Pambazuka News 307: Ethiopia: Democracy still in jail

The closure of several leading radio stations by the Somali government has silenced important community voices in the war-ravaged country, a media watchdog has said. The stations, HornAfrik radio and television, Shabelle Media Network and Radio Voice of Holy Koran, were shut down on 6 June, for alleged support of anti-government elements.

The protracted provincial border dispute between the government and residents of Khutsong, a township outside the mining town of Carletonville, has blocked the funding of a care centre for mentally and physically challenged children.

Authorities in Tanzania have expressed concern over the large numbers of pupils, mostly girls, who drop out of school because of pregnancy, teenage marriage, child labour or truancy. President Jakaya Kikwete said the number of primary school drop-outs rose to 44,742 in 2006 from 32,469 the previous year.

Severed heads displayed on poles, savagely mutilated bodies and dozens of deaths have sparked alarm in Kenya as a secret criminal society goes on the rampage and police launch bloody retaliation. With presidential elections little more than six months away, the crisis has sparked a fierce row between government and the judiciary, set politicians at each others' throats and brought calls for emergency rule in affected areas.

Comoros has delayed an election due on Sunday on the mutinous island of Anjouan for one week after police there shot three civilians during political unrest, national radio said late on Thursday. The coup-prone Indian Ocean archipelago was due to elect local presidents for its three main islands. The authorities said polls would go ahead as planned this weekend on Grande Comore and Moheli, but Anjouan's would be postponed to June 17.

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