African press review 15 September 2017

Rwanda and Uganda will help Israel out of its African migrants quagmire, while Nigerians fear for the worse as Biafran seperatist leader is arrested.


We begin in Togo where opposition parties have called for the country's biggest ever anti-government protests after staging a boycott of a parliamentary debate which had been convened this Friday to discuss constitutional reforms.

Le Temps du Togo reports that the14-party opposition coalition accused President Faure Gnassingbe and his government of resorting to "obstinacy and diversion" in response to a popular clamour for political change.

The demands include a two-term limit on presidential mandates and the introduction of a two-round voting system.

According to the newspaper, the extraordinary sitting of parliament convened in an apparent concession to hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets across the country, turned into a fool's bargain. This, as the issue of political reform didn't even feature on the agenda of the session announced by the government-backed house speaker.

Gnassingbe took over as president in 2005 after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled the West African nation since 1967.

Le Flambeau warns about "a smell of burning" that has filled the atmosphere as it contemplates the stakes of the massive opposition boycott of the house session and the uncertainty hanging over the country's future.

In Nigeria, Premium Times is monitoring the tense situation in the eastern Abia State capital Aba where the Governor has declared a dusk to dawn curfew following the reported arrest of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu and resulting clashes between his supporters and security forces.

A lawyer for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB told the paper that Nigerian Army units invaded Kanu's home on Thursday afternoon allegedly “shattering the house with bullets and missiles”.

Premium Times quotes the lawyer as saying that his current whereabouts are unknown.

The publication reports that Abia State police on Thursday accused suspected IPOB members of burning down a police station and assaulted an officer in Aba.

Punch says that the incident occurred some hours before the Federal Government ordered the withdrawal of troops from major towns in Abia State, which have been under siege since Saturday when the Nigerian Army began its Operation Python Dance II.

The Nation, reports that the governors of the Southeast states are due to hold a Security Council meeting today to discuss ways of preventing the violence in Abia from spreading to their regions and to tackle the challenge posed by the Biafra separatist movement.

In Kenyan, Daily Nation investigates the plight of some 38,000 Africans who fled misery at home for safety in Israel and who are reportedly living in limbo, fearing deportation.

According to the paper migrants include more than 27,000 Eritreans and nearly 8,000 South Sudanese refugees some of which have lived in the country for more than a decade.

The Nation reports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently visited neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv where discontent among Israelis about their presence is very high.

According to the newspaper, the situation is so explosive that Netanyahu had to pose for TV cameras with an elderly woman who said she was afraid to leave her apartment at night for fear of her African neighbours.

Daily Nation reports that because of the dangerous security back the migrants' homelands, Israel has instead signed deals with Rwanda and Uganda, to welcome migrants who accept a repatriation fee of about 3,000 euros.

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