Government closes BBC relay stations in the country

BBC News Logo (File photo)

BBC News Logo (File photo)

April 18th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan shut down, on Tuesday, all the BBC relay stations in the nation’s capital and in the defunct Western Bahr Al-Ghazal State’s capital Wau saying the later had failed to honor a new agreement.

In a statement seen by the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday, the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) said the BBC relay stations were closed due to lack of commitment by the BBC to respect an agreement saying the decision is not politically motivated.

“The South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) Management would like to clarify to the public and BBC listeners why BBC is off air in Juba. The Management decided to shutdown BBC World Service relaying stations English and Arabic based in SSBC in Juba and Wau beause of the failure of BBC to comply with agreement. The shutdown is an administrative between BBC and the SSBC, it is not political,” read the statement in part.

The statement signed by the Director of the SSBC Mangok Chalim, added that the BBC had signed a previous agreement with the former ministry of information on 21st Nov. 2008 which he said is subject to renewal adding that the Minister of information Michael Makuei Lueth warned the BBC in 2016 to pay first by the end of the agreement before any renewed contract.

“By coming in of the concerned bodies such as SSBC, Media Authority, Access to Information and NCA. Honorable Minister of Information, Hon. Michael Makuei wrote to the BBC in 2016 that the agreement shall not be renewed again untill BBC comes for a new agreement and pays first, but they ignored it,” the statement said.

The statement accussed the BBC of conditioning the plan payment plan of the arreast due by the SSBC.

“On 22 January 2018,Honorable Minister wrote to them cancelling the agreement and informed BBC to pay SSBC all the arrears and come to negotiate the new agreement with the SSBC, Media Authority, and NCA……. After a month, they stated giving information, the statement added

The statement threatened lawsuit against the British Broadcasting Corporation in the event of failure to pay its arrears.