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African Press Review 9 July 2018

Improving Ethiopian-Eritrean relations and negotiations in South Sudan dominate the east African press, while papers in Nigeria are concerned with killings of its nationals in South Africa.


Uganda’s Daily Monitor is looking to neighbouring South Sudan, where president Salva Kiir has once again offered rebel leader Riek Machar the vice-presidency in “a new government structure meant to accommodate the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and other rebel groups”.

This follows eight hours of talks at the weekend between the two men, in the presence of Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

“In the new government structure proposed by Museveni and Bashir, South Sudan will have four vice-presidents,” writes the Daily Monitor. “Machar and other opposition delegations accepted the proposals in principal but refused to append signatures on the deal, saying they will come up with a final position.”

The paper adds that negotiations could go on until Tuesday so as to fine tune the peace agreement that will be signed when another conference is convened in Nairobi, Kenya, possibly next week.

Ethiopia-Eritrea thaw

The Sudan Tribune is also looking at improving relations in east Africa. 

Aside from the situation in its own country, the paper is excited by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abey Ahmed’s historic visit to Eritrea, which, it says, marks “his determination to amend relationship between the two countries and reconcile the two nations after more than 20 years of war and desolations”.

This has brought about the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the opening of embassies and resumption of direct flights between the two countries.

“The rapprochement between the two countries is welcomed by the region’s countries and the international community as it will bring regional stability and enhance regional economic and security cooperation along the Horn of Africa countries,” the Sudan Tribune tells us.

Eviction of illegal settlers from Kenyan forest

Over in Kenya the Daily Nation is following the families or some 12,000  "illegal settlers" from the Maasai Mau Forest, which began a day after the government deployed a contingent of security officers to evict them.

“The settlers, frightened by the show of force and a history of brutal evictions, appealed to the government to give them alternative land even as they packed their belongings and trooped out of their homes in the forest,” the paper reports.

According to the paper, some 333 houses were destroyed over the weekend and the situation is fast becoming a humanitarian disaster with hundreds of families “now camping at Set-Apart Ministries Church, Holistic Church and Osotua Primary School at Kapkulu trading centre adjacent to the forest”.

“Their main concern was the maize in their farms, which most of them were looking forward to harvesting in a few months,” the paper says.

They say they have lived in the forest for decades and eviction has left them internally displaced persons lacking food and other basic necessities.

Another Nigerian shot dead in South Africa

The Nigerian press is concerned with recent shootings of its nationals on South African soil.

“S’African gunman shoots Nigerian six times," headlinesthe Punch, while the Guardian opts for “Presidency worries over killing of another Nigerian in South Africa”.

Lawrence Ozumba was shot in his compound in Mpumalanga, South Africa, three days ago. The Sowetan says the South African authorities are on the case but points out that last April “ThankGod Okoro, 30, from Ogbaku (…) was killed by unidentified assailants who have yet to be arrested” and that “records show that over 117 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa since February 2016”.

“These wanton killings of Nigerians in South Africa have sparked a number of protests there," according to the Guardian. "For demanding justice on behalf of their fallen compatriots, 14 of the protesters were taken into custody and branded drug peddlers.”

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