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African press review 24 May 2018

4 min

Opposition factions in South Sudan reject a power-sharing proposal by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development. Former South African president Jacob Zuma is broke. The Egyptian army denies claims by Human Right Watch that the military are involved in an illegal demolition operation targeting farms and houses in North Sinai.


Three suspected Ebola sufferers fled a hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the international charity Doctors without Borders.

Regional paper the East African reports the story, saying that two of the patients died after returning home.

Doctors without Borders points out that "forced hospitalisation" of suspected victims of the haemorrhagic fever will not work.

The charity says there is a need for greater public awareness of the part played by isolation and quarantine in the effort to halt the outbreak.

Twenty-eight people have died so far in the latest epidemic.

South Sudan opposition rejects peace proposals

The South Sudanese opposition factions have rejected a power-sharing proposal by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).

The East African says the rejection has been spearheaded by the group led by Riek Machar and puts the Ethiopian peace talks in jeopardy.

Machar's Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition spokesman says that the proposal gives too much power to the Juba government.

The proposal from the regional group also excludes key reforms in the system of governance, is insufficiently inclusive and ignores the local government level completely, according to the rebel spokesman.

Under the Igad formula, the post of president and of vice-president would both go to members of President Salva Kiir's faction.

Riek Machar's group would get the post of first vice-president, with the third vice-presidential seat to be decided among all the other political parties.

Burundi may lift broadcast ban on BBC, VOA

Burundi is considering an end to the six-month ban imposed on the radio services of the BBC and the Voice of America, according to a statement from the National Communications Council yesterday.

The authorities in Bujumbura suspended broadcasts by the two international stations on 7 May, two weeks before the constitutional amendment referendum to extend presidential terms and powers.

The BBC was accused of broadcasting content that “put national cohesion and reconciliation at stake”. The Voice of America was sanctioned for its links with certain websites and local media organisations.

The constitutional amendments were overwhelmingly accepted in this week's vote, 73 percent casting ballots in favour of reforms that will allow President Pierre Nkurunziza another 14 years in office when his current mandate expires in 2020.

Sacked president falls on hard times

Former South African president Jacob Zuma is broke.

According to the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, three months after leaving the highest office in the country, Zuma is said not to have the money to keep fighting his prosecution for fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

Zuma sacked his lawyers earlier this week because of uncertainty about whether the state would continue to fund his legal case.

Zuma left office in February with full benefits. He is entitled to his annual salary of nearly 200,000 euros for life, to medical treatment and he has a state pension as well.

The current president Cyril Ramaphosa has told parliament that the state is paying Zuma’s legal costs because the allegations against him came about while he was in the employ of the government.

What is the Egyptian army doing in North Sinai?

An Egyptian army spokesman yesterday denied a report by US-based NGO Human Rights Watch, which claimed that the Egyptian army was involved in an illegal demolition operation targeting farms and houses in North Sinai.

The army told Cairo-based daily paper the Egypt Independent that the Human Rights Watch report is not reliable and depends on undocumented and unofficial sources.

The army statement goes on to say that the Egyptian Armed Forces are carrying out a president decree to establish a buffer zone on the North Sinai border at Rafah and around Al-Arish airport, while ensuring that appropriate compensation is paid to local residents.

Human Right Watch claims that more than 3,000 buildings and shops have been destroyed in the most extensive demolition campaign since 2014.

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