Africa – 2 July 2015

France suspends two of its soldiers in Burkina Faso over child sex abuse
France has suspended two soldiers over allegations of child sex abuse, including of a five-year-old girl, in the west African country of Burkina Faso, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.
“Two French soldiers on mission in Burkina Faso were suspected … of engaging in acts of a sexual nature with two children,” France’s defence ministry said in a statement.
The Guardian

Burundi president claims early victory in elections
Polling stations had opened early on Monday and about 3.8-million people had been expected to vote in the country’s controversial parliamentary poll, according to the electoral commission.
However, turnout was low in and around the capital city of Bujumbura, partly because the election was boycotted by 17 opposition groups.
The electoral commission expects the results to be announced within three days, but it declined to comment on the turnout.
The AU and the UN have also urged that next month’s presidential election be delayed, but Nkurunziza has insisted that the vote will go ahead as scheduled on July 15.
Mail& Guardian

Top banks and PIC make offer for African Bank insurance unit
Abil, the parent company to distressed lender African Bank, which went into curatorship last August under a mountain of bad debt, started business rescue proceedings on June 5. At the time it announced that it had not received any offers for Standard General Insurance Company, or Stangen, which offers credit life insurance for African Bank loans.
The company announced yesterday that it had received an offer last Wednesday from a consortium made up of Standard Bank, Absa, Firstrand, Nedbank, Investec, Capitec and the PIC. It has until Monday July 6 to consider the offer.
The Citizen

United States Concerned Over the Killing of Lesotho’s Former Army Commander
The United States is deeply concerned about the fatal shooting on June 25 of former Lesotho Defense Force Commander Maaparankoe Mahao and conveys our heartfelt condolences to his family. We urge the Government of Lesotho to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation of Brigadier Mahao’s death and to hold accountable those responsible.
This latest–and most tragic–example of abuses within the Lesotho Defense Force highlights the urgent need for security sector reform, a goal identified as a top priority by the Government of Lesotho in its coalition agreement. We welcome that commitment and encourage the government to move forward quickly and robustly in transforming the defense force into an institution that enjoys the confidence of all Basotho.
US State Department

Lesotho warning to SA
The warning by an international governance analyst follows President Jacob Zuma, who described the security situation as “explosive”, dispatching his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to Lesotho to meet that country’s political leaders.
Ramaphosa’s mission follows a fact-finding visit by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to Lesotho over the weekend after the killings of several high-ranking opposition politicians over the last week.