S SUDAN: Government Assures UN it Will Not Shut Down Radio Station

JUBA, FEBRUARY 20, 2015(CISA) – South Sudan Government has assured the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) that they will not shut down the operations of the UN’s Radio Miraya.

In a statement made available by the UN’s communications team to Vatican Radio’s English Service for Africa, the UN has since held a press conference at its New York headquarters to allay fears of possible closure by the South Sudan Government.

“The Head of the UN Mission in that country (South Sudan), Ellen Margrethe Løj, met the country’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting and expressed her concerns following his remarks about shutting down operations of Radio Miraya – the UN radio operating in that country,” the statement read.

The statement further said,  “Ms. Løj received assurances from the Minister that Radio Miraya broadcasts will continue according to UNMISS’ mandate and as stipulated in the Status of Forces Agreement signed between the UN and the Government of South Sudan,” the statement emphasized.

South Sudan’s Information minister and Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth, warned that he would shut down the United Nations’ Radio in Juba for broadcasting views of South Sudan’s rebels recently.

Makuei issued the warning and said he would put into writing his warning to the UN’s Radio Miraya management.

He said he was not afraid to close down the UN radio station.

Makuei’s olive branch to the UN has however not been extended to local media in South Sudan.

According to the renowned international Committee to Protect Journalists, Press freedom in South Sudan has deteriorated significantly since the country gained independence in 2011.

Journalists in South Sudan face rampant detentions, harassment and constant intimidation.

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