July 25, 2016 (JUBA) – The editor of an Arabic newspaper has been detained and the paper shutdown by South Sudan security forces after it published inaccurate information.
- Information minister Michael Makuei Lueth (R) speaks at a media forum as presidential press secretary Ateny Wek Ateny looks on in Juba on 7 September 2014 (ST)
The editor of Al-Watan newspaper, Michael Christopher was arrested on Saturday by security operatives and his whereabouts remain unknown.
Al-Watan newspaper was ordered to cease publication after it quoted Information Minister, Michael Makuei, as having confirmed the arrival of additional peacekeepers from neighbouring countries.
The paper said the troops from Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) would arrive Monday 25 July. But that turn out to be untrue and the paper apologized for the mistake, which it attributed to poor translation from English to the Arabic dialect.
“All these are our mistakes. The right information is that the government has formed a committee to receive a team of African Union Security Council which is expected to arrive today [Monday], Faisal Hassan Lado, the acting editor for the newspaper.
“We apologize for this inaccurate information that came as a result of translation,” he added.
Al-Watan’s lead story on Saturday with headline “Arrival of African Union soldiers on Monday” has a quote attributed to the minister.
Lueth, the newspaper reported, said a committee had been constituted to receive the visiting members AU Peace and Security Council on Monday. The government committee, he added, would be headed by his cabinet affairs counterpart, Martin Lomoro.
The Arabic newspaper later published an apology to the information minister he was wrongly quoted in Juba Monitor newspaper, which has remained closed and its chief editor, Alfred Taban still in detention.
Meanwhile, Bol Deng Mayen has been appointed the new editor of Al-Watan, the newspaper’s management announced on Monday. He replaces the embattled Michael.