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Africa Press review

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African press review 5 July 2017


International rights group raising an alarm about an ethnic purge taking place in Burundi's army while ANC stalwarts in South Africa call for an increase of black owned mines to 50 percent.

We begin with disturbing news from Burundi that the authorities in Bujumbura are purging the army on ethnic lines. The assertions by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights lead in today's South African Times.

The paper reports that the regime of President Nkurunziza who is a Hutu is systematically targeting former members of the Tutsi-dominated Burundian Armed Forces, which battled mostly Hutu rebel groups, including his CNDD-FDD, party during the civil war that has killed at least 1,200 people.

Conflict in Burundi would alarm global powers because the fortunes of the country are so intertwined with its neighbour, Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in a 1994 genocide.

Time Live says FIDH has documented more than 120 cases of assassination, attempted assassination, arbitrary arrest, torture and forced disappearance by authorities against ex-FAB soldiers since November 2016.

According to the newspaper, the new report is the first to highlight the impact on the army of violence that followed President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in April 2015.

Meanwhile South Africa's Mail and Guardian leads with news from the ANC national policy conference in Johannesburg where delegates are reportedly pushing a motion to increase black ownership in the mining industry.

The paper says that ruling party delegates voted on Monday for a new mining charter that allocated more than 50% of ownership to blacks and not the 30% set in the charter gazetted last month.

According to Mail and Guardian, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, told journalists that key members of the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee, including its head Enoch Godongwana, have however warned that the new mining charter might result in job losses.

And in Nigeria Punch, says the Federal Government said on Tuesday that it borrowed N3.57tn about 9 billion euros between June 2015 and March 2017 to finance budget deficits. According to the publication the country’s total debt stock increased by 58.84 per cent over the past two years.

Punch reports that Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun and the Debt Management Office did not provide clear budget lines justifying the free borrowing spree when it addressed an inquiry to them under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the newspaper, with drying revenues from oil and gas, the government in the last two years has increasingly depended on borrowing even to carry out routine responsibilities.

And the Kenyan Star expresses bewilderment over a new strict dress code prescribed for public servants in Uganda.

The paper reports that under the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Public Service, female civil servants are barred from wearing sleeveless, transparent blouses, tight-fitting clothing and dresses or skirts which are not knee-length. They are also barred from showing any cleavage, such as brightly coloured nails, braids or hair extensions under the code.

The Nairobi Star also says that men are required under the "dress decently" directive to wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets and ties, while trousers should not be tight-fitting.

The publican says staff failing to comply will be disciplined. According to the publication, Uganda is a conservative society and women have previously complained of being harassed if they wear mini-skirts in public.