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Africa

African press review 23 September 2017

media

The Kenyan electoral conundrum looked like it was clearing up yesterday. And then Raila Odinga called a press conference. There were violent protests and deaths, as Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir visited a refugee camp in South Darfur. And a man killed by lightning in Nigeria is refused burial in a Muslim graveyard.

There may be a glimmer of hope on the Kenyan election front.

According to this morning's Nairobi-based Daily Nation, both President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga have said they will concede defeat should they lose in the presidential election rerun set for 26 October.

Kenyatta said he had chosen to respect the Supreme Court ruling that nullified his August election victory.

Earlier Odinga said that, should Kenyatta defeat him in the rerun poll, he would accept and move on.

Just in case all that begins to sound clear and straightforward, Odinga later yesterday called a press conference during which he and other opposition leaders said their conditions must be met before he can participate in the new election.

He told reporters that it is clear that those conditions will not be met and that, therefore, there will be no election replay. Odinga said he would not allow Uhuru to turn Kenya into a failed nation.

Darfur refugees die in protest against Bashir

Several refugees were killed yesterday during protests against a visit by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to a camp in South Darfur, according to this morning's Sudan Tribune.

The report says that at least three internally displaced persons were killed and dozens of others injured in clashes between security forces and refugees who were protesting in Kalma camp in South Darfur against a visit by the Sudanese leader.

An official at the camp told the Sudan Tribune that government forces and militia opened fire on the protesters killing eight and wounding 27.

Kalma camp is located 18 km from Nyala, the state capital. It is the largest camp in South Darfur with over 90,000 refugees.

The camp’s residents, mainly from the Fur ethnic group, are known for being highly politicised and supporting the Sudan Liberation Movement, which accuses the Khartoum government of attempted genocide in Darfur.

Al-Bashir is touring the Darfur region ahead of a US decision next month on whether or not to permanently lift two-decade-old economic sanctions against Sudan.

Africa better prepared for crisis than success

Normality in Africa is now a question of managing dysfunction and expecting the worst, according to an opinion piece in South African financial paper BusinessDay.

The writer, Dianna Games of the Africa @ Work consultancy, quotes a Nigerian economist who said recently that his country was better prepared for crisis than success. According to Games, this underlines Nigeria’s response to decades of poor leadership, weak institutions and the emergence of a culture of impunity, forged by political neglect and vested interests.

She goes on to say that the situation into which South Africa has been plunged by President Jacob Zuma, with the attendant destruction of value and values, is familiar to millions of Africans. Rebuilding countries destroyed by venal, self-serving leaders is long and costly. And it is not just about the money spent by governments to rebuild neglected infrastructure, it's also a question of trying to restore value systems, building trust with citizens and rooting out corruption.

The organisation Transparency International says that in 2015, an estimated 75 million Africans paid bribes, many of them to get access to basic services. Many also paid bribes to escape punishment by the courts or police. In Zimbabwe, 92 percent of people view the police as extremely corrupt while the figure in Kenya is 75 percent.

Man killed in thunderstorm refused burial

And the Nigerian daily paper Punch reports that a cemetery in the west-central state of Kwara yesterday refused to allow the burial of a man killed by lightning.

The corpse was refused by the management of llorin Muslim Cemetery.

The 47-year-old victim died as he left his office at the Oro College of Education during a thunderstorm.

An official at the burial ground told journalists that the cemetery management unanimously rejected the remains following an instruction that the corpse should not undergo Islamic rites.

Muslim neighbours of the dead man, described as a practising Muslim, insisted that his death was not an act of God.

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