A warning to those organising violence against foreigners in South Africa, the possibility that the Kenyan armed forces trained some of the young men now fighting for the Al-Shebab militia and possible pesticide poisoning in Nigeria, all stories in this morning’s Afican dailies.
The South African government yesterday vowed to crack down on perpetrators of xenophobic violence. That’s the main story in this morning’s Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and State Security Minister David Mahlobo yesterday warned users of social media not to “instigate” attacks, saying they would be dealt with.
The unrest has affected several areas including Umlazi and Isipingo in Durban, Jeppestown, Benoni and Alexandra in Gauteng and parts of Port Elizabeth.
The latest attacks have claimed seven lives, led to 307 arrests and have displaced at least 1,026 foreign nationals.
President Jacob Zuma cancelled his trip to the Africa-Asia Business Forum in Jakarta because of the disturbances.
The Nigerian government had given South Africa an ultimatum to quell the violence, warning that South African companies in Nigeria could suffer reprisals.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has expressed shock and disgust at attacks on immigrants in South Africa and said his government was working to repatriate affected Zimbabwean citizens.
The Malawian government has hired buses to repatriate 500 of its nationals.
Durban was calm but tense on Sunday as migrants from other countries started leaving a makeshift camp in Chatsworth. A KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson said police had brought the attacks to an end.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is expected to address an anti-xenophobia rally in Durban later today.
The main story in the Kenyan Standard reports that thousands of youths recruited by the Nairobi government six years ago to fight alongside Somali troops may now have joined the Al-Shebab militia.
One hundred and forty-eight people, most of them students, were massacred at the Garissa University College two weeks ago by a Kenyan cell of Al-Shebab.
According to the Nairobi-based daily paper, most of the young men were Somalis from Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Isiolo.
They were trained between 2009 and 2011 to fight alongside former Somalia Transitional Federal Government and promised nearly 3,000 euros, the equivalent of the salary of the Inspector General of the National Police Service.
The Standard says they were also promised insurance running into millions of shillings for them and their families, prime plots of farm land and permanent resettlement as part of the deal to fight rising threats from the Islamic Courts Union and its allies led by Al-Shebab.
Because of the secretive nature of the government’s defence spending, it is virtually impossible to ascertain if any funds were set aside to pay the trainees but it is clear that very little, if any, trickled down to the young soldiers, who quickly became frustrated, bitter and vengeful.
Al-Shebab – who are they?
According to the Standard, a significant number remain in Somalia, with some believed to have joined Al-Shebab or to have formed “sleeper cells” awaiting orders to carry out terror attacks.
According to the Cairo-based Egypt Independent, an Egyptian criminal court yesterday sentenced an Egyptian national and two Israelis to life in prison and fined them 10,000 Egyptian pounds on espionage charges.
The defendants were accused of spying for Israel. The two Israelis were sentenced in absentia they remain at large.
The Egyptian defendant was accused of working for Israel’s Mossad secret service and providing them with information about the deployment of Egypt’s armed forces, locations of security headquarters and checkpoints and information on “jihadist elements” in the Sinai peninsula.
Punch in Nigeria reports that the World Health Organisation says pesticide poisoning is the probable cause of the mysterious deaths of 18 people in Ode Irele in Ondo State.
Those who died suffered from blurred vision and headaches and then lost consciousness before dying within 24 hours.
A World Health Organisation spokesperson said herbicides or pesticides were the most likely cause. “Tests carried out so far are negative for viral and bacterial infection,” he added.
Punch also reports that outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday denied a report that he and the Peoples Democratic Party spent two trillion naira on their campaign for the just-concluded general election.
The former president also denied setting up a committee to audit how elections funds had been used by party members and state officials.
Source : Radio France Internationale