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African press review 27 January 2016


In today's African press review, we take a look at the UN stance on South Sudan, gay rights in Uganda and stars gathering in Kenya to fight against elephant poaching. Plus, a "condom blowup" in Egypt that ended badly.


We start with regional paper The East African, which headlines on the United Nations.

The paper has an article about a UN panel suggesting that the international organisation should place "an arms embargo on South Sudan and [have] the country's president Salva Kiir sanctionned for war atrocities."

"The 15-member Security Council has long-threatened to impose an arms embargo, but veto power Russia, has been reluctant to support such an action" explains The East African.

Moscow argues that an arms embargo would be "one-sided" because "easier to enforce on the government". South Sudan has been torn apart by a civil war for the past two years.

British paper The Guardian takes a look at gay rights in Uganda. And if the paper is doing that today, it's because it has been five years since gay rights activist David Kato was murdered.

Kato was killed in 2011, just weeks after his face appeared on the front page of Rolling Stone, underneath the headline 'Hang them'".

Quoting an activist, the paper says that five years on not much has changed, even if the climate is somewhat better.

In 2014 and law criminalising homosexuality was passed, and then censored on a technicality. But Uganda has since seen a "significant rise in attacks against LGBT people" explains The Guardian.

And with presidential elections looming ahead, the paper says the subject has become "a fierce ideological battleground for politicians".

President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 30 years and is tipped to win the election, has been very vocal about his personal opposition to gay rights. His main opponent however has vowed to fight hoomophobia.

The Guardian says this is a sign that the gay rights movement is gaining ground in the country.

Kenya's The Daily Nation is headlining with Hollywood stars this morning, but the daily is not talking about movies.

According to the paper, "several Hollywood stars are among the world celebrities expected in Kenya later this year to boost elephant conservation efforts".

In short, there will be an Elephant Protection Initiatiave Summit at the end of April that will be attended by stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Elton John as well as conservationists and heads of governments.

But this event, underlines the paper, won't just be about autographs... "120 tons of recovered ivory will be destroyed during the summit".

Forget sparkly and shiny Hollywood. This is a serious issue: movie star Angelina Jolie is even directing a film about it. The latest statistics quoted by the Daily Nation show that over 100,000 elephants have been killed in Africa over the past three years.

But it says conservation efforts have brought poaching down by 80 per cent, with 2015 figures showing that Kenya lost only 96 elephants and 11 rhinos to poachers.

Now to the Egypt Independent, which has a story about a video that has scandalised the country.

Here is what happened:

An actor and a comedian posted a short video of the two of them blowing up condoms and giving them to police saying they were “fake balloons” to celebrate Police Day on January 25th in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square, explains the paper.

This, of course, coincided with the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted Hosni Moubarak.

Policemen, apparently, failed to recognised this was a prank.

But, as the paper puts it, the pair "may not have have imagined their video would cause such a stir".

A Facebook page has been created around the incident and they might even be sued for insulting the Police.

The two have been arrested, for what is, let's say it, a stupid but harmless joke.

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