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African press review 21 March 2013

Kenyan politicians told to suspend planned election rallies amid fears of violence,  a controversial condom advertisement in Kenya withdrawn and the US urges Rwanda to send Congolese rebel leader, Ntaganda to The Hague.That's all in the African press today.


In Kenya, both the Standard and the Daily Nation give pride of place to reports that the National Security Advisory Committee, the country's top security body, has told Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to suspend planned countrywide rallies because they could trigger violence.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The two leaders of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, who are contesting Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in the presidential election earlier this month, announced that they planned to hold a series of rallies on Saturday and Sunday.

The Security Committee said the meetings were unwarranted and could trigger animosity and violence.

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have formally launched their legal battle to retain victory by overcoming Raila Odinga’s petition, which stands between them and the formal assumption of power.

The Jubilee leaders yesterday filed affidavits, according to the Standard, challenging issues raised by Raila Odinga in his Supreme Court case to have the election result annulled.

Remarks made by the Prime Minister over the past 10 days form part of the evidence to be used against him in the Jubilee petition. In a video clip submitted yesterday, Raila is heard saying the victory was stolen from him and that Uhuru and Ruto are criminals who should be in jail. In another, the PM says he won the elections with 52 or 53 per cent of the votes cast.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court warned all parties to desist from further comment on the election results. Under the Kenyan constitution, a court decision must be handed down by Monday week at the latest.

The Daily Nation reports that the International Criminal Court will not drop crimes against humanity charges against Uhuru Kenyatta, the Hague-based court's chief prosecutor said on Wednesday. Kenyatta is accused of orchestrating the violence that followed disputed polls five years ago.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda deplored the lack of cooperation from the Kenyan government and said she was aware of a worrying level of witness intimidation.

ICC prosecutors last week dropped all charges against Kenyatta's co-accused after a key witness withdrew testimony.

A TV advertisement promoting condom use in Kenya has been withdrawn after an outcry by religious leaders.

Christian and Muslim clerics said the ad encouraged infidelity.

In the government-sponsored advert, a woman in an extra-marital affair is advised to use condoms.

A health official said the advert had been launched because up to 30 per cent of married couples had other partners.

Around 1.6 million people out of Kenya's population of 42 million are living with HIV, according to the United Nations.

The main story in regional paper the East African says the United States wants Rwanda to cooperate with the International Criminal Court and have Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda transferred to The Hague for trial. Ntaganda surrendered to US officials in the Rwandan capital on Monday.

US Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson told reporters on Wednesday that it was time for Kigali to show the world that Rwanda is serious about ending violence in the DRC.

Bosco Ntaganda, a rebel with one of the factions of the M23 rebel group in eastern DRC, is accused of war crimes, including the use of child soldiers, murder, and attacks against civilian population, rape, pillaging and sexual slavery. He is also accused of crimes against humanity for murder, rape, sexual slavery and persecution.


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