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African press review 28 August 2012

Text by: Rosie Collyer
3 min

A UN worker is reported to have been killed in Somalia. Has Rwanda come of age? And who killed Sheikh Aboud Rogo?


The London-based Somali website Maareg, one of few news sources about Somalia in English, carries a story about the murder of a UN worker in the south of the country.

According to the site, 32-year Yassin Mohammed Hassan was killed in Marka. However, there are no details of how the Somali national died but, given there is another article on the website headlined “Amison and Somali Troops Capture Marka”, it seems likely that Hassan got caught up in the fighting.

Marka is a port city and Somalia’s third largest urban centre. The article explains that, “Marka has been under the rule of brutal extremists since 2008.”

The army now has Kismayo in their sights, which the article says, “is the extremists’ largest source of revenue”.

The East African reports on the launch of a self-help fund by President Paul Kagame over the weekend.

The Aga-ciro Fund, as it has been christened, is not being set up to replace the aid suspended by the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands last month, the paper says.

Instead the initiative should be compared to the gacaca court system, set up by Rwandans to deal with thousands of suspects in the 1998 genocide.

So far Rwandans have donated two million dollars to the fund, which is aimed at restoring dignity in the east African nation according to the paper. It quotes Kagame as saying, ““Development of our country is the responsibility of all Rwandans, young or old,” and that, “no country has ever progressed while depending on others.”

You may remember Rwanda ’s foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, responding to the withdrawal of foreign aid due to her country’s alleged support for rebels in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo. She expressed her tiredness with Western nations treating their African counterparts like children when it comes to aid.

So it seems this initiative is born out of Rwanda ’s coming of age.

Clashes in Mombasa between Muslim youths and the authorities are all over the Kenyan papers.

The unrest erupted after the murder of an Islamic preacher. The Nation speaks to his wife, Haniya Said Sagal, who tells the journalist that her husband was being trailed by police two weeks ago.

The paper does not speculate about who may have killed Sheikh Aboud Rogo but rather sticks with the official line, which is that he was shot by unknown gunmen.

The article gives some background information about Rogo, but not much, just where he preached. Instead the journalist quotes directly from a UN Report that accuses Sheikh Rogo of having, “used the extremist group as a pathway for radicalisation and recruitment of principally Kiswahili-speaking Africans for carrying out violent militant activity in Somalia ”.

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