Home | News    Monday 8 December 2008

Correspondent sacked from radio post in Rumbek

December 7, 2008 (RUMBEK) – Manyang Mayom, the Sudan Tribune correspondent in Rumbek, was sacked from his post at the state-owned Radio Rumbek FM-98 after disagreements with a government minister.

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Manyang Mayom

The correspondent was faulted with reporting information that was not cleared by his bosses, as well as his involvement with the independent news providers Sudan Tribune and Khartoum Monitor.

Mayom has covered diverse issues in Lakes state, including most recently a power struggle in Rumbek, the capital, between the governor and the speaker of the state.

In July he was beaten with guns by SPLA soldiers affiliated with former militia leaders from outside the state, most of whom do not speak Arabic or Dinka, the predominant local languages.

Mayom was subsequently questioned for Sudan Tribune’s news story regarding his beating. “I told them that I’m a media man and all media people around the world must feel concern about me,” said Mayom on Friday.

In a termination notice to the reporter, Madong William Mading, the director general of the Ministry of Information, Telecommunication, Culture, Youth and Sports in Lakes, cited disciplinary notices dating to 2006.

The Director General stated that administrative measures had been taken against Mayom and he was assigned to cover only “health, commercial and UN agencies activities in the state, but you turned down that assignment for reasons of your own.”

“Recently you have been deeply involved in the reporting of the recent crisis of Lakes state legislative assembly members with their assembly leadership and the executive wing of the government on the other part,” noted the termination notice.

The letter went on to fault Mayom with reporting “things that are not to be reported without your reports passing through the director concerned. This is an indication that you are not loyal to your authority as you do not abide by instructions and directives of your bosses.”

Minister of Information and Communication Agad Chol Mabuong also faulted Mayom for disloyalty to the state government and indicated that she could dismiss more local reporters.

The journalist said that he had been employed as a news reporter in the government since 2005 and not 2006, as stated in the removal letter.

The SPLM Women’s League Chairwomen Mrs. Rebecca Yar Kuc said Friday that “SPLM party must make sure not to discourage the skillful person of media while elections are close to being held.” She also added that she would to raise the issue on journalist Manyang Mayom in the SPLM Lakes state secretariat office.

Sudan Tribune is an independent non profit web site based in France. Its goals are to promote plural information, democratic and free debate on Sudan.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 grants freedom of the press in the Sudan. Requiring the approval of the government authorities to publish news articles seems to some extent similar to the censorship on the press implemented by the Sudanese security service in Khartoum.

The Sudanese journalists in Khartoum protested last month against the censorship of the press and demanded the national parliament to revise the Press and Publications Law. The ruling party of southern Sudan, SPLM, had supported the move and last Friday its political bureau reiterated its commitment to the freedom of the press and urged its partner in the national government, the National Congress Party, to review the bill before the end of the current session.