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African press review 27 April 2015

Two people die in political violence in Burundi as Pierre Nkurunziza announces his intention to stand for third term in office, young prisoners are starving in Uganda and some Kenyans are worried about the high cost of living.


Two people died yesterday during clashes between protestors and police in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.

According to the news agency Ecofin, the demonstrations followed the announcement by President Pierre Nkurunziza that he will stand for a third term. Opposition figures have described that decision as unconstitutional but Nkurunziza has been chosen as the official candidiate of his party, the CNDD-FDD.

According to the Reuters news agency, Burundi’s constitution says the president is elected for a five-year term that can be renewed only once. But Nkurunziza’s supporters say his first term should not count because he was chosen by parliament rather than by popular vote.

The opposition claim that Sunday's deaths were caused not by the police, but by armed ruling-party militia.

African leaders and several Western nations have urged Nkurunziza not to run.

In South Africa the main story in financial paper BusinessDay says the Pretoria government is committed to good relations with Nigeria, despite the recent recall of Nigerian diplomats.

Last week Abuja recalled its ambassador to Pretoria in the wake of attacks on immigrants.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

At least seven people have been killed over the last month in a wave of xenophobic violence centred on areas of Durban and Johannesburg. South Africa has been criticised by several governments, including China, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, for failing to protect foreigners from armed mobs.

As the Nepal disaster dominates many African front pages, the Johannesburg-based BusinessDay reports that it took Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi less than 15 minutes to take action to help the neighbouring country after the worst earthquake in 80 years. India dispatched a military plane and disaster management personnel.

Saturday’s earthquake killed at least 34 people in India, 23 of them in Bihar, one of the nation’s poorest states.

The main story in the Kenyan Daily Nation says that the high cost living, corruption and unemployment are the three biggest challenges facing the country, according to a new opinion poll.

Twenty six per cent of the 1,964 people interviewed said that inflation was the biggest problem, followed by corruption and unemployment. Insecurity and hunger/drought tied at fourth place with 11 per cent of the respondents saying this was the biggest problem in the country.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Of those interviewed, 32 per cent who felt that the high cost of living was the biggest problem, also said they supported the Opposition alliance, Cord, while 23 per cent said they continued to support the governing Jubilee Alliance.

The Monitor in Uganda carries the worrying news that at least 62 juvenile prisoners at Gulu Remand Home face starvation because of a food shortage at the facility.

The probation and social welfare officer who runs the juvenile prison said at the weekend they were left with seven kgs of beans and 40kgs of maize flour.

He said the inadequate food supply is a result of other districts within the region failing to cooperate in supporting the home.

Also in The Monitor, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has said that al-Shebab,  whose activities have caused fear and fatalities in Somalia, Uganda and neighbouring Kenya, has been defeated.

In a statement issued to the media, Museveni described al-Shebab as ideologically bankrupt because they target unarmed and innocent people.

The president's statement came in the wake of an l-Shebab attack on a UN bus in Garowe, Somalia, last week. Six people, including one Ugandan, died in that attack.

Finally The Egypt Independent reports that the trial of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, which saw him jailed for 20 years, produced no evidence of his guilt, according to a leading human rights group.

Morsi was convicted in a Cairo court last week of ordering the use of force against protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

Human Rights Watch said yesterday that its review of the prosecution’s file found little evidence other than the testimony of security officials to support the conviction.

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