African press review 13 November 2012
This African press review focuses on the murder of over 40 Kenyan policemen, the release of Mombasa Republican Council leader Omar Mwamnuadzi and accusations of discriminatory conduct against leading oil industry players in Uganda.
First to Kenya this morning, where the murder of at least 42 police officers in an ambush at the weekend, has been causing anger and confusion.
Anger, according to the Nairobi Standard, because of the silence of the President and top politicians in the wake of the killings. And the fact that the bodies of the dead officers were left decomposing in open trucks for two days.
Confusion about how such a mission was bungled by sending police officers drawn mainly from Nakuru, and thus unfamiliar with the rugged and hilly topography of the Suguta valley and surrounding areas, without air cover or even proper intelligence support. Several officers are still unaccounted for.
The attackers are believed to have been Turkana cattle rustlers.
The local Samburu and Turkana communities often steal cattle from each other, and clash over grazing rights and access to water points.
Also in The Standard, news that Mombasa Republican Council leader Omar Mwamnuadzi has been released on bail after spending 25 days in Shimo la Tewa Prison. Mwamnuadzi faces seven charges, including incitement to violence, conspiracy, and the illegal possession of firearms.
According to the Kenyan Daily Nation, Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday declared he would win the presidential race in the first round. This, as his rival Musalia Mudavadi stepped up efforts to form a coalition with current vice-president, Kalonzo Musyoka.
Odinga urged Kenyans to ignore recent opinion polls, saying he would garner enough support across the country to emerge winner in the first round.
Odinga, who is leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, said his party intended to win not just the presidential race, but also the majority of senatorial, gubernatorial, parliamentary, county representative and women representative seats so as to facilitate the smooth implementation of party policies after the elections.
On its international pages, the Daily Nation reports that Mauritania is worried that the fallout from a military strike against Islamist extremists controlling northern Mali could have a devastating affect on neighbouring countries.
The president of the Mauritanian national assembly, Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, was speaking in the wake of a decision by West African leaders to give the green light to sending 3,300 troops to northern Mali to wrest control from the Islamists.
Following Sunday's summit of West African leaders in the Nigerian capital Abuja, at which the decision to send the soldiers was taken, experts have cautioned that military intervention is still months away.
According to regional paper The East African, the future of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) hinges on the position the United Nations Security Council adopts next week on a report by a UN expert group that accused Rwanda and Uganda of military involvement with the M23 rebel movement in the eastern DRC.
The report, leaked to the media a month ago, drew angry reactions from Kampala and Kigali. Uganda issued an ultimatum requiring the UN to clear its name, and threatening that the country would recall its forces from all peacekeeping operations in Africa, including the Amisom mission in Somalia, of which Ugandan troops make up 70%.
Rwanda, which was last month elected to the Security Council, described the report as unacceptable.
Government officials in Kampala said they expected the Security Council, which convenes this week, to reject the report. They allude to the tacit backing of Russia, China and the United States, while the United Kingdom is yet to make its final position clear.
The Daily Monitor in Uganda reports that leading oil industry players, including Tullow Oil, are facing accusations of unfair and discriminatory conduct, intended to push Ugandan-owned service providers out of the lucrative oil sector.
It is alleged that contracts worth hundreds of millions opf euros have been withdrawn from Ugandan-owned businesses and passed on to foreign firms.
A parliamentary committee was also informed of the continued awarding of lucrative and long term contracts to foreign-owned companies for services which could be provided by Ugandan firms.