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Africa African press review Press review

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African press review 10 June 2017


What impact will dead voters have on the outcome of Kenyan elections? Rebels in South Sudan warn civilians not to travel in army convoys. And why are foreign students shunning South African universities?

There could be as many as one million dead people registered to vote in Kenya. This is top of the front page of this morning's Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

The question of dead voters “rising on voting day to cast their ballots” has in the past sparked controversy, with politicians saying this opens an avenue for vote fraud.

According to the audit by the international firm KPMG, carried out for the Kenyan electoral commission, there could be as many as 1,037,260 voters in the register who died between November 2012 and December last year.

The audit found that there were 435,157 people who had been confirmed dead but whose names remained in the register.

Nairobi agrees lobbying deal with Trump associates

The Kenyan government has signed a one-year deal worth more than one million euros with a Washington lobbying firm with close ties to Donald Trump, the top story in regional paper the East African tells us.

According to the report, the deal links the Nairobi Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Sonoran Policy Group.

The agreement says that the Washington company will ensure US congressional and executive branch engagement to cement and deepen relations between Kenya and the US government.

More specifically, the lobbying company commits to assisting the embassy of Kenya achieve its objectives on the issues of tourism, trade, investment and Agoa.

Agoa refers to the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a preferential trade initiative through which Kenya exports hundreds of millions of dollars of textiles duty-free to the US market.

The president of the Sonoran Policy Group is Stuart Jolly, a former national field director for Trump's White House campaign. The firm employs several other former Trump staff members.

South Sudan rebels accept responsibility for civilian deaths

Rebels in South Sudan have claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack on a convoy in which at least 14 people lost their lives.

Gunmen attacked the convoy as it drove towards Juba on a highway linking the South Sudan capital with Nimule, on the southern border with Uganda.

Rebel troops were targeting government troops although civilians were killed in the crossfire, opposition spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel told the Reuters news agency, warning the public not to travel with soldiers.

Gabriel said rebel fighters killed 40 people, including at least two colonels, in the attack.

A South Sudanese police spokesman said 14 people had been killed, without giving details of their identities.

Somali leader vows revenge for Puntland killings

Somalia's president says the country's army is in "hot pursuit" of fighters from the Islamist group al Shabaab after Thursday's attack on a military base in the Puntland region that left at least 38 people dead.

On Thursday morning, the Islamists overran a military base in Af Urur, a town about 100 km south of Bossaso, the capital of Puntland, one of Somalia's semi-autonomous regions.

A Puntland security official said most of those killed were soldiers.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has promised that the Somali military will retaliate and avenge the Al Shabaab attack.

Al Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia's central government and rule the country according to Islamic sharia law. They also want to drive out the African Union peace keeping force Amisom which is helping to defend the central government.

Moody's reduces South Africa's sovereign credit status

Moody's ratings agency has cut South Africa's sovereign credit status to just one notch above junk.

Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay says Moody's maintained its outlook on South Africa as negative, raising the fear of another downgrade in December.

The agency said the key reasons for the downgrade were the weakening of South Africa’s institutional framework, reduced growth prospects due to policy uncertainty and slower progress with structural reforms.

Foreign students afraid of South African xenophobia

And South African universities have registered declining numbers of foreign nationals enrolling due to fears of xenophobia and long visa delays.

According to the East African, sporadic xenophobic attacks in the country in the last three years are forcing students from other African countries to shun local universities.

Students sometimes have to wait for periods as long as a year for a visa after gaining acceptance into a university.

The University of Pretoria has warned that this could affect the future rating of the country's universities.