East Africa

Kiir shuts down Eye Radio, imprisons official for promoting Machar rebellion

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The government of President Salva Kiir has put off air a popular South Sudan radio station, Eye Radio, for allegedly promoting rebellion in the country.

Eye Media released a statement at the close of last week saying it was negotiating with the authorities to try and resolve any problems after the security closed the radio.

Earlier in a message posted on its website, Eye Radio FM, announced that it was off air.

“This is to inform you our esteemed listener that we’ve unfortunately shut down our broadcast today for reasons beyond our control”, the statement read.

“We apologize for any inconveniences caused to you”, it added.

Security services later told the National Courier that the radio station was shut down for “promoting rebellion”.

Numerous security personnel questioned by the NC also added that they [the security apparatus] were not happy with Eye Radio’s uncensored interactive public phone ins.

The American funded radio station also said that they have been informed that airing of a news clip from a press conference held by deposed South Sudan first vice president Riek Machar a month ago was a reason for closure.

In the clip Riek said, “we did not see that there is an initiative from the region or the United Nations or the African Union to rescue the agreement. From our side the agreement has collapsed, or part of the government of national unity has collapsed since July events. We do not want violence.”

He was talking about his replacement and the muted regional response.

When asked by NC what was problematic about that particular news clip, the sources couldn’t explain and instead  gave a variety of reasons.

Most repeated reason was that Eye Radio was warned (by Minister of Information) sometime back to stop interviewing rebel officials and stop doing talkback segments in their programmes.

SPLM official arrested for meeting Machat

Meanwhile, Radio Tamazuj reports that a former senior SPLM official in Tonj State has been detained for about three months allegedly for meeting former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar in the capital Juba in April.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Wutchok John Magangdit, member of the SPLM secretariat in Tonj State says Governor Akec Tong Aleu arrested Andrew Kuac Mayol, former chairman of the SPLM party in Warrap State for holding a meeting with former first vice president Riek Machar in April.

“Akec removed that man from his position, so after sacking him, Akech claimed that Andrew went to Juba and met with Riek Machar when he returned from Ethiopia,” said Magandit.

Magangdit pointed out that the detained SPLM official has nothing to do with Riek Machar, claiming Andrew was arrested for criticizing the state governor.

He added that Andrew was arrested together with former commissioner of Tonj South William Wol since July.

“Andrew Kuac Mayol was arrested  since 23 July up to now, he is being detained together with the former commissioner of Tonj South William Wol Mayom, they are being detained illegally , people in Juba are not aware of what happened here,”he explained.

He called upon the relevant authorities to free the former SPLM leader, saying his health condition is deteriorating in detention.

NC/Tamazuj

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