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African press review 15 August 2018

Is South Sudan planning to let all war crimes suspects off the hook? How the war in eastern DRC is helping the spread of Ebola. More jobs are to be lost in the South African mining industry. And prices of basic goods and services are set to rise in Kenya.


The United States has joined calls for South Sudan to set up a court to try those who have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The calls follow last week's decision by President Salva Kiir to grant amnesty to "those who waged war against the government" in the largely ethnic conflict that began in South Sudan in December 2013.

The US State Department has urged the government in Juba to set up a court to ensure justice is administered to those who have carried out the mass killings of civilians. The organisation Human Rights Watch has made similar calls.

Although Kiir's pardon was rejected by main rebel leader Riek Machar’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition, regional paper the East African says the offer of amnesty has caused concern that the government has no intention of delivering justice for victims and survivors of grave abuses committed by South Sudanese soldiers and their rebel opponents.

War in the DRC hampering Ebola fight

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is hampering efforts to control the latest Ebola outbreak.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has just returned from a fact-finding trip to the heart of the affected area in North Kivu's Beni region, says conditions in the eastern province, where more than 100 armed groups are operational, had created a conducive environment for the transmission of Ebola.

There have been 57 probable and confirmed cases of the virus in the latest outbreak, with one fatality recorded outside North Kivu in the neighbouring province of Ituri.

More bad news for the South African mining sector

According to the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, the Gold Fields company is preparing to lay off up to 1,560 people at its loss-making South Deep mine.

News of the job cuts sent the company's shares into freefall yesterday, with the stock plummeting 12 percent by midday on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The announcement comes a week after Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest platinum producer, said it would cut 13,000 jobs and shut five of its 11 shafts over the next two years to make up for losses.

Lonmin, the world's number three platinum miner, has said it will cut 12,600 jobs over three years as it closes old and unprofitable workings.

Price hikes on the horizon in Kenya

There's a warning of tough times ahead for most Kenyans, as the prices of basic goods and services are set to rise, according to the Kenyan Daily Nation.

The report says recent increases in fuel prices will mean production and transport costs will go up and that life is bound to become even more difficult for most Kenyans, who are already struggling to make ends meet.

The prices of food, transport, electricity, healthcare and housing, among other things, are expected to increase.

Kenyan tax authorities under scrutiny

Over at the Kenyan Standard, corruption continues to dominate the news.

The Nairobi-based daily's main story reports that investigators are currently at the Kenya Revenue Authority, on suspicion of multi-billion shilling tax evasion and payment of kickbacks to allow contraband goods into the market.

Sources said all customs officials and officers manning ports of entry are being targeted in the investigation authorised by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The officers have been asked to declare their wealth in a lifestyle audit that has also been extended to their close relatives.

A similar probe is reportedly underway at Kenya Ports Authority.


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