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African press review 31 July 2017


More bodies recovered as Nigeria hunts for victims of a deadly Boko Haram ambush in Borno State; Fears of election violence in Kenya as gunman attacks the countryside home of Vice President William Ruto; and Ugandan troops in Somalia pay a heavy prize for their campaign against Al Shabaab terrorists.

We begin in Nigeria where the papers are monitoring the army's response to a daring attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on an oil exploration mission in the north-eastern Borno State in which close to 50 people and soldiers were killed.

Punch quotes the military as saying that they had recovered 21 additional bodies of soldiers and members of a civilian taskforce, travelling with the 12-man team to Yesu District when they were ambushed on July 25.

According to the paper, qcting President Yemi Osinbajo, over the weekend ordered the Service Chiefs to relocate to Borno State, in order to scale up rescue operations and the fight against the terrorist organization.

Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper leads with an attack by Al Shabaab militants in Somalia on Sunday in which 12 Ugandan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission were killed. The insurgents put the death toll at 39 AU troops overall, according to the publication.

The Monitor quotes a spokesman for the Ugandan Patriotic Defence Forces as saying that an inquiry had been launched to establish the circumstances leading to the ambush at Gorowen between Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region about 140 km South West of Mogadishu.

In Kenya, Daily Nation has an update on the nerve-wracking attack at Deputy President William Ruto’s rural home in his native Sugoi in Uasin Gishu County on Sunday in which one of his guards was killed.

The paper reports that the machete-wielding man who gained entry into the house where he accessed weapons was finally shot dead late Sunday morning, ending the 20-hour siege.

According to Daily Nation, Ruto had left the house shortly before the attack to attend rallies alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta, his running mate who faces a tight re-election contest on August 8 against longtime opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The Kenyan newspaper notes that William Ruto's home sits in western Rift Valley area, the flashpoint for the 2007 post-election violence in which 1,100 people were killed.

Daily Nation also says locals, who had been camping outside the Vice President's home with bows, arrows and machetes, accepted to pull back after receiving assurances from police that more security personnel would be deployed to the home.

And in South Africa, the Sowetan reports a bizarre robbery at a Port Elizabeth hotel last week, after managers discovered that a toilet seat at the facility had been removed and taken away.

According to the paper, it was the third toilet seat that was stolen at the Phoenix Hotel under broad day light. The Sowetan says the hotel’s proprietor has posted stills of the thief from the CCTV footage on Facebook, so that patrons can identify the man when he dares strike again.