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African press review 11 November 2013


Hopes ahead of today's scheduled signing of the DRC peace agreement in Kampala, judicial troubles for some of Egypt's Muslim Brothers and cash prizes for Nigeria's victorious under 17 footballers - all in today's papers.

In Kenya, the European Union has been defending its presence in Africa.

Speaking in Kwale County, south of Mombasa on Saturday, European Union Ambassador Ludo Briet said European activity in Africa has been misintepreted in some quarters as neocolonialism.

But, he said, the mounting criticism of Western nations will not stop the EU financing humanitarian and development programmes.

According to ambassador Briet, the European Union is the leading humanitarian body in Africa.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday accused the Jubilee government of interfering with the Judiciary.

He said Kenyans should not sit back and watch the Judiciary being “rendered dysfunctional”.

Raila also says the Bill recently passed in Parliament asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to investigate the Judiciary was “null and void” as it was not supported by any section of the Kenyan Constitution, which guarantees the independence of the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government.

The former Prime Minister also criticised new laws to regulate the media industry.

Sister paper The Daily Nation gives pride of place to the news that the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and M23 rebels are set to sign a peace deal later today in what diplomats hope will be a major step towards ending decades of war in the Great Lakes region.

The rebels, one of many armed groups operating in the mineral-rich but impoverished east of the DRC, have been routed by the national army, backed by a 3,000-strong special United Nations intervention brigade.

Allegedly supported by neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda but seemingly abandoned by their sponsors due to international pressure, the M23 announced last week that their 18-month insurgency was over. They are expected to put this in writing in Uganda later today.

M23, a mainly Tutsi force who mutinied from the Congolese army, have not confirmed that they'll attend today's meeting in Kampala.

A recent editorial in the same Daily Nation warned that the war against M23 has ended without a ceasefire agreement and that some rebels have taken refuge in Rwanda. They are thus temporarily defeated, but far from finished.

In Egypt, the Cairo-based Egypt Independent carries two stories on the judicial troubles of senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Appeals Court has announced that the trial of Brotherhood leaders Mohamed Badie and Essam al-Erian on charges of inciting violence in Giza this summer, will begin on 9 December.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The defendants face charges of murder, attempted murder, possession of arms, disturbing public security and terrorizing citizens.

The same court has set the following day, 10 December, for the opening of the trial of former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Mahdy Akef for charges of “insulting the judicial authorities.”

The alleged insults appeared in a newspaper interview published in Kuwait.

On a brighter note, the Egyptians papers salute Cairo's top football club, Al Ahly, who retained the African Champions League trophy when they beat Orlando Pirates of South Africa 2-nil in the second leg of the final in the Egyptian capital on Sunday.

For the record, Mohamed Aboutrika and Ahmed Abdul Zaher were the scorers, and Al Ahly won 3-1 on aggregate.

While we're on the sports pages, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday announced cash rewards to the victorious Golden Eaglets and their handlers for winning the Under-17 World Cup.

The Nigerian team beat Mexico 3-nil on Friday in Abu Dhabi to emerge as winners for a record fourth time.

Jonathan doled out 9,262 euros for each of the players, slightly more for the head coach and his assistant.

Other officials got between 1,410 and 2,350 euros each.

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