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African press review 5 December 2016

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Bangladeshi soldiers replace Kenyan peacekeepers withdrawn from South Sudan. Why were the dead from last weekend's clashes in western Uganda buried in a military barracks? Are Salva Kiir and his main political rival, Riek Machar, trying to avoid one another? And what was an Egyptian judge doing with 68 kg of cannabis?


The top story in regional paper the East African reports that 850 Bangladeshi soldiers will replace the Kenyan peacekeepers who are being withdrawn from South Sudan.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta decided last month to end Kenya's participation in the UN Mission in South Sudan after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sacked the Kenyan general in command of the peacekeeping force.

A special UN investigative team blamed Lt Gen Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki for the failure of a United Nations unit in Juba to respond to pleas for help from a nearby civilian compound under attack by South Sudan government soldiers in July.

Kasese dead buried by army in western Uganda

Also in the East African, news that 52 of the people killed in last weekend's fighting in Uganda's Kasese District were buried yesterday.

The bodies were buried at the Kihara army barracks by the police and Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces.

Access to the burial site was restricted to the media and close relatives.

The deaths followed armed clashes between security forces and members of the palace guard of a local traditional king.

Kiir and Machar avoid meeting in South Africa

The Sudan Tribune reports that South Sudanese rival leaders have declined a proposal by South Africa President Jacob Zuma to bring them together.

Officials close to the two leaders confirmed yesterday that neither President Salva Kiir nor his main political rival, Riek Machar, had shown interest in the meeting.

Last week's meeting between the South Sudanese president and Jacob Zuma was delayed because South African authorities had hoped Machar would travel from Johannesburg to Pretoria.

Zuma still to set a date to hear Phiyega fitness findings

The South African presidency is yet to set up a meeting with the board that looked into suspended police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office. The board completed its work last month.

Yesterday City Press newspaper reported that the Claassen board of inquiry had found Phiyega was not fit to hold office following her role in the Marikana massacre in 2012 that saw 34 mineworkers gunned down by police officers.

In today's BusinessDay Phiyega’s attorney Sandile July says she can't comment because her legal team has not seen the board’s report or any official document concerning Phiyega’s fitness to hold office.

President Jacob Zuma established the Claassen board in 2015, following recommendations by Judge Ian Farlam in the Marikana report.

Egyptian judge knew nothing about 68 kg of cannabis in car

The main story in the Egypt Independent reports that Suez Criminal Court yesterday started hearings into the case of a judge who was arrested in possession of 68 kg of cannabis last month.

The main suspect, his driver and an Egyptian-Polish woman were arrested on 9 November at a Suez Canal checkpoint.

The judge, who is the head of a Sharqiya misdemeanors court, denied that the seized cannabis belonged to him or that he knew anything about it. He said the cannabis belonged to the driver and the woman.

Kenyan doctors to down stethoscopes from today

In Kenya the Daily Nation reports that nearly 5,000 doctors across the country are set to begin a strike today in defiance of a temporary order by the Employment and Labour Relations Court on Friday preventing industrial action.

The doctors will this morning meet at the Public Service Club in Upper Hill, Nairobi, to commence the strike.

Dr Ouma Oluga, the secretary-general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, said doctors will not resume work until the government meets their demands contained in a July 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The strike is expected to paralyse services in nearly 2,700 public health facilities — including the Kenyatta National Hospital and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, where most Kenyans seek emergency medical care.

Black market skewing African trade figures

And the Daily Monitor in Uganda says trade in Africa would be higher if the statistics were more accurate.

Carlos Lopes, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has said that because informal trading is not reflected in official statistics, trade within Africa appears to be much lower than it actually is.

Currently, official estimates point to trade within Africa being at about 23 percent. Informal trade, according to the African Development Bank, is dominant on the continent, and is not reflected in official figures.