African press review 28 January 2017

Text by: Tamara Thiessen
4 min

Kenyan dailies report on a major attack by Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab at an African Union Mission military base in Somalia, which has left several dozen dead. And South African president Jacob Zuma considers ministerial sackings of his critics.

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Kenya's Daily Nation says Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab has killed dozens of Kenyan troops at a military base in Somalia.

The attack happened yesterday at a Kenya Defence Forces camp at Kolbiyow, 18km from the Kenyan border. The camp is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia program.

The jihadist group claimed the attack saying it had rammed two suicide car bombs into the base then seized it, leaving at least 70 dead.

Kenyan troops are now engaged in a massive air and land counter offensive against Al-Shabaab, the paper reports, following the deadly attack by the Somalia-based terrorists.

"The terror group has for years committed attacks in Somalia in an attempt to topple the western-backed government in Mogadishu," writes the paper.

"The attack comes just days after the first anniversary of the El-Adde attack in which more than 100 Kenyan soldiers were killed inside Somalia on January 15, last year."

Threats investigated at Gambian State House

According to Gambian newspaper The Point, Ecowas troops have “Discovered a Serious Threat at State House”, as President Adama Barrow prepares to take up residency there.

The new president arrived from Senegal yesterday to assume presidency after months of political deadlock, due to his predecessor Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to step down after the December vote.

The newspaper cites sources who say the regional bloc military forces found a large cache of "sophisticated arms and ammunition missing from State House in Banjul."

The troops it says also found that all the air conditioners in State House were loaded with a toxic chemical, intended it claims to "poison the occupants of any of the rooms."
State Guards officers who are on site until Friday morning are currently being questioned by military officers.

The investigations reports the paper were "responsible for the delay in Barrows arrival.
And it adds that sources say last Sunday, luxury items, including carpets and furniture, were stolen at the State House.

Zuma considers MP sackings

To South Africa and in an analysis piece the Mail & Guardian says President Jacob Zuma may fire disobedient ministers to tighten his grip on power.

Zuma it says is considering firing ministers who backed calls for him to step down last year and defied his instructions, according to senior ANC leaders who attended the party’s national executive committee meeting this week in Johannesburg.

The pair declined to be identified because they’re not authorised to comment. They say Zuma told the meeting he’s considering the action, and said the government needs to improve its performance.

The meeting reports the paper, "was called to discuss ways to boost the economy, improve access to land and contain rising public impatience with a government that is not meeting its targets to fight poverty and reduce a 27% unemployment rate."

The ANC suffered its worst-ever electoral performance in the last August municipal elections the paper notes, when it lost control of Pretoria and Johannesburg to opposition party coalitions.

Young Zambian gospel star dies

Zambia’s Times reports that young South African gospel star, Lundi Tyamara, has died after a battle with stomach TB and a liver condition.

The 38-year-old singer, loved for his energetic stage performances, died on Friday morning in a Johannesburg hospital.

African Nations Cup

And finally the online All Africa news asks "Will Group Spirit Carry Senegal to Win Over Cameroon?"

As Senegal prepares to take on Cameroon in the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Franceville on Saturday.

Senegal are appearing in the knockout rounds for the first time in 11 years, the paper says, adding they'll be wary of being too hopeful, having previously been tipped for success only to fail dismally.

 

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