September 1, 2008 (JUBA) — Sudanese press regulator has suspended today The Citizen newspaper, an English language daily issued from Juba since two years.
The Editor in chief, Nhial Bol, said the suspension of his independent daily comes to sanction his rejection to remove the Managing Editor of The Citizen who is from the troubled Darfur region.
The National Press Council (NPC) pressed Bol to dismiss Izzadine Abdoul-Rassuou, the Managing Editor because he is from the troubled Darfur region, he said.
"Many members of the NPC privately approached me and asked to step down from nominating Izzadine because they believed that his presence in the management would influence editorial contents, I rejected this call since April 2008" he said.
A NPC spokesperson o confirmed today the suspension but he insisted on the administrative character of their decision, adding there was no political pressure on The Citizen.
He added that The Citizen editor should be based in Khartoum as it was provided in its licence.
"We reject that too. Sudan is one country and the Editor-in-Chief has the right to have an office anywhere in the country," Bol said in a statement sent to Sudan Tribune.
He further said that he was served a warning letter last week blaming him for employing southern journalists who were not registered in Khartoum.
Before established his own newspaper, Nhial Bol worked for many years as Managing Editor at Khartoum Monitor of Alfred Taban who taught him to be critical of power and to have an independent spirit.