September 28, 2012 (WAU) - Warrap State Legislative Assembly on Friday asked the Twic county commissioner to nullify a decision suspending and expelling a radio journalist from the area within 24 hours.
The house made the call to invalidate the unilateral decision taken by Twic County authorities to expel local journalists over their reporting on a protest by government employees demanding three months salary not paid by the government.
Yor Abraham Nyuol, secretary of South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) branch office in the area suspended Deng Bol David in a letter dated 18 September. The official gave David a week to respond in writing or “Deng should evacuate area of Twic within twenty four hours,” the letter reads in part.
The letter also banned the journalists from visiting their work places until further explanation is provided by his employer within a week. Deng is the second citizen from the area the authorities have served with a letter of expulsion.
Warrap has been plagued by complaints accusing state authorities of attempts to suffocate freedom of expression by imposing repressive measures to control political dissidents and those critical of the performance of the state administration.
In August, governor Nyadeng Malek issued an order expelling Madut Malual, a field coordinator with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in Gogrial West County. NCA is an international humanitarian organisation operating in the area. Malek accused him of involvement in local politics.
Ariec Mayar Ariec, a member of the State Legislative Assembly, on Friday told Sudan Tribune that a parliamentary committee recommended the county commissioner immediately cancel the expulsion of the journalist.
“We looked at the case and we found that it was just simple misunderstanding. It is something which can be resolved amicably,” Ariec told Sudan Tribune.
The legislator said the parliamentary committee visited the areas on three different missions and held successful meetings with the area commissioner who the committee advised to the issue at his level.
“We told the commissioner to call two of them and resolve the issue," he said explaining that they were in the area to resolve a similar case.
“We went to the area for three reasons. One of the reasons for our visit was the issue of salaries of some of the employees who were not paid for two months because they were not on the state budget. These were employees of the former commissioner and did not report to the state so they were left when salaries for those who were budgeted for were received,” explained Ariec.
The other subject of Ariec’s investigation was reports that a judge in the area had been expelled. "What we are told was that the judge ordered the arrest of the local chief without lifting his immunity provided by the local government act,” he said.