African press review 15 December 2016

Salva Kiir promises to restore peace and unity in South Sudan, as the United Nations condemn Juba's expulsion of two Norwegian refugee officials. The South African Communist Party is worried about a split in the ruling ANC over who will succeed Jacob Zuma as president. And how does a former government minister from Guinea Conakry manage to pay monthly rent of $24,000 on an income of just $30,000 per year?


South Sudan features twice in separate stories on the front page of this morning's regional paper, the East African.

The main headline reads "Kiir vows to restore peace and unity," with the report saying the South Sudanese president yesterday assured parliament in Juba that he would end the current political turmoil.

The president said national unity was crucial to ensure lasting peace in the country which Kiir said was on the verge of collapse due to recurrent fighting. He said he would not allow the country to be torn apart.

President Kiir further expressed concern about the shrinking economy, pointing out that it had impacted negatively on the lives of civilians and resulted in increasing numbers of street children.

UN slams South Sudanese expulsions

The other East African report on South Sudan says the United Nations yesterday condemned the recent expulsion of humanitarian workers by Juba.

The South Sudan authorities have in the recent weeks ordered the Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council and a senior member of his staff, to leave the country.

The UN said in a statement yesterday that the Juba authorities should reverse the orders and cooperate fully with all international organisations working to bring aid to the South Sudanese people.

The East African says the expulsions of the two refugee workers were the latest in a series of incidents which characterise the increasingly challenging operating environment for NGOs in South Sudan.

South African Communist Party concerned about ANC

The Sowetan says the South African Communist Party is considering its options in the event of another African National Congress split after next year’s elections to choose a replacement for President Jacob Zuma.

Yesterday, Communist Party chief Jeremy Cronin said the divisions over Zuma’s successor may lead to another split in the ruling party‚ which would force the communists to rebuild a broader movement.

Although the South African Comunist Party has yet to publicly pronounce on its preferred candidate‚ it is believed to support deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. The party has been critical of those campaigning for African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed the current president.

Guinea former minister arrested in New York

South Africa's BusinessDay reports that Guinea Conakry's former mines minister Mahmoud Thiam was arrested in New York yesterday over an alleged scheme to launder millions of dollars in bribes paid by two Chinese companies in exchange for mining rights.

Thiam, who is also an American citizen, was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. In an initial court appearance, he was charged with two counts of money laundering.

Thaim is accused of receiving more than eight million euros from two unnamed firms belonging to a Chinese conglomerate in 2009 and 2010 while he was Guinea’s minister of mines and geology.

Although Thiam claims to have assets of only 30,000 US dollars, the rental bill for his Manhattan appartment is 24,000 dollars. He also owns an estate valued at four million euros in Duchess County in upstate New York.

Jammeh told by UN that his time is up

And the Kenyan Daily Nation reports that the United Nation's west Africa envoy yesterday said Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh must step down as soon as his mandate ends in January to allow election winner Adama Barrow to take office.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas said that Jammeh, who is contesting his presidential election defeat, had the constitutional right to remain in office until his five-year term ends on January 19.

After that, he should be ready to hand over power.

Jammeh, who has ruled the country for 22 years after seizing power in a coup, initially conceded defeat to opposition leader Barrow in the December 1 poll but subsequently rejected the official result.

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