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Africa

African press review 22 January 2015

media DR

The UN Security Council is in Bujumbura this morning, hoping to convince Burundi's president to accept an African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission. Somalia has until the end of the month to choose a system for electing its next president. And incumbent Yoweri Museveni spends billions of shillings on trying to win reelection.

The main story in regional paper The East African is sad proof of the speed with which newspapers pass their sell-by date.

"UN Security Council in Burundi to push for deployment of AU force," reads the headline, with the report saying council members hope to persuade President Pierre Nkurunziza to accept a 5,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force and bring political violence to an end.

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As you heard earlier, there has been further violence and at least one death in Bujumbura overnight.

The Nkurunziza government has already branded the proposed AU military intervention an "invasion", so this afternoon's talks with the UN represetatives won't start under the best of auspices.

Somalia is running out of time to choose a system for electing its next president. This story is also on the front page of The East African. The report says the latest meeting to decide between a geographical and clan-based voting system, ended in a stalemate.

The United Nations has given the country till the end of January to reach a consensus. Elections are due to take place in Somalia in September.

In December the National Consultative Forum decided on a system combining the traditional clan-based system and geographical voting for five regional assemblies.

However, a recent meeting in Kismayu saw the emergence a third option which would involve electing MPs who would later vote for the president.

They have a different sort of presidential election problem in Uganda.

According to the top story in this morning's Daily Monitor, the ruling National Resistance Movement presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni, has spent the shilling equivalent of seven million euros on his 2016 campaign in the past two months, 12 times more than his two closest challengers combined, this according to results of a preliminary study of campaign financing released yesterday.

Museveni's spending represents 92 per cent of the money spent by all candidates.

Independent candidate Amama Mbabazi, in second place, spent 4.6 per cent of the total in the same period, with Kizza Besigye, of the Forum for Democratic Change accounting for 3.3 per cent.

BusinessDay in South Africa reports that war crimes prosecutors yesterday lifted the veil on a campaign of terror by the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, describing how children were beaten and bullied into becoming soldiers, during the terrorist group’s decades-long campaign of rape and cruelty.

Former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen faces 70 charges including war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC), where prosecutors described years of brutality, rape and acts of cannibalism.

Ongwen is the first commander of the LRA to appear before the ICC, which has also issued an arrest warrant for the group’s fugitive leader Joseph Kony, who has evaded an international manhunt for years.

BusinessDay also reports that foreign direct investment into South Africa fell 74 per cent to 1.5 billion dollars last year, a far steeper decline than experienced by the rest of the continent, according to the Global Investment Trends Monitor published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Investment flows into Africa fell 31 per cent year-on-year last year to 38 billion dollars, with central and southern Africa registering the largest declines.

A further global contraction in foreign direct investment is expected this year.

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