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African press review 4 October 2016

Opposition figure Kizza Besigye is back in Uganda after more than a month in Europe and North America. He appears to be under house arrest. The South Sudan rebel faction led by Riek Machar accuses the Intergovernmental Authority for Development of fuelling the crisis in there. And Kenya names Amina Mohamed to run for the top job at the African Union Commission.

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Opposition figure Kizza Besigye returned to Uganda yesterday after more than a month spent in Europe and North America. This is reported by the Ugandan Daily Monitor.

The former presidential candidate, who came second in the election in February, was arrested and charged with treason in May after a video on social media reportedly showed him taking the oath of office in a mock swearing-in ceremony.

Leader of the Forum for Democratic Change party, Besigye claims he won the 18 February presidential elections.

On his arrival at Entebbe airport yesterday morning, he was surrounded by security officials who escorted him to his home in the Kasangati suburb of Kampala.

At a press conference, Besigye told supporters that the country has been in stalemate since the elections.

"We have the citizens of Uganda on one side and on the other side we have a group of armed men terrorising the country. You know I was charged with treason," said Besigye. "However, everyone knows the people committing treason are [President Yoweri] Museveni and his people using guns."

He went on to say that the enemy of Uganda's progress is the Museveni regime.

Igad accused of fuelling the crisis in South Sudan

The rebel faction led by South Sudan's former vice-president, Riek Machar, has accused the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (Igad) of fuelling the South Sudan crisis, regional paper the East African tells us.

According to the report, the deputy mission representative to the peace talks in Tanzania, Peter Oyoyo Kleto, said the regional bloc had forced Machar to return to Juba without the proper security arrangements guaranteed by the peace agreement.

The return of the former vice-president to the capital in July led to armed clashes between his entourage and government forces. He has since been living in exile in Ethiopia and Sudan.

The opposition diplomat explained that the current political mess could have been prevented had Igad paid attention to the key security provision within the peace deal that called for the complete demilitarisation of Juba.

He called on Igad to remove current Vice-President Taban Deng Gai and reinstate Riek Machar.

Kenya names Amina Mohamed for AU Commission post

Kenya has nominated its Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to run for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission, President Uhuru Kenyatta revealed yesterday.

Mohamed, who has had an illustrious career as a diplomat and has been celebrated as one of the most successful cabinet secretaries in her native Kenya, is one of four contenders for the influential post.

The three others are former Ugandan vice-president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, the Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and his Botswanian counterpart Pelonomi Venson Moitoi.

The nomination process for the next African Union Commission chairperson was opened afresh after the AU Heads of state Summit in Kigali in July failed to elect a successor to South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has been at the helm since 2012.

One quarter of Kenya's Somali refugees want to go home

The main story in the Kenyan Daily Nation reports that nearly 70,000 Somalis in the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya have indicated a willingness to return home soon, according to United Nations officials.

That amounts to about one-quarter of the 284,000 individuals who were living in the Dadaab camps in the course of a “verification exercise” that the UN refugee agency conducted in July and August.

No international trade in ivory from Namibia, Zimbabwe

South African paper BusinessDay looks at Monday's decision by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species conference to reject proposals by Namibia and Zimbabwe that they be allowed to sell their ivory internationally.

International trade in ivory has been banned since 1989 but legal domestic markets have continued in some countries, and the convention authorities have twice allowed sales of African ivory stockpiles to Japan and China, in 1999 and 2008.

Namibia and Zimbabwe, which boast healthy elephant populations, had lobbied for the right to sell off stockpiles accrued from natural deaths to fund projects in communities that live close to the elephants.

The convention explained its decision by saying that, with elephant numbers in decline, opening up any legal trade in ivory would complicate efforts to conserve them.

Most conservationists have welcomed the decision.

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