African Press Review 17 May 2013

The African press is dominated by the situation in Nigeria following President Goodluck Jonathan's declaration of a state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Boko Haram insurgents are blamed for causing rising insecurity and the breakdown of law and order.

The Nation reports that the military swung into action on Thursday imposing dusk to dawn curfew in the three states with air force jets and helicopter gunships involved in the operations.

The Punch says the military have already captured a major Boko Haram camp in Borno state.

The Nigerian Tribune voices the great disappointment of the Northern Elders' Forum and the Arewa consultative Forum over what they described as President Jonathan's sudden change of tactics from dialogue and reconciliation to war in his bid to end the cycle of violence in the north.

The Boko Haram conflict is believed to have killed some 3600 people since 2010 when the radical Islamist sect launched their insurgency, according to The Nation.

The Daily Independent says more than 19 thousand certified illegal immigrants, mostly from West and North African countries, have been deported from the country since the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency, quoting statistics from the Interior ministry.

In South Africa, uproar over the lack of gender transformation in the judiciary persists despite President Jacob Zuma' appointment of three more female judges. Mail and Guardian quotes a recent study which showed that African women make up less than 1% of the senior counsel in the legal profession in South Africa.

Mail and Guardian also underlines that of the 473 senior counsels from whose ranks candidate judges are selected, only nine were women. The Sunday Times says that only four of the nine women were African.

Business Day examines the context of President Zuma's current visit to Russia, commenting that Moscow is re-discovering Africa after a decade of neglect. According to the paper, arms sales are Russia's biggest money-spinner in Africa, worth 10 billion euros last year and involving 14 African states.

In Kenya, The Daily Nation takes up the outbreak of a political crisis following the decision by the anti-corruption commission to investigate claims of impropriety in short-listing nominees for the positions of Principal Secretary.

The paper reports the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is verifying allegations by well-placed sources that pass marks and score sheets were arbitrarily altered to give advantage to preferred candidates and lock out others.

Standard Digital reports the lynching of eight suspected members of blood-thirsty gangs perpetrating horrifying attacks in Bungoma County.

The paper says the reprisal attacks emerged as President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a crisis meeting at State House, Nairobi, on Thursday, where he ordered top police chiefs to stop the spiral of insecurity in parts of the country.

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