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African press review 28 October 2013

Uhuru defends Kenya's security forces and heads for Rwanda. An oil company pulls out because of local protests. Age is just a number to a Kenyan marathon winner. A Somali radio station is closed by security forces. SA scraps bilateral trade treaties. And DRC forces claim advances in North Kivu ... but will that mean regression in peace talks with M23?

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In Kenya, according to the Standard, President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday spoke out strongly in defence of the country’s security forces in the wake of reports that questioned their handling of last month's Westgate shopping centre siege.

Addressing worshippers during prayers for the armed forces, the president urged all Kenyans, especially the media, to be sensitive in their criticism of the security forces.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Kenya's Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku last week sacked 15 immigration officers, saying they had endangered national security by issuing ID documents to illegal immigrants.

Kenyatta has since travelled to Rwanda for a three-day official visit during which he will attend the third Tripartite Infrastructure Summit later today in Kigali.

The summit, which brings together the presidents of Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda, is intended to fast-track regional integration.

On Tuesday Kenyatta will join 12 other African Heads of State for the Transform Africa Summit, organised by the International Telecommunication Union. The aim is to pool resources to help Africa to address development challenges through the use of infomation and communications technology.

According to an article in the Daily Nation, Kenya’s search for oil has suffered a temporary setback after an international company suspended its operations due to public protests targeting its sites in Turkana County at the weekend.

Tullow Oil Kenya, which has in recent months announced significant oil finds that promise to be commercially viable, on Sunday announced that it had suspended its operations due to demonstrations by local residents demanding to be employed at the company’s sites.

On the Kenyan sports pages, news of a clean sweep yesterday in the local marathon.

Kenneth Mburu Mung’ara proved age is just a number when he claimed his eighth international marathon title by obliterating a strong field to win the the 2013 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon.

The 40-year-old from Limuru took control of the race with seven kilometres remaining, fending off a strong charge from Hosea Korir before winning in 2 hours 11 minutes and 40 seconds.

Mung’ara, who has now won the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada four times, in addition to the 2008 Prague and 2009 Mumbai Marathons, has declared his interest in competing at the Commonwealth Games next year.

The women’s event was won by Ngong-based Winfridah Kwamboka with Florence Chepsoi from Eldoret second.

Today sees the running of the Dublin City Marathon in Ireland and you can expect that to be dominated by a different bunch of Kenyans. We'll have the details tomorrow.

The Somali radio station, Shabéllé, is still closed according to local news websites. The broadcaster was shut down by security forces on Saturday and several staff members were taken into custody. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the service owner, Abdimalik Yusuf, was also arrested.

According to the news site Dayniilé, the forced closure follows the broadcast of anti-government news and criticism of the interior minister.

In South Africa the main story in financial paper BusinessDay looks back to last week's cancellation of South Africa's bilateral investment treaty with Germany, one of its most important trading partners.

The move comes as part of South Africa’s stated intention to reshape its investment policy framework, ending bilateral treaties with individual countries.

The German treaty is the fourth one with a member of the European Union to be cancelled but it is by far the most significant, says BusinessDay.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies signalled more than a year ago that the investment treaties would be replaced by general legislation.

While the cancellation of the German treaty was not a surprise, the paper says, there was disappointment in EU trade circles. This was because there had been a tacit understanding that no further treaties would be cancelled until the law to replace them had been voted.

The cancellation of the bilateral investment treaties   with Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium and now Germany   has caused jitters among investors and rating agencies. There are fears that investor rights might not be as strongly protected by future legislation.

Dossier: War in Mali

The South African daily also reports that the United Nations Security Council will hold emergency talks later today on the latest fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the governor of North Kivu province, the Congolese army has retaken control of both the city of Rutshuru and the town of Kiwanja. A government source also claims that the army now controls the town of Kibumba. A UN officer refused to confirm that government forces were in complete control of Kibumba.

The M23 rebel group has threatened to pull out of stalled peace talks with Kinshasa unless there is an immediate cessation of hostilities.

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