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Africa Press review South Sudan Uganda DRC Somalia Donald Trump

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African press review 23 January 2017


This could be a crucial week in the Kenyan doctors' strike, with many strikers facing dismissal and union leaders threathened with jail. How will the new US president’s policies affect Somalia and security in greater east Africa? Are the M23 rebel group back in business in the eastern DRC?

Nearly 4,000 striking doctors in Kenya face the sack this week.

The Nairobi-based Daily Nation reports the chairman of County Health Executives Forum Andrew Mulwa as saying that, once county governments issue the letters of dismissal, there will be no further negotiations with the doctors who have boycotted work since 5 December last in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Each of the medics facing dismissal has failed to explain their absence from work. Their strike has already been declared illegal by a Kenyan court.

Leaders of the striking union face prison terms for contempt unless the dispute is called off by Wednesday.

Talks between the Health ministry and the doctors collapsed last week in Nairobi, two days after they began.

Will Trump force Kenya and Ethiopia out of Somalia?

Regional paper the East African asks what US President Donald Trump’s policies mean for Somalia and security in greater east Africa.

News last week that the new president has asked for a review of the US role in Somalia should worry frontline states like Kenya and Ethiopia, says the report.

Over the past three years Barack Obama’s support for the 22,000-strong Africa Union Mission to Somalia has been crucial in the fight against Al Shebab, the Al Qaeda affiliate trying to oust the Federal Government of Somalia.

Describing the new man in the White House as "breathtakingly naïve" about the threat posed by groups like Al Shebab, the East African says any decision to cut back US involvement in Somalia would be a strategic mistake.

It could also, according to the regional daily, force Kenya and Ethiopia to bail out of Somalia as well.

Kiir optimistic that he can do business with The Donald

At least one person in Africa is pleased about Donald Trump's arrival in the White House.

According to the Sudan Tribune South Sudan President Salva Kiir believes he can have a strong working relationship with the new US administration.

Kiir has sent a congratulatory message to his US counterpart.

Washington played a key role in drafting the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, leading to the 2011 referendum on independence.

The US government remains the leading international donor to South Sudan and provides significant humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese citizens displaced or otherwise affected since the start of the country’s crisis in December 2013.

M23 makes a comeback as Kabila clings to power

The reported reemergence of M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo could present a security problem for President Joseph Kabila, says the East African.

Kabila is currently facing political resistance as his second mandate drags on and there are fears that the rebel insurgents could unleash chaos in the already fragile east of the country.

When Kinshasa initially warned that a group of M23 rebels had crossed over from Uganda and captured a village in the eastern DRC, the Ugandan government denied the claims.

Late last week Kampala confirmed that 40 members of the rebel group interned in a military base in western Uganda had escaped from the camp, while more than 100 were arrested as they tried to cross over to the DRC. Conflicting reports indicate that a bigger number could have escaped from the Bihanga army barracks.

A Ugandan government spokesman confirmed that a group of rebels had been intercepted in the western Uganda district of Mbarara on their way to the DRC. But a government statement did not indicate how many had escaped.

Call for Egypt to avenge deaths in Israel wars

A legal row between Egypt and Israel, dating from 1967, is back on the front page of the Cairo-based Egypt Independent.

The report says Egypt's Supreme Court has ruled that the Cairo government should take all necessary steps to avenge the Egyptian prisoners of war who were killed during the 1956 and 1967 wars and compensate their families for the prisoners' murder and torture.

The ruling rejected a government appeal against an earlier decision in a case brought by the families of some of those who died.