19 July 2017

African Press Review 19 July 2017


Intercommunity violence dominates front pages across the continent this morning. Kenya's president says next month's elections will go ahead as planned. And the pressure to depart increases against South African President Jacob Zuma.

The Guardian in Nigeria reports that at least 37 people are feared killed and many others seriously injured following clashes in Southern Kaduna.

The latest trouble is said to have started on Sunday when Fulani youth allegedly went to a village about 50 kilometres from the state capital to avenge the killing of a kinsman.

Members of the local Kadara community claim that the death which sparked the latest violence was the killing of a well-known Fulani bandit.

Cattle stolen following South Sudan clashes

Parts of South Sudan are in a state of emergency following communal clashes.

According to this morning's Sudan Tribune, President Salva Kiir yesterday convened an emergency meeting of the national security committee in the capital, Juba, a day after declaring a state of emergency in parts of Aweil East, Wau, Gogrial and Jonglei states.

The presidential order does not mention which specific places are affected.

A statement issued after yesterday's security committee meeting condemned recent attacks in Jonglei and Boma in which 30 people lost their lives and 7,000 cattle were allegedly stolen.

Aid deal to help South Sudan's famine victims

The Khartoum government, Juba and the United Nations have signed a one-year deal to facilitate the flow of aid to the victims of famine in South Sudan until July 2018.

This is reported in regional paper the East African.

The agreement is intended to facilitate the delivery of 90,000 tons of food aid, especially to the Upper Nile and Unity states.

Famine was declared in South Sudan by the United Nations in January.

Kenyatta says Kenyan opposition not ready for vote

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country's general election will go ahead as planned on 8 August, no matter what happens.

According to the front page of this morning's Nairobi-based Daily Nation, the president yesterday dismissed opposition demands that the election should be put off if the electronic system fails on voting day.

Sister paper the Standard reports that two cases that target the system for electronic identification of voters and another on the backup system have been filed against the electoral commission.

The commission is still awaiting a high court decision on whether it can use ballot papers printed by a Dubai-based company that the opposition claims has close links to Kenyatta.

The incumbent said the call by the opposition National Super Alliance for a postponement was proof that they were not ready for the election and wanted to sneak into power through the back door.

Arrests follow Cairo demolition protests

Ten people have been arrested in the wake of last Sunday's clashes between police and protesters on an island in the Nile near Cairo.

At least one person died and dozens were injured in fighting between police and residents of al-Warraq island, when security forces attempted to demolish illegal buildings, according to the Interior Ministry.

Twenty-five protestors were treated for injuries. Thirty-one police officers were also injured.

The Egypt Independent newspaper reports that judges have called for the 10 suspects to be detained for 15 days while investigations continue.

Gordhan joins group calling for Zuma to step down

South Africa's former finance minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday called for President Jacob Zuma to resign, stepping up pressure on the embattled leader.

Gordhan joins a growing number of activists in the ruling African National Congress, along with anti-apartheid veterans and business leaders who have appealed for Zuma to leave office.

the president's status has been damaged by a series of graft scandals and he has faced several humiliating court rulings while grappling with record unemployment and a sluggish economy.

Zuma, who is 74, is due to step down as head of the ANC in December and as president ahead of the 2019 general election.


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