November 12, 2016 (JUBA)- The African Centre for Transitional Justice (ACTJ) has called on South Sudanese authorities to reconsider their decision to reopen the unilaterally closed independent radio station, asserting it is a clear violation of press freedom.
“This is a blatant press freedom violation. We call on authorities in South Sudan to reopen the radio station. In this particular context South Sudan needs free and fair media able to play a positive role in the country’s reconstruction and reconciliation”, the group says in a statement.
The statement condemned what it described as "disruptive and inexplicable act", saying it is nothing short of an attempt to suppress media freedom in the region and demand that Eye Radio be allowed to resume broadcasting immediately.
Sources close to the USAID sponsored radio station said the decision was motivated by the broadcast of audio clip of SPLM-IO leader last October.
However officials at Eye Radio said Machar’s audio statements called for peace and reconciliation.
Peter Gai Manyuon, ACTJ Executive Director, described Eye radio as a station promoting informative and educative role. Manyuon rejects any unilateral decision to stifle press freedom.
“Any unknown reason trying to silence media institutions in South Sudan is not acceptable and must be denounced as malicious”, the statement adds.
It explains that Media plays several roles in the society, including serving as a means to distribute news and conveys information regarding politics and for educational purposes.