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African press review 10 March 2014

South Africa's dispute with Rwanda, Egypt rules new presidential election law and Kenyan leaders cut own pay, are all topics in today's African papers.


South Africa yesterday maintained official silence on the reasons for the sudden breakdown in relations with Rwanda.

According to financial paper BusinessDay, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation had made no official statement by last night, more than 48 hours after what the newspaper is calling one of the most serious recent diplomatic rows with another African country.

The argument, reportedly over the hounding of prominent Rwandan political exiles in South Africa, may have extended to Burundi, which announced at the weekend that one of its diplomats in Pretoria had also been expelled.

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

Former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya was found murdered in a Johannesburg hotel on New Year’s Day. President Paul Kagame’s response was that his government was not responsible but the Rwandan leader went on to repeat that "no one will betray Rwanda and get away with it".

As investigations continue, South Africa’s security services tracked down the people believed to have raided the Johannesburg home of exiled former Rwandan army head Kayumba Nyamwasa last week.

Three Rwandan embassy officials were last week ordered to leave South Africa but Kigali has since raised the stakes, expelling six of South Africa’s diplomats. 

The Cairo-based Egypt Independent reports that the country’s Interim President Adly Mansour has sanctioned the law regulating the upcoming presidential elections.

The 60-article law includes some controversial provisions, such as one demanding that all candidates hold a university degree.

The law says no challenges can be filed against the decisions of the Presidential Elections Commission after the announcment of the official election results.

That provision has already been challenge by the Tamarod Movement, which led last year's demonstrations against ousted president Mohamed Morsey. A spokesman for Tamarod said the protection of the election commission is unconstitutional as it breaches the principles of justice and the right to challenge administrative decisions.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The Interim Presidency's constitutional advisor says the newly-approved law on presidential elections is "final," stressing that there will be no going back on any of its provisions.

In Kenya, the Daily Nation warns that government officials earning huge allowances should brace themselves for massive cuts in their monthly pay as the salaries commission moves to slash the national wage bill.

The suggestion comes just days after President Kenyatta announced that he and Deputy President William Ruto would each take a 20 per cent pay cut to help fight the rising state wage bill which currently consumes more than half the country’s revenue income.

According to the Kampala-based Daily Monitor, the Inspector General of Uganda Police, General Kale Kayihura, has vowed to continue with what has been termed as militarisation of the national police force, saying that officers are facing an increasingly militarised criminal community.

Kayihura said several groups are now using civil disobedience and violence in a bid to take power.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Opponents say the Ugandan police regularly ignore human rights issues, especially in the way they handle civil disobedience.

Kayihura said last year's Walk-to-Work campaign, organised by opposition figure Kisa Besigye, was well coordinated had an agenda to take power illegally from the elected government.

The Nigerian daily Punch reports that the Army Chief of Staff has relocated to the north-east of Nigeria to personally supervise the war against Boko Haram insurgents.


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