African press review 17 January 2017

The East African reports this morning that the African Union was tasked with averting genocide in South Sudan.

An investigator into the violence that erupted in the country three years ago has said that the African Union, not the United Nations, should establish a trusteeship in the country to avert what human-rights groups fear is a looming genocide.

Mahmood Mamdani, a member of the African Union Commission of Inquiry that investigated the fighting in 2013 said that “South Sudan is not a failed state but a failed transition.”

It needs a second transition, he says, this time under an authority other than the United States, Britain and Norway or IGAD, whose members have conflicting interests in South Sudan.

He concluded by saying that the African Union was the one body with the political credibility to take charge of a second transitional process.

Its credibility rides on its all-Africa composition and the record of its High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Suda, he said.

Last month, the Commission of Inquiry warned that the country was “on the brink of catastrophe” because all the elements for genocide  being created.

The East African also reports on the fact that Burundi began the process of withdrawing its troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) on Monday due to a dispute with the EU over the payment of wages.

Amisom salaries are paid by the EU but have not been received in Bujumbura for months as European diplomats seek to avoid sending money directly to a government against which the bloc imposed sanctions in response to a nearly two-year-long political crisis.

The EU wants to pay the salaries, worth five million euros per month, directly to the troops.

But with no agreement yet made, President Pierre Nkurunziza has instructed his foreign and defence ministers to begin the process of withdrawing Burundi’s 5,400 soldiers, roughly one quarter of the Amisom total.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s the Daily Nation headlines “poor voter turnout on first day of drive.”

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Jubilee and opposition leaders went all out to encourage Kenyans to register as voters for the upcoming August 8 general election – as the month-long exercise kicked off on Monday.

Opposition Cord leader Raila Odinga told supporters feeling disenfranchised by vote-rigging of the past elections and urged them to play their part “and leave the rest to him.”

His voter registration tours that began in Nairobi slums on Monday will continue to the rest of his strongholds.

It is aimed at ensuring about five million people in Cord strongholds to achieve high voter registration

This echoes an article in The Standard, which headlines with an MP who has called on women in Opposition strongholds to withhold sex from men who have not registered as voters.

Mombasa female representative Mishi Mboko urged women in the country to deny their spouses sex to force them to go for voter’s cards in readiness for the August 8 elections.

Mboko said sex was a powerful weapon to make reluctant men rush to register and force their spouses into taking the countrywide voter registration seriously.

Uganda’s The Monitor has a story ahead of Donald Trump’s swearing in as America’s 45th president. The transition team of the US President-elect has asked whether it was worthwhile for the US government to continue funding the fight against Lord’s Resistance Army rebels and Al-Shabaab.

This is contained in a questionnaire the team sent to the US State Department, the contents of which were published by the New York Times over the weekend.

The document says that the “US has been hunting [Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group leader Joseph] Kony for years, and asks “ if is it worth the effort?”.

“The LRA has never attacked US interests, why should we care? Is it worth the huge cash outlays?” it adds.

The paper says it’s not clear how much the US spends on the operations against LRA but Washington announced a $5 million reward in 2013 for information about Kony who is wanted by the International Criminal Court over war crimes.

Source: rfi afrique