African press review 4 June 2013

Will William Ruto be tried in Kenya? Will Laurent Gbagbo be tried anywhere? What should the East African Community do next? And a South African mining trade unionist is shot dead.


Judges at the International Criminal Court want to have the case against Kenyan vice-president William Ruto heard in Kenya or Tanzania.

That's the main headline in this morning's Nairobi-based Standard newspaper and it obviously raises the question of where a parallel ICC case against Kenya's president, Uhuru Kenyatta, will be held.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Yesterday the ICC trial chamber recommended the holding of at least the start of the trial in Kenya or, alternatively, in Tanzania.

Kenyatta has also applied to have his case moved to a location within or near Kenya, citing the pressures of office.

The two men are charged along with radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang with various counts of crimes against humanity arising from the communal violence that erupted after the December 2007 elections.

In February ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the court that she had no objection to holding the opening of the case in Kenya or Tanzania.

Sister paper the Daily Nation reports that the same International Criminal Court wants more evidence before deciding whether to try Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo for crimes against humanity for his role in violence which followed elections in Côte d'Ivoire two years ago.

Judges at the ICC last February held an eight-day hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to take Gbagbo to trial.

The judges noted that most of the 45 incidents catalogued by the prosecution are supported solely with anonymous hearsay from NGOs, UN reports and press articles.

Gbagbo is accused of promoting the wave of violence that swept the west African nation after he refused to concede defeat in November 2010 polls. Three thousand people lost their lives in five months of civil war.

Gbagbo, who accuses former colonial power France of being behind a political plot to oust him, has denied the charges.

The Monitor in Uganda reports that President Yoweri Museveni will tomorrow address the East African Legislative Assembly, currently meeting in Kampala.

The Ugandan leader is expected to talk about the progress of the integration process and what the East African Community expects of regional MPs.

Nusura Tiperu, one of Uganda’s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly, said she expects Museveni to brief the community on the recent 11-day police siege of two Kampala media houses, Monitor Publications and the Red Pepper tabloid.

The Monitor also cites a World Health Organisation report that maternal and child death rates have dropped in Uganda in the past decade.

In the organisation's latest global report, Uganda registered a five per cent reduction of maternal deaths   from 600 to 310 per 100,000 live births between 1990 and 2010. Child mortality dropped from 178 to 90 per 1,000 live births within the same period.

The report places Uganda in 18th position of the 75 countries surveyed. Tanzania is in 24th position, Kenya at 51 and Burundi at 53. The World Health Organisation notes that in sub-Saharan Africa where fertility levels typically remain high, progress has been slower.

Dossier: War in Mali

The main headline in today's South African BusinessDay tells us that the government hopes a new peace force will end mine union conflict.

The article explains that the government may deploy a "peacekeeping" force to restore stability to South Africa’s mines, after a National Union of Mineworkers official was gunned down and killed at a union office at Lonmin’s Western Platinum mine.

North West police said a man was shot and later died and another was wounded at the mine’s Wonderkop hostel.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said: "We don’t want to jump to any conclusions but this does appear to be linked to calls made to close our offices and the court decision that we could keep our offices open."

The Labour Court ruled last month that the NUM could keep its offices open until mid-July. Lonmin wanted to close them earlier.

The NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union are fighting for majority control of the South African mining sector.

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