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Lakes state government shutdown Catholic Radio Good News in Rumbek

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June 29, 2013 (RUMBEK) - The ministry of information and communication in South Sudan’s Lakes state shut down Radio Good News, a Catholic broadcaster in Rumbek, on Friday morning.

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Lakes state’s military caretaker governor Matur Chut Dhuol, ordered his information minister, Dut Makoi Kuok, to close down the station which had broadcasted comments from the public critical of the government.

Since he was installed in January, Dhuol has introduced controversial security measures including holding suspects without trial or access to lawyers in military prisons. Inmates who have escaped, bride their way out or been released have accused the army of torture and other ill-treatment.

Earlier this month Human Rights Watch said that "South Sudanese soldiers have unlawfully detained and ill-treated more than 130 civilians since February 2013 in response to armed violence and inter-communal fighting in Lakes state."

Peter Mapuor Makur Malith, the program manager of Radio Good News FM-89 said that government had summoned them last week to present their license to the information minister.

Maupor said that station had fulfilled all its legal obligations by having license and was broadcasting on frequencies approved by the national minister of information and broadcasting.

He said that the move to close the station was an act of censorship by the Lakes state government, which he said was threatening local journalists.

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Radio Good News registration 2012

Despite providing their broadcasting license and details of their programming, minister Kuok still decided to shutdown the radio station.

Mapuor said that “Lakes State ministry of information and communication has shut down Good News Radio from broadcasting saying it will only open after providing a license and a certificate of broadcasting from the national ministry of information and broadcasting in Juba”.

"The minister perused the documents and asked us a few questions and promised to report his findings to the Council of Ministers during which the Council would discuss and decide the destiny of the radio" station, Mapuor said.

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Radio Good News frequency certificate - 10 July 2006

Mapuor explained that “In 2010, the then national ministry of legal affairs and constitutional development issued the Catholic Radio Network a certificate of registration. That certificate of registration is what the eight sister networks of CRN [Catholic Radio Network, which was used] all over the country without friction. Radio Good News has also been using it for operation in the last three years to the present.”

Following the order, Radio Good News has taken itself off the air.

Rumbek Diocese Administrator Fernando Colombo, told CRN over the phone that minister Makoi made a generic accusation that the station was politicised.

Colombo said the Government complained about the news coverage on the death of a civilian inmate at a military prison and an interview on human rights issues with a state minister.

He added that “Radio Good News started broadcasting on 28th February 2010 and has never been on record for running programs that defame, falsify or contradict media ethics. The radio has seven trained reporters and another four undergoing in-house training.”

The radio station runs mainly civic education and evangelical programs.

Good News Radio broadcasts mainly in English and Dinka and reaches an area of 150km radius from a 60m mast in Rumbek. It reaches the eight counties of Lakes and parts of some neighbouring states.

(ST)

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  • 30 June 2013 08:28, by truth to be told in SS

    Dear Fellow country men, I am very disturbed by outgoing situation in lake state. Governor Matur is defarmating and taining the great image of south sudan in the eye of international community. All his controversial measures to intimidate and censor general public are completely opposite to what south sudan fought for more than fifty years.Freedom of free, movement,are the core stone of democracy

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    • 30 June 2013 08:56, by Dukdal

      That is the man Salva Kiir has chosen to work with instead of an elected Governor. Whatever mess being done by an illiterate man, the citizen are counting it on Salva Kiir. Its ridiculous, they dont follow the law which they used when firing and appointing officials. God bless the suffering innocent who are suffering in the hands of Kiir n Matur.

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      • 30 June 2013 10:09, by Ding Ding

        Dukdal or dale, you people of Agaar who will be good with you on this earth,crims,looting,robbery and so many charges on you.Why don,t you behave like people of Yirol who are well known of being honest and non crims.Matur is trying to descipline you because of your behaviors and style of living so that you can be like human being.shame on Agaar people always abusing their leaders

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  • 30 June 2013 09:07, by Zecharia Malong

    Congratulation Mr Chut for that task you have done in Lake State under your governorship. pple of lake were about to kill themselves all due to their discrimination and tribal basis that stereotyped by lake communities. keep up doing it to put an end the death of your pple and refrained them from such bad and underdevelopment activities in the country.

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  • 30 June 2013 09:33, by Msudi

    Dear Fellow Citizens
    This is one of the reasons as to why our country was categorized as failed State.
    Cheers

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    • 30 June 2013 10:14, by Ding Ding

      Msudi,please no any country said south sudan is a fail state, it is only agaar people who are destroying the image of lakes state, I am sure if they were created like those of Yirol lakes state would have been stable.I am sure God was almost forgot to creat these people

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      • 30 June 2013 13:41, by Dukdal

        Ding Ding,
        Your comment is based on tribal hatred. We are discussing here issues of national concern. And if so, you need to comment objectively, something that will Government to implement rule of law and which eventually will lead to well being of your fellow human being.

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  • 30 June 2013 12:24, by Emporio

    lake state people always going hard on themselves, and they are supper star of retaliation on each other what hell is going on in that community don’t they know is time to see the future not killing, failure of lake state people to solve their own problem, is disaster for their own,,,,,
    God help those people

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    • 30 June 2013 15:21, by Akook

      Ding Ding and your likes, I am totally saddened by sheer hatred on community line carried within Dinkas themselves. Even though this article is about radio shut down, some people are talking Agaar killing each other. What the hack happened between Aguok and the rest before? was it not killing?

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      • 30 June 2013 15:26, by Akook

        Pls stop your gross hatred against Agaar people of Rumbek. We know what the game your REK pres Kiir is doing against Lakes by appointing someone who has never set foot in a classroom as governor. It is to mock further Agaar ppl! Think, we don’t know this? But you will not get away with it forever! we will catch u soon, one by one. forget fucken bhar el ghazalism

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  • 30 June 2013 17:46, by wieu-madiak

    The Lake state caretaker governer Matur Chut Dhuol is the good decision maker at this short period of time that why you see him odered information minister to shut down good news radio

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  • 30 June 2013 18:21, by wieu-madiak

    The Lake state military caretaker governor Matur Chut Dhuol is a good decision-maker for this short period of time that why you see him ordered information minister to shut down a good news broadcaster chatholic radio,Mr: Matur comeup what next?

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  • 30 June 2013 19:48, by seeker

    Good Matur Chut we will never fail to mention your names as national leaders who contributed failing of our state south sudan. To Ding it is not fair to be biase on Agaardit people,I know you are very smart from Atuot so we were not happy when Janapil also Rin Tueny luanch aggresiveness on you people.

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    • 1 July 2013 14:12, by Agutmajak

      Hey! Mr.Kiir pliz remove state governor of Lake becoz he shutdown Catholic Radio Good News in Rumbek that is a part of corrupation, he doesn’t want his weakness to be heard in RSS. Let state governor must go!!!!!!!!!!!

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