African press review 30 November 2015

6 min

UN Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon wants to send more peacekeepers to South Sudan. As the Roman Catholic Pope Francis wraps up his African visit, his Coptic counterpart Tawadros II is in hot water for a day-trip to Jerusalem. And the weekend's elections in Burkina Faso raise hopes of change.


Regional paper The East African reports that peace remains to be established in South Sudan nearly two years after the start of a civil war, according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Dossier: Independence for South Sudan

Responding to continued insecurity in much of the country, the UN leader urged the Security Council to approve deployment of an additional 1,100 peacekeepers and to augment the air support available to the 12,500 UN troops and police personnel already stationed in the country.

The expansion of the UN Mission in South Sudan is needed to protect the nearly 180,000 civilians now sheltering at six UN sites that were not designed to accommodate displaced persons.

Incidents at these sites have included killings, rapes and attacks on UN and humanitarian personnel.

The Security Council is scheduled to review the mandate of the UN South Sudan mission in mid-December.

According to the Cairo-based Egypt Independent, an Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for the weekend shooting of four police officers outside the Egyptian capital.

A statement circulated online by supporters of the group on Sunday vowed to continue targeting the "soldiers of the tyrant," referring to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Dossier: War in Mali

The Independent also reports that the visit by Egypt’s Coptic pope to Jerusalem last Thursday is still drawing criticism from many in Egypt's religious elite who believe the visit violated a longstanding popular opposition to normal ties with Israel.

The visit “represented a rift in the opposition to normalization with Israel,” according to one prominent political commentator and journalist.

Pope Tawadros II was attending the funeral of Bishop Abraham, Archbishop of Jerusalem and the Near East, who died last Wednesday. He defended his move as a "duty".

Tawadros' visit was the first by a head of the Egyptian Church since 1967 when his predecessor, the late Pope Shenouda III, imposed a ban on visiting the holy city while it remains under Israeli occupation.

The main story in the Kenyan Standard has Deputy President William Ruto proclaiming that his troubles at the International Criminal Court (ICC) are about to end.

Ruto is accused of various crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the violence which followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential election.

Yesterday he said he thought his case would soon be abandonned. He accused the ICC of procuring and using "false witnesses" to pin him down in what he said was a neo-colonial plot to dominate Africans.

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The Kenyan Daily Nation gives pride of place to the arrival in Paris last night of President Uhuru Kenyatta, in the French capital to attend today's heads of state chin-wag at the Paris climate conference.

Sounding as if they copied it straight from the official hand-out, the lads at the Daily Nation tell us that the Paris summit represents a historic opportunity to put the world on course to meet the climate change challenge.

COP 21 seeks to deliver a clear pathway with short- and long-term milestones, and a system to help governments measure and increase progress over time until they reach the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

Kenya has promised to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The country contributes a mere 0.1 per cent to the global total of current emissions.

BusinessDay in South Africa says that the weekend's elections in Burkina Faso raise hopes of change there.

The Johannesburg-based paper quotes the head of the Burkinabe constitutional law society as saying that these are the first elections in fifty years where there is a real element of uncertainty. We don’t know the name of the winner in advance.

Sunday's elections were to choose a new president and parliament, with five million voters hoping to turn the page on a year of turmoil during which the Burkinabe people ousted veteran ruler Blaise Campaore and repelled a military coup.

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