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African press review 11 July 2012

Egypt's power struggle continues. What will Hillary Clinton have to say on her visit this weekend? Have Uganda's PM and president fallen out? Has someone been fiddling Kenya's statistics? Boko Haram claims responsibility for a massacre. And South Sudan's football team makes an honourable start to its first Fifa-recognised career.

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According to this morning's Egyptian Gazette, Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court said on Tuesday it had overruled President Mohamed Morsi's decision to recall the Islamist-led parliament that was dissolved by the country's generals last month.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The ruling heightened a confrontation between the newly elected head of state and the military and judicial establishment, says the Cairo-based Gazette.

The court ruled last month that laws under which parliament was elected were unconstitutional. Egypt's then-ruling military council dissolved the assembly two days later. But Morsi issued a decree this week recalling parliament, which met on Tuesday.

Islamist parties including the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which Morsi headed before becoming president, and hard-line fundamentalist Salafist groups attended Tuesday's parliamentary session.

But several MPs from liberal and leftist parties boycotted the gathering.

The house speaker insisted that MPs were not contradicting the ruling but looking at a mechanism for its implementation.

The tension prompted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call for negotiations. Clinton is due in Egypt on 14 July to express American support for the process of democratic transition in the US ally.

Is there or is there not a feud between Uganda's prime minister and President Yoweri Museveni?

According to the Kampala-based Daily Monitor, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has denied reports of any dispute between himself and the Ugandan president.

Mbabazi yesterday said widespread media reports of a power struggle between himself and the president were the work of internal saboteurs aiming to divide the ruling National Resistance Movement.

Senior party officials have recently accused Mbabazi of going back on his word by refusing to give up either of his state or party jobs. He is both prime minister and secretary general of the National Resistance Movement.

Mbabazi said he was the victim of plans by a section of the party to portray him as a corrupt and incompetent leader in order to undermine any ambitions he might have.

His enemies, the premier said, were hiding their intentions behind public declarations of plans to modernise the party.

The Monitor's sister paper, The New Vision, leads with the same story, told in roughly the same way, under the headline "Mbabazi blasts party reformers".

According to regional paper The East African, the head of Kenya’s statistics bureau is set to appear in court tomorrow in connection with graft allegations surrounding the 2009 census.

Antony Kilele, the director general of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, is accused by the country’s antigraft body of failing to comply with the procurement law in tendering for storage space for census material.

Kilele was arrested along with another bureau official earlier this week.

Among other charges, Kilele is accused of paying the shilling equivalent of nearly 100,000 euros to a non-existent company, supposed to have provided warehouse services.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

In Nigeria, The Daily Punch reports that the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, on Tuesday issued a statement claiming responsibility for the mass killings in Plateau State at the weekend.

More than 100 people were reportedly killed in attacks on three communities in the Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of the state on Saturday and Sunday.

The sect thanked God for the success of the attacks and vowed that there was no going back on the jihad (holy war) it had launched against Christians and the government. It also asked Christians in Nigeria to accept Islam as a condition for a ceasefire.

On today's African sports pages, news that South Sudan's first Fifa-recognised international match, against regional champions Uganda, ended in a two-all draw. The match was played in the capital, Juba, just one day after South Sudan marked the first anniversary of its independence from Sudan.

South Sudan's team are nicknamed the Bright Star. South Sudan have already confirmed they will play in east and central Africa's regional championship, the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, later this year.

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