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African press review 26 September 2015

Teachers are back on the front pages in Kenya, but is their strike on or off? Why there will soon be no place for unregistered mobile phones in east Africa. Egyptian security forces kill nine Muslim Brotherhood activists, claiming they were armed. And the Ugandan opposition alliance appears to be falling apart.


"Court orders teachers back to class but unions say strike still on," that's the main headline in this morning's Kenyan Standard.

According to the Nairobi-based daily, the standoff between teachers and the Teachers Service Commission continued even as the Court of Appeal suspended the strike for 90 days, effectively ordering that all schools be reopened.

In response to the ruling, teachers’ unions maintained their hardline position that the strike is still on.

Buoyed by the court decision, the education ministry released a circular ordering the reopening of schools on Monday.

The circular also extended the school term by one week and directed that all mid-term holidays be suspended to recover lost time.

The Daily Nation is taking a different line, headlining its main story "Hope for students as judge suspends strike".

According to the Nation, the striking Kenya National Union of Teachers and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers declined to state whether or not they would call off the strike, announcing they will meet on Monday to formulate a reaction to the court decision.

The Nation also warns that a showdown looms in parliament next week when opposition Cord MPs table a bill seeking to have funds slashed from some key ministries to fund the teachers’ salary increase.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Regional paper The East African reports the start of the process of barring all unregistered Sim cards from phone networks as governments move to curb crime perpetrated using mobile phones.

Telecommunication regulators from Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan met in Nairobi this week to establish the legal and technical framework for harmonising Sim card registration in the region.

The four states plan to link the Sim card registration system with their national identification databases.

Kenya has already outlawed the sale of preactivated Sim cards and put in place registration regulations in 2012. The other three states are at different stages in legislating and implementing Sim registration.

The four governments believe that putting in place a harmonised Sim card registration regulation will help curb public security concerns including the use of mobile handsets to facilitate kidnaps, fraud, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering.

And the top story in the Egypt Independent reports that Egyptian security forces killed nine armed members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in a raid on a Cairo home on Friday, according to security officials.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

The Brotherhood, which was removed from power by the army in 2013, has accused authorities in the Arab world's largest state of killing members it says were unarmed in similar operations.

Also in the Egypt Independent, a report that Saudi Arabia, under growing pressure to account for the stampede earlier this week that killed more than 700 people at the haj pilgrimage in Mecca, on Friday suggested pilgrims failing to follow crowd control rules bore some blame for the worst disaster at the event for 25 years.

The kingdom's regional rival Iran expressed outrage at the deaths of 131 of its nationals and politicians in Tehran suggested Riyadh was incapable of managing the event.

Two Ugandan opposition figures dominate the front page of this morning's Kampala-based Daily Monitor.

The Democratic Alliance opposition group was formed to pick a joint flag bearer to run against the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni.

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer in the 2016 presidential elections, Kizza Besigye, yesterday said that the reason for the FDC's departure from the opposition alliance was Amama Mbabazi’s failure to show commitment to what Besigye called “the central tenets of the opposition’s cause”.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Mbabazi, who was named yesterday as the candidate chosen by majority of Democratic Alliance members, has asked three-time presidential candidate Besigye to back him.

Mbabazi has the support of the Uganda People’s Congress, the Democratic Party, the Peoples Progressive Party, Uganda Federal Alliance and the Go Forward-Pro-change group.

Only Besigye's Forum for Democratic Change and the Ugandan Communist Party failed to endorse Mbabazi's nomination.

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