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African press review 29 June 2018

4 min

There's been a call for mass protests against the Khartoum agreement between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar. Rwanda sends an all-woman police unit to South Sudan to serve as UN peacekeepers. The investigation into the 2016 murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo reveals that some parts of the security record have been deleted.


There's more trouble for the South Sudan peace deal.

According to the top story in this morning's regional paper the East African, a South Sudanese scholar has called for mass protests against the Khartoum agreement between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

In his criticism Luka Biong Deng describes the agreement as weak, saying it will end up in the dustbin, just like the 1997 pact signed by southern Sudanese armed groups.

Deng is a global fellow at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and a member of the Institute of Development Studies in the UK.

He says this week's deal means that Kiir and Machar have not only accepted their inability to govern but, by handing control of the southern oil industry to Khartoum, they have also surrendered the sovereignty of South Sudan to one of the most fragile, repressive, corrupt and failing governments in the world, the Sudan government of Omar al-Bashir and the National Congress Party.

South Sudan is still a dangerous place

The US Department of State yesterday renewed its travel advisory for South Sudan, warning Americans not to visit the east African nation.

Potential travellers are warned that they may face "carjackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, robberies and kidnappings" even in the capital, Juba.

Journalists are also cautioned that working in South Sudan without the proper documentation from the national Media Authority is illegal and all journalistic work is considered very dangerous.

All US government personnel in South Sudan are under a strict curfew. They must use armoured vehicles while in the capital and official travel outside Juba is limited, the advisory continues.

Rwanda sends all-woman police unit to South Sudan

Rwanda has sent an all-woman police unit to South Sudan to serve as UN peacekeepers.

The contingent of 85 officers is the first female team to be sent on a foreign mission by the country.

The deployment by Rwanda is a step towards meeting a UN resolution adopted in the year 2000, urging governments to contribute more women peacekeepers to the humanitarian effort in post-conflict communities.

Women currently account for only 30 percent of those working in peacekeeping and special protection missions, which the UN says falls short of gender equality requirements for peacekeeping missions.

Security film gaps revealed in Regeni murder investigation

There are several gaps in the recordings made by security cameras at Cairo metro stations on 25 January 2016, the day Italian student Giulio Regeni vanished in the Egyptian capital.

According to the main story in this morning's Egypt Independent, the public prosecutor has ordered an advanced technical examination to find out the reason for these gaps.

Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge University PhD candidate, disappeared in central Cairo. His body, bearing signs of torture, was found later along the side of the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road. The police initially suggested he had been the victim of a road accident. An Italian autopsy showed the dead man had been hit by fists, metal bars and a hammer.

Regeni was researching street vendor trade unions, a sensitive political issue in Egypt.

Local police have denied any involvement in the student's death.

UN worried about farmer-herder clashes

The United Nations has condemned the recent killings in Nigeria's Plateau State.

According to the daily paper Punch, UN Secretary-General António Guterres yesterday expressed concern over violent conflicts between farmers and herders in countries across west and central Africa, particularly the Plateau attacks that claimed the lives of at least 86 villagers last Saturday.

Meanwhile, the rights organisation Amnesty International has said that by failing to hold murderers to account, the Nigerian federal government has created an atmosphere of impunity which is encouraging insecurity across the country.

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