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Strike Press review Nigeria South Sudan Sudan Kenya Boko Haram Uganda

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African press review 1 October 2018

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The Nigerian general strike is suspended to allow talks on a new minimum wage to go ahead. Boko Haram hardliners may be killing their own commanders. Who really benefits from the South Sudan peace deal?


Nigeria's main trades unions yesterday suspended their national strike and announced further talks with the government about raising the minimum wage.

The strike began last Wednesday.

The unions are asking for a new monthly minimum wage of between 45,000 and 65,000 naira (100-140 euros), against the current 18,000 naira (43 euros).

The president of the blue-collar Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, told reporters an invitation had been received to resume talks with the government and private sector representatives on 4 and 5 October.

The strike, Wabba explained, has been suspended to create a conducive environment for those talks.

Hardline takeover of Nigeria's Boko Haram?

A Boko Haram commander was killed by his comrades over his alleged plan to surrender and hand over hundreds of hostages to the Nigerian military.

Ali Gaga was shot and killed last Thursday by other commanders in the Islamic State-affiliated faction of Boko Haram after they uncovered his plan to surrender to Nigerian troops fighting the jihadist group in the Lake Chad region.

Gaga had allegedly arranged to rescue 300 hostages being held by the Islamists and hand them over to troops before turning himself in.

His death comes after the group's de facto leader Mamman Nur was killed by radical lieutenants who accused him of betrayal and of holding secret peace talks with authorities, the two deaths sparking fears of a hardline takeover of Boko Haram.

Uganda, Sudan benefit from Kiir-Machar pact

Ugandan academic Mahmood Mamdani has caused upset by claiming that the recently signed South Sudan peace agreement is really intended to benefit Uganda and Sudan.

Writing in the New York Times, Mamdani, who is director of the Institute of Social Research at Makerere University in Kampala, said that the peace deal signed on 12 September by Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and other opposition leaders is, in fact, an agreement between Presidents Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda   who are the guarantors of the latest peace pact.

Mamdani goes on to claim that South Sudan is on its way to becoming an informal protectorate of Sudan and Uganda.

He points to the presence of Ugandan troops who support Kiir’s faction, while Sudan supplies opposition groups, including those led by Machar.

Sudan elections to go ahead as planned

Omar al-Bashir yesterday repeated that his government is ready for the 2020 elections and would not postpone them.

On Saturday the ruling National Congress Party denied reports about the possible postponement of the elections to give the party time to improve the economic situation and better prepare for the popular vote.

In remarks made on Sunday before a Congress Party youth meeting in Khartoum, al-Bashir assured his hearers that the elections will be held as scheduled.

Meanwhile, the opposition Sudan Call alliance has launched a campaign against any attempt to abolish presidential term limits in the constitution.

The opposition umbrella group said they reject scrapping term limits for the president because al-Bashir and his regime have been responsible for the dismemberment of the country and collapse of its economy.

East African Community moves towards unity

The East African Community has kicked off the process of forming a political federation by appointing a 12-member Committee of Experts to draft a regional constitution.

The experts have been given three years to produce a draft which could be signed at the regional heads of state summit in 2023.

Job prospects poor in South Africa

The employment situation in South Africa is not getting any brighter.

The National Planning Commission has slashed its most optimistic forecast of South Africa’s unemployment rate by 2030 in half, warning that the National Development Plan target of reducing the jobless rate to six percent by 2030 is now out of reach.

Will Kenya change its constitution?

The clamour for constitutional change in Kenya is growing louder.

According to the top story in this morning's Standard newspaper, various groups have been calling for a referendum for different reasons, including the need to tame the soaring public wage bill, open the door to a parliamentary system of government, strengthen devolution and redress electoral injustices.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is known to be a keen supporter of constitutional reform.