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African press review 4 May 2018

What will the death of Afonso Dhlakama mean for the peace process in Mozambique? Sudan and Ethiopia have decided that the Renaissance Dam is a good thing. Egypt remains unsure. Uganda's Yoweri Museveni wants the rival factions in South Sudan to start acting like brothers.


The death of Mozambique's veteran rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama dominates this morning's African front pages.

Regional paper the East African describes the 65-year-old leader of the opposition Renamo party as having played a key role in the Mozambique's developing peace process.

Constitutional reforms agreed at a meeting between Dhlakama and President Filipe Nyusi are currently under debate in parliament.

Mozambique is due to hold presidential, legislative and provincial elections in October 2019.

Paris daily Le Monde salutes Dhlakama as "Africa's last rebel", suggesting that his death throws a cloud of uncertainty over the peace negotiations with the Frelimo government.

More trouble over that damned dam

Sudanese and Ethiopian leaders have confirmed their commitment to resolving the dispute with Egypt over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project.

This is also on the front page of the East African.

The Sudanese president, Omar Al Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, at a meeting in Khartoum, reiterated their commitment to the 2015 tripartite principles signed with Egypt.

Talks held in Khartoum between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt last month failed to achieve a breakthrough on the question of the impact of the dam on downstream users of Nile water.

Al Bashir also said the border problems between his country and Ethiopia have been resolved.

Arab water is indivisible

The Ethiopian Dam also tops the front page of the Egypt Independent in Cairo.

There we have the Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit stressing that Arab water security is indivisible and calling on Ethiopia to show sufficient openness in negotiations concerning the construction and operation of the controversial dam.

Aboul Gheit has called on Ethiopia to maintain the principles of “good will” and transparency during the negotiations on the sharing of water resources, and to ignore the threat of water conflicts predicted by many in the region.

US cuts Kenyan family planning clinic funding

Kenya's longest-established family planning clinic has lost 60 percent of its budget for defying a decision by the Trump administration in the United States forbidding women's health providers from offering information or services related to abortion.

Family Health Options Kenya has been forced to close one of its 14 clinics and curtail services at others due to US funding cuts amounting to Sh200 million (two million euros), according to a report broadcast by the Washington-based National Public Radio service.

HIV treatments, cancer screenings, post-natal care and vaccinations are among the services Family Health Options may be unable to provide due to the budget cut.

Museveni in Juba after meeting South Sudan faction

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni is in the South Sudanese capital Juba to meet President Salva Kiir. This, says the Kampala-based Daily Monitor, follows Wednesday's meeting of the Ugandan leader with members of the South Sudan opposition on Wednesday night.

Yesterday visiting members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition said they had briefed Museveni on the challenges they were facing in the peace talks due to resume on 17 May. Rebel leader Riek Machar’s wife Angelian Jany Teny, who is part of 10-member delegation, praised Museveni for his “warm reception”. Machar himself is under house arrest in South Africa.

Call for unity in South Sudan

The Sudan Tribune reports that president Museveni has called on the rival factions in the South Sudan ruling party to unite.

Museveni made his remarks while addressing the National Liberation Council meeting of the SPLM in the capital, Juba, Thursday. He said force should be the last resort and that violence was for enemies, not for brothers.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement is currently divided in three. There is the faction loyal to President Salva Kiir, the SPLM-In-Opposition, led by former first vice-president Riek Machar, and a third made up of party officials detained when the conflict began in December 2013.

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