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African press review 15 May 2017

3 min

The long wait of 82 Nigerian Chibok families to be reunited with their recently released daughters is due to end on Friday. Seven opposition groups in South Sudan unite to fight President Salva Kiir. And a sixth person dies of swine flu in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

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The parents of the 82 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and released two weeks ago will finally be reunitred with their daughters in Abuja on Friday, reports the Lagos-based daily newspaper Punch.

Parents in Chibok were given photographs of the freed girls for identification purposes.

Those who have been able to identify their children have been asked to come to Abuja to meet the girls on Friday.

Punch also reports that the rehabilitation of the schoolgirls may suffer a setback following a directive by the US government to stop funding the United Nations Population Fund.

That fund is a UN agency which focuses on curbing child marriage, unwanted pregnancies and also provides services to victims.

The agency last week pledged to provide emergency reproductive health care and psychosocial counselling and support to the recently rescued girls.

However, the UN fund’s deputy representative in Nigeria says the funding cuts have already hurt the agency’s ability to help the women and girls freed by Boko Haram.

Ukraine accused of breaking South Sudan arms embargo

There are two stories involving South Sudan on the front page of regional paper the East African.

The first report says the United Nations has accused Ukraine of supplying weapons to South Sudan against an international embargo.

A report by the UN panel of experts monitoring international compliance with the arms embargo disclosed that Ukraine was supplying weapons to the national army of President Salva Kiir. Fighter jets and engine parts are specifically mentioned in the UN report as having been transported to Gulu in Uganda, for subsequent transfer to Juba.

The experts believe that jets based in Uganda were operating in South Sudan during battles between government forces and rebels.

Opposition coalition unites against Salva Kiir

A separate report in the East African says seven South Sudanese opposition groups, including that of rebel leader Riek Machar, have agreed to work closely in their bid to oust the government of President Salva Kiir.

Signatories to the agreement include former government ministers Kosti Manibe and Lam Akol.

The regional paper says the opposition's move toward unity comes as cracks appeared in Kiir's ruling coalition. Last week Kiir fired his army chief Paul Malong, raising fears of armed confrontation.

Another fatal case of H1N1 in Egypt

There's been a further swine flu death in Egypt, according this morning's Independent newspaper.

The report says the Health Ministry has confirmed a new fatality as a result of the H1N1 virus, bringing the total death toll in Egypt to six, including five women and one young boy whose death remains under investigation.

The latest fatality is that of a 23-year-old woman from a suburb of Cairo.

Meanwhile, the authorities have closed three more schools in the capital following reported cases of the virus. Another school in Helwan, south of the capital, was closed after a single case was reported, while one class in a school in Qalyubia, north of the city, was closed for the same reason. There are also 25 suspected cases among students at different schools in the Delta province of Gharbia.

In a related development, the Health Ministry began vaccinating some 150,000 pilgrims hoping to travel to Mecca against H1N1, meningitis and seasonal influenza.

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