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African press review 8 July 2013

The situation in Egypt, reaction to the Yobe massacre in Nigeria and wage talks in the goldmining sector in South Africa are among today's topics...


The Egypt Independent has no less a figure than the Russian President Vladimir Putin on its front page, saying that Egypt is at risk of slipping into civil war.

Dozens of people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in clashes since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army following weeks of disturbances.

"Syria is already in the grips of civil war ... and Egypt is moving in the same direction," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The paper carries a single comment on that story, from a reader in Sydney, Australia. The comment reads: "Why doesn't Putin focus on unrest in his own country, I am sure he thinks this might ignite his own people again to take to the streets....keep your analysis on Egypt to yourself Putin, you would not recognise people power and democracy, if they hit you on the head!"

Meanwhile, according to the same Egypt Independent, the Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday denied news reports that Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie had offered to halt Islamist protests in exchange for the release and return to power of President Mohamed Morsi.

A Brotherhood spokesman said the Islamist coalition demands the preservation of legitimacy, democracy and the gains of Egypt's January revolution.

In Nigeria, The Punch gives front page prominence to reaction to the Yobe masacre. President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday described the killing of at least 29 pupils of Government Secondary School, Mamudo in Yobe State, as wicked and barbaric and vowed to flush the perpetrators of violence out of the country.

All secondary schools in Yobe are closed as a result of the killings in Mamudo.

The murders were carried out by suspected members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, against which the security forces had been waging war since the declaration of a state of emergency in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states on 14 May this year.

Yobe state governor Ibrahin Geidam on Sunday claimed that the killings were made possible by the lack of a proper telecommunication service in the state.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

A security source in the area told The Punch correspondent that the shutting down of phone relays in the state made it impossible for worried citizens to report suspicious activities and for security operatives to stop the killers

In South Africa, BusinessDay reports that as the mining industry gets ready for the start of wage talks in the gold sector on Tuesday, employers are preparing to draw a line in the sand to end the wave of unofficial strikes that has crippled mining for the past 18 months.

Unions have made unprecedented wage demands of up to 100% increases, while the industry says it is facing its toughest time to date. The Chamber of Mines says that even with gold at a record price per kilo in the fourth quarter of last year, 40% of the sector is either loss-making or marginal.

BusinessDay also says that a slowdown in the world’s top emerging economies will see the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecast this week.

While the economies of the US, Europe and Japan have been hard hit by the recession, China, India, Russia and Brazil stepped forward with breakneck growth rates to take up the slack, and South Africa was quick to align itself with them in the Brics grouping.

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, in an interview on Sunday, said the IMF’s global growth forecast for this year would be scaled back this week - and emerging economies were to blame.

The IMF has already cut its 2013 forecast for global growth to 3.3%, in April, down from 3.5% in January. Lagarde refused to say how bad the new bad news is likely to be.

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