African press review 9 December 2015

The mystery over a mass grave in Kenya deepens as a US presidential hopeful plans to visit the country. South Africans feel relations between races have not changed since 1994. And the Egyptian government tries to win back tourists.


This morning the Kenyan press is still talking about the discovery of a mass grave in the north of the country. On Tuesday we learned that 12 bodies had been uncovered in the Mandera region.

Today, as The Standard puts it, "the mystery surrounding the discovery mass grave (...) deepened" after no other bodies were found at other sites.

The story has made the headlines in Kenya, so it's no surprise that local police, politicians, medics and human rights lawyers went to the sites to witness the excavations.

On Monday the body of a trader who had gone missing was found in a grave but searches at 15 other sites yesterday found nothing, says the newspaper. However, local politicians, who have accused the army of being responsible of extra-judicial killings,were not satisfied and asked the team to dig deeper.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba also demanded a comprehensive investigation, says The Standard.

Kenya's The Daily Nation talks about Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson this morning. You get the impression the daily doesn't like Carson very much - it calls him a "fake Obama".

The Daily Nation is talking about the Republican politician today because Carson announced he would be coming to Kenya, "supposedly to find his roots", as the newspaper puts it.

Carson, a neurosurgeon, says he has traced his ancestors back to Kenya and Tanzania and that they were members of the Turkana tribe. But, says the paper, the "claim that the Turkana people occupy the Kenya-Tanzania region appears to be another instance of confusion on Dr Carson’s part".

Carson has a slim chance of becoming the next US president says the daily. It seems to think the planned visit is just a way to gain credibility on international affairs.

A new study shows that South Africans feel that race relations haven't improved over the last 20 years, reports Business Day.

The South African paper had a look at the numbers of the annual reconciliation barometer, published by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

Apparently 61.4 per cent of the people surveyed said they felt "race relations had either stayed the same or deteriorated" since 1994.Only 35,6 per cent said they didn't experience any racism in their daily lives.

"The country remains torn by its historical divisions, particularly by a stark and growing income inequality that the bulk of the respondents of the IJR’s survey found to be a major source of social division," says Business Day.

But not everything to come out of the survey is bad news.

It found that, although most of the population mainly associated with their own race, about 75 per cent believed that being South African was an important element of their identity and a large majority of the population believes it's important to strive for the creation of a united nation.

Finally, Egypt wants to attract tourists again, or that's at least what the Egyptian Tourism minister Hisham Zaazou tells the Egyptian Independent.

The country, hit by an economic crisis since 2011, expected to see its tourism sector grow this year. But it now appears that "tourism revenues in 2015 will be at least 10 per cent below last year's", says the paper.

A Russian plane crashed in the Sinai region, killing all 224 people abroad last October. Russia and Great Britain blamed the crash on a bomb and immediatly suspended flights to Egypt.

Zaazou says the country is working on bringing back tourists to its resorts and ancient sites by "working to plug any gaps in security".

"Egypt earned about 7.2 billion dollars in tourism revenues last year, still a far cry from around 12.5 billion dollars before 2011," writes the Egyptian Independent.

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