Who is accountable for South Sudan Media?

By Yoal Manyang, Juba.

Two of South Sudan's media houses have been shutdown and editors report strict warnings from the government officials this week to suppress federalism debate(Photo: cropped by Nyamile)
Two of South Sudan’s media houses have been shutdown and editors report strict warnings from the government officials this week to suppress federalism debate(Photo: cropped by Nyamile)

August 20, 2014(Nyamilepedia) —  The South Sudan Media Houses have suffer a lot from harassment and intimidation from differences actors in the government, the situation that raised more question from both Journalist and the citizen of this country South Sudan, some people are asking, is Ministry of Information Responsible or Ministry of National Security in the office of the president, Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Defense which are the government agent who use to harass and intimidate the media Houses, in the Transitional Constitution of 2011 stated that “All levels of government shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society” the law stated by the constitution are still in the office of the president for more than three month while it can go to effect after one month if the president did not sign them to law,

People of South Sudan are now worried about the fate of the Media houses and the harassment, intimidation Journalist suffered in the country, the way organizes forces handle media houses and Journalists become a big concern to many people who are more concern freedom of press and the promotion of democracy in the new republic.

The all know the SPLM/SPLA has fail to implement the vision and mission like SPLM strategy framework for war-to-peace transition which can transforms the SPLM into viable political party and SPLA to professional army, but all fail somewhere without making any progress, those are some reason that make the SPLA and others organizes forces behave in the same way they were during the struggle.

Coming back to the issues of media and Journalists in this country many Journalist lost their life and several Journalists suffered intimidation from government actors and differences media houses suffer from pressure to apologizes for even a stories which some government actors said themselves and when Journalists report such stories and they found that its cross the government red line that is where they use to pressure and if the media fail to apologizes they sometime face confiscation and arrest the editor. This habit is commonly practiced in South Sudan since the country get independent and many people descript the regime in Juba as stealing the Khartoum regime styles which South Sudanese fought for to separate from Khartoum.

The thing which concerns every South Sudanese is that what make national security more rigid with media houses which are just more critical to some government agency who are failing the people of South Sudan. For the best of my knowledge Ministry of national Security in the office of the president have no any mandate that can allow them to shut down the newspaper, radio or TV station, they are doing different thing apart from making the security for the country internally and externally, National security need to know their role not to take the others institution work, if they don’t know their work parliament who is in charge for the oversight for the executive branch of the government should make it clear for them and next time they should know the boundaries within the government and private institution.

In conclusion National security, Police, army and others organizes forces should not see media houses and Journalists or any others media practitioners as their enemy, they have to look at them as watch dog of the community and also eye and ear of the people just only to inform, entertain and educate the people of South Sudan on the surrounding world they live. But after all this I would like to advice my fellow Journalist not to give up the fight for the freedom of Media and freedom of expression, South Sudan have to be free from all these mess.

The Writer is South Sudanese Journalist working in this country and can be reach at yoal@live.com

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