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Africa

African press review 11 June 2014

media

A Sudanese ambassador runs away to London. Peace hopes in South Sudan. Egyptian media look at Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. Morsi’s trial resumes. Uganda hopes to chair the UN General Assembly. Raila Odinga pays tribute to a murdered imam.

The Sudan Tribune reports that Khartoum’s ambassador to Uganda has abandoned his position and fled to London.

According to members of the ambassador's family, he has long been unhappy about his marginal role in Kampala and dissatisfied with Khartoum’s foreign policy, noting he has been a vocal opponent of the ruling National Congress Party’s policies.

Dossier: Independence for South Sudan

Sudan’s foreign ministry has seen several defections since the current administration came to power in 1989. Last year the Sudanese ambassador to Venezuela left his post and fled to Canada. Sudan’s ambassador to Malaysia also abandoned his job and applied for refugee status in the United States.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar yesterday agreed to end their six-month-long war and fully engage in the peace process being led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), the eight-nation east African trading bloc.

The two leaders committed themselves to the formation of a transitional government of national unity within 60 days. They also agreed to ensure unhindered humanitarian support to people affected by the conflict with immediate effect.

Kiir and Machar also agreed to the withdrawal from South Sudan of the the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces, units of which have been fighting alongside government forces.

Igad negotiators have warned that member states will take “punitive” measures should either of the parties in the South Sudanese conflict fail to honour its commitments.

The Egypt Independent reports that Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails say they will continue their strike, which started 48 days ago, "until victory or martyrdom”.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Earlier this week the Israeli parliament endorsed the first reading of a draft law on force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights says forced feeding is forbidden worldwide and violates international human rights legislation and the Fourth Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners.

One Israeli parliamentarian pointed out yesterday that the Jewish state's law prohibits the use of force and coercion to feed geese but allows the use of force to feed an Arab. The same politician said that the only other place in the world where forced feeding is routinely practised is at the US Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

In Egypt itself the trial of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and 14 others accused in connection with the December 2012 violence outside the presidential palace in Cairo will resume today.

The defendants are accused of killing and inciting the killing of three protesters and injuring others in clashes that followed the removal of Morsi from power.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

In Kampala the Monitor reports that the Ugandan government was yesterday in a “confident” mood ahead of Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa’s candidature for the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly. This despite ongoing international criticism in regard to Kutesa's previous record. In 2011 Kutesa was accused in a parliamentary investigation of accepting bribes from Irish firm Tullow Oil

The General Assembly presidency is rotational and it is Africa's turn to provide the next president. Kutesa is the sole African candidate.

In Kenya the Daily Nation reports that opposition leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga has condemned the killing of the moderate Muslim cleric Sheikh Mohammed Idris, who was shot dead in Mombasa on Tuesday morning.

Sheikh Idris is among 21 clerics who have been killed in Kenya without anyone been apprehended. Who is responsible for these killings?

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