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African press review 8 October 2018


All's well that ends well in South Sudan, as would-be jail-breaker Captain Kerbino Wol Agok is safely back behind bars. Atiku Abubakar is back in the running to be Nigeria's next president. And Kampala has been ordered by an African court to compensate a former LRA fighter for false imprisonment.

Regional paper the East African reports that a so-called "coup plotter" has been involved in a jail break drama in South Sudan.

According to the report, South Sudan security authorities were on Sunday involved in a pitched battle with a military detainee attempting to escape from prison.

The report does not give the name or location of the prison.

Police spokesman Daniel Justin confirmed that Captain Kerbino Wol Agok broke out of his cell, but was unable to escape from the prison itself.

The spokesman said the soldier had managed to disarm five sleeping prison guards and used the weapons grabbed from them to blast his way out. Even if he didn't get very far, you have to wonder what he was doing wandering around while the warders slept.

Captain Kerbino allegedly mobilised other prisoners and established a force of 15 people, taking over one part of the prison.

Kerbino was arrested in June this year and held in detention without charge.

Intelligence sources revealed that he was arrested for plotting a coup against the government.

No bloodshed, all calm in Juba's Blue House

The same story features on the front page of the Sudan Tribune, with the South Sudanese Interior Minister Michael Chiengjiek saying the prison standoff had ended peacefully.

The crisis errupted yesterday at the National Security Service Headquarters, popularly known as the Blue House, in the capital Juba.

The Sudan Tribune says there was no bloodshed.

Signs of division in South Sudan Unified Front

Also in the Tribune, news that the South Sudan Unified Front (SSUF) has broken away from the group leader Paul Malong and declared its support for the recently signed revitalized peace agreement.

In the first of two statements from the SSUF yesterday, the group announced that the leadership had decided to relieve General Paul Malong Awan from the direction of the party and the army of the SSUF.

The SSUF was established by General Paul Malong Awan, the former South Sudanese army chief of staff, in April 2018.

In the second statement, the splinter group announced its decision to back the revitalized peace process, stop violence and to reactivate its political activities.

Atiku Abubakar gets back on the starting line

Nigeria's main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has elected former vice-president Atiku Abubakar to take on the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari in next February's election.

The 71-year-old Abubakar clinched the ticket at the PDP's primaries held in the south-eastern town of Port Harcourt yesterday

The Fulani businessman and politician beat 11 other contestants to win the right to face his kinsman Buhari, who got the nod in primaries held by the ruling All Progressives Congress earlier on Sunday.

The Lagos-based Punch newspaper says Atiku Abubakar must now find a suitable running mate. The problem is that most of the states from which the constitution obliges him to choose a partner have already reached their quotas for the permitted number of public representatives.

LRA fighter to be compensated by Kampala

The Ugandan government is going to have to compensate a former Lord's Resistance Army commander.

This is on the front page of the Kampala-based Daily Monitor.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has condemned the Kampala authorities for violating the rights of Thomas Kwoyelo, including delayed trial. The former LRA fighter has been in jail in Luzira for the past eight years, despite having been ruled eligible for release under amnesty by the Ugandan Constitutional Court in 2010.

According to the latest order, Kwoyelo should be compensated according to “international standards.”