Home | News    Wednesday 30 July 2014

N. Bahr el Ghazal scribes under fire over security reports

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July 2014 (AWEIL) – The government of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state vowed to arrest journalists who report on security issues, imposing censorship on media houses in the region.

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Map detail showing South Sudan’s border state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal

The move came days after the caretaker governor, Kuel Aguer Kuel, allegedly ordered the closure of a community radio operating in its capital, Awiel for interviewing a state legislative assembly member whose on air views were considered critical.

A journalist working for the closed radio told Sudan Tribune that the caretaker governor instructed security personnel to hunt down all reporters working for the station.

“My life is now under security threat, they have been hunting for me since on Monday simply because they were informed by governor of my alleged interference with internal security of the state,” said the journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities, he said, earlier warned him after he covered a strike by foreign traders in the region, reflecting the deepening row between the state and media.

“Again he [governor] warned on covering of rebel’s attack in the state saying he does not want it to go to the public, but instead be kept internally,” the journalist said.

The youthful scribe, now on the run, appealed for media bodies to condemn these threats and censorship on media houses in the border region.

In July last year, South Sudan’s national assembly successfully passed the entire media bills, only awaiting the president’s ascend. Last month, however, president Salva Kiir referred the same bill back to lawmakers raising fears of possible delays in passing the law.

(ST)

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  • 30 July 2014 08:19, by Mr Point

    22 years fighting for independence and freedom - and this is the result. Journalists are hunted down for simply reporting the news.

    The security organisation is too large and acts with impunity. Even if Kiir signs the bill then so what? South Sudanese institutions are not powerful enough to tame the wild beasts of the security organisation that suppresses free opinion and eats 34% of revenue.

    repondre message

  • 30 July 2014 12:01, by thomas

    Well, that escalated quickly. This is what’s happening in South Sudan. I’d like to see that media bill, as if they follow their own laws.

    repondre message

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