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African press review 03 January 2014

Oil theft in the Niger Delta, 'segregation ' in Islam and a plan to outlaw big handbags in Kenya are all topics in today's African papers.

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Nigeria’s ThisDay reports sharp fall in oil theft in the Niger Delta from 100,000 barrels per day to 40,000 barrels per day. The disclosure was made according to the paper by Delta state governor Emmanuel Uduaghan after an audience with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.

ThisDay quotes the governor as saying that more than 300 pipelines shut down after being damaged by thieves have been repaired and reopened while sophisticated security measures have been installed to track down on bunkering.

Vanguard makes an interesting contribution to the raging debate about “segregation” in Islam sparked by a Governor and his wife who sat together in Mosque during a prayer session to grace the politician's birthday.

Amid the uproar about a violation of a religious tradition, the paper explains in an editorial that Mosques during the time of Prophet Muhammad did not have partitions. It argues that they were later introduced to prevent unnecessary socialisation and distraction during prayers.

While reiterating its firm attachment to religious traditions and values, Vanguard claims the practice is untenable in a society where Muslim men work, eat, travel, shop and mingle freely with women, often uncovered non Muslims and yet with resounding hypocrisy, say mixing of both sexes is prohibited in Islam.

In KenyaNation reports the beefing up of security in Coastal Province following Thursday's grenade attack on a bar in Diani in which 10 people were injured.

The paper says the Tandoori Bar on Diani Beach Road attacked at about 3:30am is a popular hang out for local and foreign tourists. It quotes police as saying that no foreign tourist was injured in the attack.

Kenya has been on a state of high alert since the al-Qaeda-backed Somali Al-
Shabaab militant group launched terrorist strikes against the country to revenge their expulsion from Mogadishu by a Kenyan-led African force.

According to the Nation, Kenya's Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, has warned that the number of Muslim youths being radicalised was increasing, especially at the Coast province.

Standard Digital claims that women are up in arms against the government which is considering a plan to outlaw big handbags which could be used by terrorists to carry explosives and other dangerous material. The measure comes after the controversial ban on wearing miniskirts in the country.

The Standard says it knows many men in “ambivalent relationships” who are cheering. Some complained to the paper that these big bags often contain ‘terror items’ such as toothbrushes, lingerie, clothes and shoes, “items that enable a woman to move into your house in one swoop and start an unsanctioned relationship”.

And in South Africa, the Star reports that Face Book “selfies” could nail armed robbers who killed a family man at his home on Christmas eve last year. The Johannesburg paper says the four men were identified after the murdered man's wife from Rustenburg, North West province discovered that the robbers were posting pictures of themselves on her husband’s Face Book page using his cell phone and laptop.

Detectives from South Africa's Police Service SAPS are using the evidence as they prepare to file murder charges against the gang, according to the Star.

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