May 18, 2010 (JUBA) – A UN-sponsored Miraya FM radio is under serious warning by the minister of Information and Broadcasting, Paul Mayom Akech, who accused the media house of inciting ethnic violence in Southern Sudan through its broadcasting pattern.
Mayom on Tuesday said Miraya FM has "exceeded its mandate" which was supposed to disseminate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and enhance peace in the region.
He said the recent broadcasting of news by the radio were inciting ethnic violence in Southern Sudan and demanded that the radio’s editorial body be reviewed including "at worst" dismissing all the staff that are there and replacing them with "people who would be conscious of the interest of the people of Southern Sudan."
He called for the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the body that owns and sponsors Miraya FM, to publicly apologize to the people of Southern Sudan for airing divisive news to the population.
This is "for the people of Southern Sudan to know that we have not let matters flow as others wish," he said.
The information minister issued the warning during his meeting with the head of UN in Southern Sudan, David Gressly, and gave the radio administration one week to put the editorial body in order or the radio would be closed down.
Mayom also warned another Juba-based private radio, Bakhita, against concentrating on local politics instead of religious programs, saying the government would also be forced to withdraw its license.
Miraya FM was established soon after the formation of the Government of Southern Sudan in 2005. Most of its staff are Southern Sudanese.
The government’s official spokesperson cited the recent broadcasting of renegade Gen. George Athor Deng’s demands by the radio as one of the issues that amounted to incitement of violence in the region.