African press review 28 February 2017

Why have army top brass and a government minister resigned in South Sudan? Why has the Southern African Development Community refused to admit Burundi? What has Thabo Mbeki to say about the latest wave of attacks against foreigners in South Africa? And can you name the world's fastest-growing city?


South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, has an army rebellion on his hands.

That's the main story in regional paper the East African this morning.

According to the report, the South Sudanese leader is facing a series of defections from the army as members of other ethnic groups accuse him of favouring his Dinka community in promotions.

In the past two weeks, three top Sudan People's Liberation Army commanders and a government minister have resigned, accusing President Kiir of nepotism.

The government has dismissed the claims of tribalism as a smokescreen.

General Thomas Cirillo, the deputy general chief of staff for logistics, was the first to resign, claiming the military was dominated by Dinkas. He said the current conflict is “tribally engineered” and blamed the government for orchestrating the violations of the August 2015 peace agreement that resulted in fighting in Juba last July.

Colonel Khalid Ono Loki, who headed the military court in Juba, and Minister for Labour and Public Service Gabriel Duop Lam, have also resigned, accusing President Kiir of failing to implement the August 2015 peace deal.

Loki described the justice system as “arbitrary, corrupt and discriminatory” against those who do not belong to the president’s Dinka ethnic group.

The latest to resign is Brigadier-General Kamila Otwari Aleardo, a former commander of the Logistics Support Brigade, who says South Sudan is suffering from “the cancer of tribalism.”

Muhammadu Buhari is alive and well and living in London

Nigeria's president is not critically ill and he's not in hospital. That's the headline to the main story in this morning's Lagos-based Guardian.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is quoted as saying President Muhammadu Buhari is neither critically ill nor in a life threatening situation and there is no cause for alarm.

The Nigerian leader is in London for what have been described as routine health checks.

Burundi kept out of Southern African Development Community

Burundi has been refused admission to the 15-member Southern African Development Community.

The application to join the regional bloc was refused and Burundi, currently locked in political turmoil, has been told to put its house in order first before its request could be considered.

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government last week once again refused to attend peace talks to negotiate with the main umbrella opposition movement, the National Council for the Restoration of the Arusha Agreement and Rule of Law   which is exiled in Brussels. The talks are mediated by former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa.

Thabo Mbeki adds his voice to those condemning xenophobia

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki yesterday added his voice to those condemning the spate of attacks against foreigners in Pretoria last week.

Mbeki was speaking at his inauguration as chancellor of the University of South Africa.

He said that, while everyone knows that South Africa faces major socioeconomic challenges, none of the country's problems will be solved by attacking foreign immigrants.

He also said South Africa should not forget the enormous sacrifices made by other African counties in the struggle to end apartheid.

The Mail & Guardian reports that police in the Johannesburg suburb of Jeppestown were yesterday attempting to recover goods looted from local shops on Sunday night. Police have maintained a heavy presence in Jeppestown amid speculation of a looming second round of attacks on foreign nationals.

Cairo's population growing faster than any other urban area

Cairo is the world's fastest-growing city. According to the front page of this morning's Egypt Independent newspaper, Cairo's population is forecast to grow by half a million this year alone.

Official statistics published last summer gave the population of greater Cairo as 23 million.

Other cities with rapidly expanding populations include Shanghai and Beijing in China, Indonesia's capital Jakarta, and Manila in the Philippines.

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