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African press review 25 January 2013

Masked gunmen hold a Nigerian judge hostage for six hours. UK-Kenya relations are under strain because of a British soldier accused of killing a Kenyan. Austerity hits Rwanda. Goodluck Jonathan stirs up controversy over Boko Haram. And Nigeria's state broadcaster gets tough with sexy singers.


Kenya's Daily Nation reports on a judge being taken hostage. The paper writes that "masked gunmen raided the Nairobi home of High Court judge Grace Nzioka, who is leading investigations into Tana Delta killings".

She was held hostage for six hours. She and her husband were also driven around and forced to withdraw money from cashpoints. At the time of the attack her bodyguard was unarmed as he was off duty. 

The judge believes the attack was that of an ordinary robbery and not related to the report she was compiling on the Tana violence in which more than 100 people, including police officers, were killed in four months.

Dossier: Africa Cup of Nations 2013

Kenya's Standard looks at how UK-Kenya military ties are being reviewed. This comes after a British soldier, who had shot dead a pastoralist, was prevented from leaving Kenya despite a written agreement between the two countries that allows repatriation in such circumstances.  

Kenya is a military ally for Britain, particularly when it comes to fighting terrorism from the Horn of Africa and British troops can go to Kenya to train.

The Standard reports that "the details surrounding the killing [of the pastoralist] are unclear, and no charges have been brought against him to date". The paper adds that this has put a "strain on relations between the UK and its former colony in the tense run-up to national elections in March".

Kenya's ministry of defence is quoted as saying that “Discussions are under way with the Kenyan Government on the terms and conditions under which the British army operates in Kenya.” The British army is also questioning whether it should renew the agreement.

The last five-year agreement, which will expire in 2015, is worth " at least 28.5 million euros to the Kenyan economy". On the bright side, apparently since this has happened, British squaddies in training haven't been getting so roudy and "up to no good" when they hit bars during their time off.

Over in Rwanda, austerity measures are being implemented. The East African reports that the country has frozen the recruitment of civil servants. Ongoing recruitment has also been halted, so, if you are currently in the process of undergoing interviews, that job you've been applying for may be gone halfway through the interview process.

The East African writes that austerity measures are seen by economists as a bid by the government to tackle a budget deficit occasioned by major donor cuts because of allegations that Rwanda is backing M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda denies the charge. The cuts will also affect agriculture and health services.

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

Over in Nigeria a lot has been happening on television according to the Punch. First of all there's an interview of President Goodluck Jonathan, aired on Cable News Network, in which he said that "Boko Haram was not caused by poverty or misrule".

The Convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen has disagreed publicly and many are asking whether, if Jonathan's argument is correct, the cause is political.

Some tell the paper this demonstrates the president's lack of understanding of the issues. Needless to say the Punch's article is full of various angles of criticism that emerged following Jonathan's interview.

The second article related to television explains that "the National Broadcasting Commission which has banned a number of new music videos from being broadcast anywhere in the country". Artists affected by this motion include Psquare, Wa Flavour and D’Prince as well as Goldie, Chuddy K and Tillaman.

"The videos are being banned for containing erotic lyrics and scenes, promoting nudity and for showcasing what the NBC describes as suggestive dance steps," the paper reports.

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