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Africa

African press review 14 November 2012

media

Kenya's National Security Council sends in the army to help search for the killers of 42  police officers. The ICC is urging more countries to join the Rome Statute enabling them to enforce arrest warrants. The Ugandan President's wife is in court for corruption.

There's not a lot of good news on the Kenyan front pages.

The Standard gives pride of place to yesterday's decision by the National Security Council to send army units to Samburu County to help police pursue bandits who killed at least 42 officers in a weekend ambush.

In a separate story, the Nairobi-based daily says national outrage continues to rise over the casual manner in which the State has handled the killings, particularly leaving the bodies of dead officers to rot in trucks outside a primary school for four days after the massacre. President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday commissioned a new commuter train service in Nairobi but though prayers were said for the police officers killed, he did not mention them in his speech.

Yesterday, two missing officers were rescued in the Suguta Valley. A number of policemen are still unaccounted for.

According to sister paper, the Daily Nation, the trouble began on 20 October, when Turkana warriors raided their Samburu neighbours and stole more than 500 cattle and goats. The Samburu struck in a revenge attack and drove away 297 camels.

The government responded by sending a contingent of the paramilitary General Service Unit, regular and Administration Police officers, who were ambushed, resulting in the weekend massacre.

Police have meanwhile arrested a local civic leader in connection with the attacks.

The Nachola ward councillor was taken into custody on suspicion that he and another man, also a civic official, incited the Samburu and Turkana communities to fight one another for unknown reasons.

The Standard also reports that the International Criminal Court has started pushing more countries to sign the Rome Statute and to renew cooperation that would see arrest warrants enforced.

Representatives of ICC member states are meeting in The Hague today to take part in a review conference.

Today's talks will centre on a plan of action aimed at achieving full universality of the statute, which created the court in July 2002 to try crimes of concern to the international community.

Several countries, including the United States, Russia, China and India are yet to recognise the ICC, slowing the court’s ability to exercise criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes.

Suspects indicted by the court like Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, are yet to be arrested, a situation ICC officials blame on non-cooperation by some member states.

Thirty-three out of the current 121 members are African countries.

In Uganda, former State minister for Health Mike Mukula yesterday told the Anti-Corruption Court that first lady Janet Kataha Museveni asked for and her office to be given the shilling equivalent of 16,000 euros of funds meant for the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation programme.

Mukula is himself charged with stealing about 63,000 euros from the same programme.

The main story in the Johannesburg-based business paper, BusinessDay, says South Africa’s platinum production has fallen to an 11-year low, pushing the global market into a deficit as strikes, safety stoppages and mine closures cut production from the world’s largest supplier, Amplats.

Anglo American Platinum lost at least 170,000oz of platinum during a recent eight-week strike and is still struggling to convince workers to return to their posts.

The global supply of platinum, which includes output from mines in Russia, north America and Zimbabwe, is at the lowest level since the year 2000.

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