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African press review 12 July 2011


Police killings in South Africa, the Dalai Lama's birthday and Morgan Tsvangirai under attack in  Zimbabwe are some of the headlines in Africa's press.

Under the chilling headline "The slaughter of our cops", the South African Star notes that, of the 48 police officers who have been killed across the country since January, 12 have been killed in Gauteng.

Last Friday, a national summit on police killings was convened by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to try to grapple with the issue.

Between January and June last year, 43 officers were killed nationwide. The figures have risen to 48 in the six months to June this year.

The Star also reports that the 76th birthday of the Dalai Lama was celebrated in Pretoria yesterday with the release of Zulu and Tswana translations of three booklets containing the Tibetan spiritual leader’s teachings.

Pretoria is home to the official agency of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile, one of only 11 Offices of Tibet around the world and was set up in 1998 by the invitation of then-president Nelson Mandela to the Dalai Lama.

But The Star points out that in March 2009, under Chinese pressure, South Africa denied a visa to allow the Dalai Lama to attend a peace conference in Joburg ahead of the football World Cup.

The Herald in Harare tells us that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has come under fire for making reckless public utterances that incite violence and create animosity at a time when government has initiated a national-healing and reconciliation process.

This follows Tsvangirai's statements at a rally in Masvingo on Sunday where he reportedly urged his supporters to retaliate using violence against political opponents.

And, still in The Herald, MDC leaders including party president Professor Welshman Ncube and secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga were yesterday afternoon briefly held by police in Hwange for holding an unsanctioned meeting.

Police Officer Commanding Matabeleland North, Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai, on Monday night said the MDC leaders had only been invited to the station to explain what they were doing. They were never under arrest.

According to The Guardian, Nigeria’s population is expected to hit the 166 million mark by October 31 this year, just as the world population is projected to rise to seven billion from six billion.

Nigeria will be contributing about 2.4 per cent of the global population. About five million people are currently being added to Nigeria’s population on a yearly basis. The world sees the arrival of an additional 78 million people every year.

The Guardian also reports that at least seven people, including an elected councilor, have been killed in a communal clash between Jukun Kona and Minda people in the Lau district of the east-central Taraba State.

Several houses and goods worth millions of naira were also set ablaze by the warring factions

The crisis, which began in the early hours on Monday, reportedly broke out over a parcel of land that had been in dispute for five years. Displaced residents of the two communities are currently taking refuge in nearby villages.

The state government has drafted both military and mobile policemen to the scene of the crisis.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Petroleum and Steel Resources in the First Republic, Shettima Ali Monguno, has urged both the state and Federal Governments to collaborate on the security situation in Borno State, with a view to ending the serial attacks and killings by suspected Boko Haram members.

Monguno spoke at the weekend in Maiduguri while briefing journalists on the serial attacks and killings by the suspected Islamist sect, which have claimed over 1,475 lives since July 2009. He blamed the on-going situation on bad governance, injustice and greed.

The Daily Monitor in Uganda reports that at least 50 taxi drivers and conductors were arrested on Monday by the police on allegations of participating in a strike.

The suspects are now detained at different police stations on charges of obstructing traffic, malicious damage to property and assault.

The strike was part of an on-going dispute between the drivers and their trade union, the Uganda Taxi Owners and Drivers Association.

The Monitor adds that some drivers claim that striking colleagues were arrested by armed men in plain-clothes, travelling in vehicles with private number plates and tinted windows.

In Katwe, there was bloody confrontation between the striking drivers and representatives of the Uganda Taxi Owners and Drivers Association.

Police intervened to separate the two sides but at least 12 drivers sustained serious injuries.

Police arrested the injured drivers on allegations of malicious damage to property.

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