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Africa

African press review 13 October 2016

media

Burundi's parliamentarians vote overwhelmingly to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar is on his way to South Africa. The authorities in Juba say President Salva Kiir is not dead, depite persistent rumours. And influential South African family the Guptas say they won't block a report on their alleged interference in government.

Burundi's Lower House of parliament yesterday overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, reports regional paper the East African.

The decision was taken with 94 votes in favour, two against and 14 abstentions. The Senate, which is dominated by the ruling party, passed the withdrawal unanimously, with all 39 senators supporting it. It is expected to be approved by President Pierre Nkurunziza later this week.

In April International Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she was conducting a preliminary examination of the situation in Burundi, to consider allegations including murder, torture, rape and forced disappearances.

Two weeks ago the United Nations launched a high-level probe into rights violations in Burundi after a report warned of possible "crimes against humanity" and the risk of genocide.

South Sudan's Riek Machar leaves Khartoum for South Africa

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar left Khartoum yesterday for South Africa to seek medical treatment. He has spent the past two months in the Sudanese capital.

The former South Sudan first vice-president thanked the government of Sudan for its hospitality.

The rebel leader recently declared his intention to bring down the government of President Salva Kiir.

His pronouncement sparked a diplomatic row between Juba and Khartoum but the authorities in Sudan have since stated that they will not allow any aggression or opposition activities against South Sudan from Sudanese territory.

According to the Sudan Tribune, Machar yesterday blamed President Salva Kiir for the renewed violence in the capital, Juba, and the collapse of the August 2015 peace agreement which the two leaders signed to end 21 months of civil war.

The opposition leader said he believes the peace deal and the government had both collapsed since the July events in which his fighters were attacked by national army units in Juba, adding that the country is not being controlled by the transitional government of national unity envisaged in the peace deal, but by a “new regime installed by Salva Kiir”.

Salva Kiir is not dead, he's not even sick!

Meanwhile, the main headline in the Ugandan Daily Monitor reads "South Sudan forced to deny death of Salva Kiir".

The report says the authorities in Juba were yesterday forced to deny that President Kiir had died, following days of rumours about his health.

Information Minister Michael Makuei yesterday told journalists that Kiir was not dead, reassuringly adding that the president "has not even been sick".

Residents of Juba reported a higher than usual presence of soldiers on the streets, as the rumours coincided with mounting concerns over an increase in violence.

Gupta family won't block public protector's report, yet

The Sowetan in South Africa reports that a lawyer for the influential Gupta family said yesterday that he will not be going to court to prevent the release of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report into allegations that the Guptas unduly influenced state decisions and appointments.

However, the lawyer warned that he would take action in the courts to protect his clients against any adverse conclusions the report might contain.

Madonsela has been engaged in a war of words with President Jacob Zuma‚ who requested leave to question other witnesses who have appeared before the public protector before her report is released.

Suspicions about Zuma’s proximity to the Gupta family led to Madonsela’s probe.

It has been widely reported that the findings will be released tomorrow‚ as Madonsela’s seven-year term of office comes to an end.

Nigerian economy gets World Bank boost

Punch in Lagos reports that the World Bank expects Nigeria to experience moderate economic rebound in 2017, in the wake of this year's recession.

The bank based its optimism about the nation’s revival on the Federal Government’s expansionary budget. The world lender is also hoping for stabilising global oil prices and increased Nigerian crude oil production.

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