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Africa Press review

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Africa Press Review 30 November, 2017


The migrants in Libya make the headline today throughout the continent, as the 'slave market' still sends shockwaves of disgust. But also how Kenya's President has some work to do when it comes to forming a cabinet.

In South Africa, the Mail & Guardian leads with an article - “A tale of human traffickers and Libyan slave markets” - in which they detail how hundreds of African refugees are being bought and sold in “slave markets” across Libya every week, with many of them held for ransom or forced into prostitution and sexual exploitation to pay their captors and smugglers.

The article says that many of them end up being murdered by their smugglers in the open desert or die from thirst or car accidents in the vast Libyan desert.

The refugees and migrants - most of them from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Senegal, Gambia and Sudan - are smuggled into Libya by a network of criminal gangs on the promise of reaching Europe’s shores.

Libya is the main gateway for people attempting to reach Europe by sea, with more than 150 000 people making the deadly crossing in each of the past three years.

And the selling of migrants is making headlines in Nigeria, in both Vanguard and Punch.

In Vanguard, one article has the Senate calling on President Buhari to “Save Nigerians from Libyan slave traders”. President Muhammadu Buhari has said the Federal Government was hoping to evacuate identified stranded Nigerians in Libya back to Nigeria and rehabilitate them.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 11,600 migrants of Nigeria origin are facing repatriation from different parts of the world,the Chief Executive Officer of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, has said.

To help, President Buhari promised that fixing security as well as providing other critical infrastructure would also reduce the chances of people taking the risk and ending up in the Mediterranean Sea, adding that efforts had been made in that direction which had started yielding positive results in agriculture.

Punch goes even further. Since the Senate has begun the investigation of the alleged sale of illegal African migrants apparently “mostly Nigerians” as slaves in Libya, it has declared that the “Sale of Nigerians in Libya, was a slap on their face."

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said there was the need for Nigeria to do more to protect its citizens.

He said, “As a country, truly, it is a slap on the face of all of us if Nigerians can be treated in this manner. Like somebody said, Ivory Coast that is not as big as us is taking action to see how they can bring their own citizens back. We need to be doing similar things.”

Headlines in Kenya revolve around President Uhuru Kenyatta’s dilemma in forming cabinet.

The Standard explains in its article that there have been demands to reward loyalists, ensure regional balance, uphold integrity and to appease the Opposition without upsetting succession politics will weigh heavily on President Uhuru Kenyatta as he crafts his new Cabinet.

After his inauguration on Tuesday for a second and final term, the immediate difficult task for President Kenyatta will be assembling his Cabinet and government with an eye on his legacy and to manage huge expectations that could trigger a fallout if mishandled.

Meanwhile, the Daily Nation says that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are expected to bring more politicians into the Cabinet in major changes insiders say are about to be unveiled.

In 2013, the two wanted a Cabinet of technocrats and had said the only politicians in it would be the two of them.

But political realities and the failure of cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries to adequately explain to the public the projects their ministries were implementing have forced a rethink concludes the paper.

And last but not least, Zimbabwe’s Newsday leads with #ThisFlag movement leader Pastor Evan Mawarire, who was facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government of former President Robert Mugabe, walking out of the High Court a free man yesterday after being acquitted of the criminal charges by Justice Priscilla Chigumba.