African press review 18 May 2015

The South African police start rounding up the usual suspects in the wake of recent violence against foreigners. There's trouble in South Sudan as Dinka and Nuer people fight for control of the oil wells around Malakal. Washington is unhappy that Egypt wants to hang Mohamed Morsi.


Xenophobia is still making headlines in South Africa.

According to the front page of the Johannesburg-based financial paper, BusinessDay, more than 3,900 people   including 1,650 illegal immigrants   have been arrested in South Africa during a controversial police crackdown after last month’s violence against foreigners. This was announced by the police authorities yesterday.

Dossier: Independence for South Sudan

The crackdown came after at least seven people were killed as mobs hunted down migrant workers from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Unemployment and poverty are seen as underlying causes of the violence by South Africans who accuse migrants of stealing their jobs.

The United States expressed alarm yesterday at the death sentences for Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi and dozens of others, a verdict which has been described as a declaration of "total war" on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi was among more than 100 defendants condemned to death on Saturday for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.

Washington expressed concern over the verdict, saying the United States government was against the practice of mass trials.

The foreign ministry in Cairo denounced negative reactions to the verdict, saying "such comments constitute unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the country".

Rebels in South Sudan have launched a large-scale attack on the strategic northern oil hub and state capital of Malakal, according to official sources and local aid agencies.

Fierce fighting was reported from inside the town, in what appears to be a major counter-attack against an offensive by government troops.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Malakal has changed hands several times since South Sudan’s civil war broke out in December 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup. The country has since been carved up along ethnic lines, divided between Kiir’s Dinka tribe and Machar’s Nuer tribe.

Kenya's auditor-general is back in the corruption wars.

According to the front page of the Nairobi-based Daily Nation, the auditor-general's office has been accused of frustrating efforts to deal with corrupt leaders.

The concerns were raised by senators and the office of the director of public prosecutions during a weekend workshop held in Mombasa.

The national accountant is accused of failing to respect the deadlines for the publication of audited accounts of government services and state agencies.

The senators say the delays hamper the ability of parliament and other institutions dealing with accountability of public funds to effectively investigate suspected anomalies.

Over at The Standard it is reported that a hearty meal of locust is what experts are recommending for health-conscious Kenyans who want to keep their hearts in good condition. An insect-based diet may also keep some cancers at bay.

Mass production of locusts is easy and relatively cheap and is currently being done at the Kasarani-based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology.

Scientists say locusts could feed millions of Kenyan with a diet high in protein and of great medicinal value.

Nigeria is broke. That's on the front page of the daily paper, Punch.

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

The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has again declared that Nigeria is on its uppers. He blamed the inability of the state to pay workers’ salaries and pensions on the nation’s current poor financial condition.

Amaechi said that the nation’s economic condition was obvious from the dwindling statutory monthly allocation paid to the states by the federal government.

Speaking during a thanksgiving service organised yesterday by the All Progressives Congress, the governor recalled that he was described as an alarmist last year when he first drew attention to Nigeria’s poor financial state.

Amaechi pointed out that the nation’s economy has continued to decline since he made the statement in December 2014.

Punch also reports that, with effect from 29 May, president-elect Muhammadu Buhari will drop the qualification “general” from his official title.

The retired army general will in future be addressed as "President, Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria".

This was announced yesterday in Abuja by the Director of Media and Publicity of Buhari's All Progressives Congress Presidential Council.

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