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South Sudan’s independent TV goes off-air over security issues

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April 5, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s independent news television station Citizen TV has gone off air, allegedly due to security conditions introduced in the capital, Juba, this week, its managing director announced on Saturday.

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Nhial Bol Aken, The Citizen’s editor-in-chief, in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, on 12 December 2010 (ST)

Nhial Bol Akeen, the editor-in-chief of both Citizen TV and the English-language The Citizen newspaper, told Sudan Tribune that management had decided to suspend the operation of its twin television station until further notice, citing restrictions and other difficulties it faces in covering news, as well as restrictions on the movement of its staff.

“No authority has told us to stop, but [the] situation necessitated taking this painful decision. There were difficulties and restrictions that it became difficult to manage night shifts for our staff. We had motorbikes but which could not move because of the recent restrictions on the movement of the motorbikes,” Akeen exclusively told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

He cited the arrest of one of his journalists by authorities last week, allegedly after he was found in an area deemed out of bounds for motorbikes in Juba town.

“The newspaper will continue to operate normally but we decided to suspend the operation of the television [station] because we felt that we could not afford the night shift for the staff,” Akeen said.

The head of Central Equatoria state’s traffic police issued an order last week banning motorbike riders from using the main road in Juba which runs from the South Sudan national legislative assembly, passing the presidential palace before ending at the Central Equatoria state legislative assembly.

The police claim the motorbikes cause traffic jams, preventing senior government officials from moving quickly between important meetings. South Sudan has been in a crisis since a split in the army and ruling party plunged the young nation into conflict in December last year.

The surprise decision caught drivers unaware on 1 April, generating a fierce public backlash, with some describing it as an “unwise and repressive act”. However, South Sudan’s authorities have given no indication that they are prepared to to reverse the decision.

“Where on earth has [there been] a public road built with public resources [so that it] can be restricted to individuals?” said one commentator, who asked to remain anonymous.

“Even in America and Britain there are no roads dedicated to government officials. I am not aware of any road in Washington which has been restricted to president [Barack] Obama nor did I hear similar restrictions on the public road in the United Kingdom for the Queen and the prime minister. Not even in Uganda or Sudan. Maybe they will copy it from us,” the commentator continued in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Saturday, saying the situation was laughable.

“Some of the things we do here are [so] funny that they attract laughing when explained to the nationals of other countries, because they do not make sense at all,” he said.

(ST)

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  • 6 April 07:03, by Mi diit

    There is no independent media in Kiir’s jungle laws. Nhial Bol is alive because he comes from a strong section in Warrap which Kiir fears at home. Otherwise, he would have been dead like Abraham from Dinka Bor.

    repondre message

    • 6 April 07:34, by Chol A.

      Is there any independent media laws in Dr traitor laws Midiit? your uncle had now force himself to exile as I told you before and you don’t believe me. you have now test it, how you feel about it?

      repondre message

      • 6 April 07:40, by Mi diit

        Exile? Which exile? Is Greater Upper Nile region called exile? Mrs Akiir Museveni doesn’t have the capacity to push Dr. Machar to exile. Instead, he is the one going to exile begging foreigners to come to South Sudan and fight the Nuer. See the difference!

        repondre message

    • 6 April 07:38, by Wicdail

      Kirr will try to kisses every president’s dick in the region (Africa), and shut down all media outlets in RSS; nevertheless, all in vain. Khartoum will never side with Kirr military to fight Nuer, never. They literally knows that Nuer are the heart of SS. They also know that when a Nuer man or woman becomes a president in RSS, South and North (Sudan) will have everlasting peace.

      repondre message

    • 6 April 12:30, by Whortti Bor Manza

      You are absolutely right Mit Ditt, Kiir comes from a very poor and inferior family who made it to power as a result of grooming by late Dr. John G. Kiir knows the consequence crystal clear if he indulges in touching Nhial Bol. This narco idiot could shorten his presidency by this act. Our fellow tribesmen the Dinkas from Warap should understand this and should ultimately stop supporting Kiir.

      repondre message

      • 7 April 06:36, by Lotodo Awino Odug

        This will give him enough time to cook and inject himself with cocaine, I always admire his honesty and fairness. you are a real legend.

        repondre message

  • 6 April 07:38, by dinkdong

    The fools in Juba are acting idiotically. Where in the world are there roads meant for government workers only? That country will be on top of the corrupted countries next year. God, takes both Kiir and Riek away, so we could rest.

    repondre message

    • 6 April 10:09, by Bentiu son

      Dear Nhial Bol Akeen,plz don’t surrender till we achieve our long waiting democratic system,good governance,federalism, rule of laws,human rights,equality,justice,freedom of expression/speech/mov and accountable government in South Sudan.Kiir’s admin is in messes,limbo and dilemmas without clear vision,mission and values.The discriminative system imposed by killer Kiir and his mentor M7 it impacts

      repondre message

      • 6 April 10:19, by Bentiu son

        will last for years in South Sudan History. Kiir’s victimization/segregation/discriminative/domination policy is similar to Apartheid racial discriminative policy where there were special roads,schools,hospital,suburbs,swimming poles for blacks or colored races.Why some some road in Jubaare restricted to coward President Salva Kiir who fears Dr Machar to death whether in war or democratic election

        repondre message

        • 6 April 13:10, by william

          Bentu son or whatever You called yourself i have been telling You That are blocking good nuer by supporting the Dead alive triator riak who Will die without smells the presidency but due to your low iq You Can not accept the truth .

          repondre message

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