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African press review 7 August 2013

In Africa, compensation looms for victims of the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Kenya and Tanzania; South Africa reopens specialised sexual offences courts; and a beauty pageant to boost tourism in Uganda.

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Kenya’s Daily Nation reports that some 500 Kenyans who were injured or otherwise affected by the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi could finally be compensated, after a 15-year wait.

 

The daily reports that the lawyer representing the victims of the attack declared he was “absolutely confident” in a favourable outcome in the Kenyans’ long awaited compensation.

The paper quoted the Washington-based lawyer as saying a US court could soon rule that his clients are entitled to share up to 15 million euros. The payments would come from assets seized from al-Qaeda.

The terrorist organisation was blamed for the simultaneous terrorist attacks that also targeted the US embassy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, killing 212 Kenyans, 12 Americans and 10 Tanzanians.

South Africa’s Justice Minister Jeff Radebe announced the country’s justice department has begun implementing steps to reopen specialised sexual offences courts, reports the Mail and Guardian.

In what the daily refers to as “a curious case of two steps forward, two steps back” the South African justice department is planning to reinstitute sexual offences courts.

These courts had been closed by the former government, despite a 62% conviction rate at sexual offences courts amid a rise in sexual violence against women and children in the country.

A study conducted by the South African Ministry of Justice has concluded that the country’s current court system requires special courts to ensure an adequate response to the needs of sexual offence victims, reports the daily.

It adds that the re-establishment of these special-case courts will enforce a more effective and responsive court system, centred on the victim.

And staying on the topic of sexual offence, in Akure, Nigeria, angry students took to the streets yesterday protesting the alleged rape of their female comrades, the national daily Leadership reports.

The students of the Federal College of Agriculture in Akure took to the streets to demand justice for three female students how were reportedly raped on campus early on Tuesday morning.

The students demanded the arrest of the rapists, says the paper, as well as an investigation into the campus chief security officer, who allegedly allowed one of the criminals to escape whilst under his custody.

The protests turned violent after the group’s grievances were ignored by the school’s head, as the students demanded for change, claiming that the few security officers on campus can no longer guarantee the safety of students and staff living at the school.

And finally in Uganda, the national Daily Monitor reports on the country’s ministry of Tourism, which has embarked on several campaigns to boost the industry, including reviving a well received Miss Tourism pageant.

Maria Mutagamba - Uganda’s Minister for Tourism – explains to the Monitor that tourism needs to promote more than just the country’s wildlife, but also its beauty and culture, which will both be embodied by Miss Tourism Uganda.

This is just one of many attempts by Uganda to promote its country’s tourism both internationally and locally, says the paper, as it represents the leading foreign earner for the county, with bird tourism alone earning $6 million a year.

 

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