammed Allie reports from Cape Town.
Although he gave up drinking many years ago, Fredie Blom is still a regular smoker.
"Every day I still smoke two to three 'pills'," - local slang for tobacco tightly rolled into a cigarette-length piece of newspaper. "I use my own tobacco because I don't smoke cigarettes.
"The urge to smoke is so strong. Sometimes I tell myself I'm going to stop but it's just me lying to myself. My chest chases me to have a puff and I'm then forced to make a 'pill'.
"I blame the devil for that because he's so strong," he says with mischievous grin.
Celebrity statusThe firs..
Mamoudou Gassama: Migration in the genes of Malians Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mamoudou Gassama comes from an ethnic group which is famous for travelling Mamoudou Gassama, who is understood to have been in France for only six months, is among thousands of Malians still making the journey to Europe, despite much-publicised measures to limit immigration to the continent.
This is not only because of the failure, so far, of European Union attempts to stop people from crossing the Sahara and Mediterranean.
It is also because many of those of who leave Mali - including Mr Gassama, as his surname indicates - are from the Soninke ethnic group.
For Soninkes, travelling has for centuries been an obligatory rite of passage to manhood.
So well established is the Malian travelling tradition - and so strong are the emigrants' links with home - that when Mali's population is stated to be 12 million, the figure includes a diaspora estimated at about three million people.