We start off the Friday’s Africa news review in Egypt, newly elected President Mohammed Mursi yesterday swore in the new cabinet at a ceremony in Cairo, the BBC reports.
The ministers were selected by Prime Minister-designate Hisham Qandil, who earlier called for Egyptians to rally behind “a people’s government.”
Only four ministers from President Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood were given posts.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak stepped down and remains as defence minister.
The cabinet, formed more than a month after the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi took office, reflects the precarious balance of power between Morsi and the military, which had ruled the country before Morsi took office.
Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said, who served in a military-appointed government, will keep his post, although Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had strongly opposed his budget.
The military retains broad powers, including legislative authority.
He promised an inclusive government, with women and Christians represented. The cabinet line-up includes only two women – one of them is a Christian.
Morsi, who campaigned on reviving Egypt’s economy and quickly restoring its deteriorating security, is eager to push through his programme with a technocratic government, his aides had said.
In Nigeria, rights group Amnesty International said on Friday investigations into Shell oil spills in Nigeria were a “fiasco”, alleging the company repeatedly blamed sabotage in an effort to avoid responsibility, News24 reports.
“No matter what evidence is presented to Shell about oil spills, they constantly hide behind the ‘sabotage’ excuse and dodge their responsibility for massive pollution that is due to their failure to properly maintain their infrastructure,” Audrey Gaughran, director of global issues at Amnesty, said in a statement.
The London-based rights group accused the Anglo-Dutch oil major of ignoring evidence that the latest spill in the Delta’s Bodo Creek area, discovered in June, was caused by pipeline corrosion.
Bodo Creek saw two major oil spills in 2008 over which the Anglo-Dutch petroleum giant is being sued in a London court by 11,000 Bodo residents.
“Shell have said locally that the spill looks like sabotage, and they completely ignore the evidence of corrosion,” said Stevyn Obodoekwe of the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, which co-authored the Amnesty statement.
“This has generated a lot of confusion and some anger in the community,” he added.
Sabotage is a worsening problem in the Delta, where oil thieves often blast into pipelines and siphon off crude for sale on the black market.
Some estimates suggest Nigeria loses 150,000 barrels of crude per day to oil theft, known locally as bunkering.
Mrs Clinton is the highest-ranking US official to visit South Sudan since it gained independence last July.
A UN deadline for the nations to resolve disputes over their border and oil transit fees passed on Thursday.
Arriving from Senegal via the Ugandan capital Kampala, she will spend several hours in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where she will hold talks with President Salva Kiir before returning to Uganda later on Friday.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will highlight Washington’s concern over unresolved issues between Sudan and South Sudan during a visit Friday to the state born a year ago from the partition of Sudan.
After spending the night in the Ugandan capital Kampala, Clinton was to head for South Sudan’s capital Juba, becoming the highest-ranking US official to visit the world’s newest nation since it became independent on July 9, 2011.
Even while showing continued support to South Sudan Clinton “will express our continued concern about the lack of movement in the resolution of the key issues that divide the two countries”, the official said.