African press review 31 August 2012
West African newspapers react to the execution of nine people, including foreign nationals, in Gambia, on orders from the country’s ruler Yahya Jammeh. The decrees have been met by mounting international condemnation as another 38 death-row convicts are set to face the firing squad in the next three weeks.
In Senegal, Le Soleil reports about a dressing-down handed to the Gambian envoy in Dakar. According to the Dakar newspaper, the ambassador was summoned to prime minister’s office and told about the government's “shock” over the execution of two Senegalese citizens.
Dakar, it says, is particularly infuriated by Banjul’s “gross violation of Vienna Convention on consular relations”, the “opaque handling of the trials” and Gambia’s failure to inform Senegal about the charges facing its nationals.
Wal Fadjri visited a family whose daughter was executed on Sunday.
The newspaper says their sole demand from the government is to ensure the return of her remains so they can give her a decent burial. The paper also reports from a village outside the port city of Saint Louis where fishermen have parked their boats after learning that somebody from the village is on death row.
Sud Quotidien leads with chants of "Yahya Jammeh assassin! Paranoid Jammeh!" shouted during a large protest outside the Gambian mission in Dakar Thursday. The paper reports that the demonstration attended by several leading politicians and rights activists called for the immediate halting of the executions, the removal of Jammeh from office and his extradition to The Hague to face trial for crimes against humanity.
In Nigeria the press is buzzing about the leaking of the personal data of more than 60 per cent of current employers of the Nigerian state security service (SSS) on the internet.
The Punch reports that the information, which remained easily accessible on the web for days, included details of the agents’ home addresses, their family members as well as the mobile phone number of the spy agency’s director general and contact information for his son.
Vanguard reports that an atmosphere of fear and tension has gripped the SSS, as secret agents embark on a secret probe of the leak.
South Africa’s Mail and Guardian expresses shock at the story, explaining that it is unclear if the person who posted the information online has ties to Boko Haram, the radical Islamist sect which has targeted Nigerian security officials in the past.