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SSHURSA Condemns Shutdown of Good News Radio; Calls on National Government to Reverse the Lakes State’s Government Decision

SSHURSA condemns shutdown of Good News Radio calls on National Government to reverse the Lakes State’s Government decision on the Station and urges the institutions to respect rule of law

For immediate release; July 1, 2013
Juba, South Sudan

Juba, July 1, 2013 (SSNA) -- The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) in strongest terms possible condemns the shutdown of the Catholic Radio, the Good News Radio by the South Sudan’s Lakes State Government. The Minister of Information and Communications of the Lakes State Government Mr. Dut Makoi Kuok, at about 1:00 PM of June 28, 2013, had shut down the Lakes State’s Rumbek capital based Good News Radio. According to the verifiable information SSHURSA has collected, the Minister advanced more than four reasons which later amounted to the shutdown of the station. Some of such reasons as alleged by the Minister including; that the Radio station has been a channel for collecting human rights abuses in Lakes State and that the programs and activities at the station have been politicized.

Analyzing these reasons, in the eyes of South Sudan’s laws, they remain as mere speculations and concoctions of the Minister, whether he acted upon directives of the Caretaker Governor of Lakes State as alleged or by his own accord; the Minister attacked the heart of the South Sudan’s Constitution. He has misused his powers without enabling law to act otherwise and he thus acted outside his mandate. This must be condemned by anyone who cares about South Sudan’s current and future democratic and rule of law based governance.

Based on the Provisions of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, the Constitution which defines the limits of the government powers, allows for the right to freedom of expression and media. Article 24(1) States;

“Every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to public order, safety or morals as prescribed by law”.

The Minister has failed to show if any breach has been committed by the Good News Radio Station but rather using his powers to do anything that pleases his government which is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and that amounts to a defilement of the supreme law.

Article 24(2) of the TCSS states;

“All levels of government shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by the law in a democratic Society”

The Lakes State’s Minister of Information and Communications never cared to respect this provision of the Constitution but rather acted in a manner always typical of a military dictatorship. This is unacceptable after South Sudan sacrificed millions of lives to gain its freedom from oppressors.  The Minister’s act of closure of the radio is illegal and a reminder to South Sudanese of Khartoum’s oppression and Military dictatorships on South Sudanese over the last decades. The constant intimidations and harassments of media personnel and human rights defenders by the Lakes State government officials and other state institutions in South Sudan must be a concern of all humanity. Article 19 of the 1948 UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights allows for the right to freedom of expression. South Sudan being a member of UN and owing its obligations to the world under International Law ought to respect the provisions of the Declaration but this hasn’t been happening.

SSHURSA has also learnt that the Station Manager Mr. Peter Mapuor Makur is under pressure to leave his job.  As SSHURSA condemns the unconstitutional acts of the Lakes State government, it recommends the following:

To the National Minister of Information and Broadcasting Co-operation and National Council of Ministers:

(1) Intervene in the issue and direct the Lakes State Minister of Information and Communication and the Caretaker Governor to reinstate the Good News Radio Station immediately.
(2) Urge the caretaker Governor to act within the confines, spirit and letter of the Constitution.
(3) Urge the National Minister of Justice and Judiciary’s Constitutional Court to protect against the open abuse of the Constitution by the Lakes States Government.

To the National Legislative Assembly:

(1) Summon and question the Lakes State Caretaker Governor Major General Matur Chut Dhuol, on the human rights abuses that have been taking place in Lakes State since his leadership started.
(2) Make immediate demand from Lakes State Caretaker Governor and Minister who effected the illegal act to reinstate the operations of the Good News Radio.

To the Top Management of the Good News Radio and Media Practitioners:

(1) Remain courageous and never yield to the intimidations by the state
(2) Resist all temptations, never to submit to illegal acts pressured
 by the state
(3)     Urge the media personnel to continue acting responsibly within the
limits of the law

Signed by:

Biel Boutros Biel, SSHURSA Executive Director
Juba, South Sudan

For further inquiries on this press release or about SSHURSA, contact
us on: +211 955 300 382 or +211 915 364 531, E-mail:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

--

South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy(SSHURSA) is a non political and non profit making organization founded in 2007 with its vision geared towards building an enlightened Human Rights abiding South Sudan. Its mission is to monitor, document human rights vioaltions in South Sudan and train general public on the respect and importance of Human Rights, fundamental freedoms of an individual, democracy and Rule of Law to creating responsible, justice and good governance oriented South Sudan.  SSHURSA pays particular focus on the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Contact us Through:

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“YOUR RIGHTS; YOUR DIGNITY"

Anuak King Survives Assassination Attempt in South Sudan

AN ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE NYEIYIA (KING) AKWAI AGANDA AKWAI FAILED

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2013
 
Media Contact
Friday Awow
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
June 27, 2013 (SSNA) -- An effort to assassinate King Akwai Aganda Akwai failed on Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 3:00PM local time.

On his way from Pochalla to Otalo village, where his throne sits, King’s vehicle came under attack by gunmen. His bodyguards fired back in defense, killing the two gunmen.

The two gunmen, Chuol Gatwich and Chuol Rou, happened to be National Army soldiers (better known SPLA), who were actually deployed and stationed in Otalo village.

Nobody knows their interior motives since they were all dead. “The two soldiers escaped and were missing for the last three days” answered captain Gatjang, the area commander of Otala village when asked by the King.

Comrades of the deceased soldiers were furious. Over the phone conversation, an eyewitness in Otalo village reported that group of soldiers already blocked water sites, denying women and girls access. Others stepped up patrols in the village. It is still unclear whether such blockages and patrols represent orders from the area commander or just isolated incidents.

Fear is building amidst civilians as anticipation for vengeance heaves upwards. “Mule tribe is already killing us, abducting our kids and raiding our cows….now the government soldiers also want to kill us. Where can we go people?” wailed a frustrated woman by the name Thwol.

“Yes, there is a conspiracy against our community. The so called big tribes are using government power to take our land(s) in Akobo County and Pochalla County”, yelled Cham Omoli, cutting Thwol short before finishing her thoughts.

Cham Omoli is an Akobo County native, forced out from his home during Anyuak – Nuer tribal war in 1983.

His majesty King Akwai immediately reported the assassination attempt to the American embassy in Juba. Another preparation is on the way to meet President Salfa Kiir Mayarddid very soon.

ASSAD is too concerned and adding her fear on the entire community’s. With the strongest terms possible, we denounce the assassination attempt on our supreme leader’s life.

Rwäth (Majesty) is for the Anyuak people, by the Anyuak people, with the Anyuak people and to the Anyuak people. An endeavor to do away with his life is tantamount to an endeavor to do away with our community existence.

National Army should protect all communities in the country, not the few that control the government. Using government might to achieve tribal ends by means of terrorizing our community is adamantly unacceptable.

We ask the government of South Sudan to:

  • Protect civilians from possible revenge in Otalo village in particular and Pochalla County at large
  • Investigate the motives behind the assassination attempt, beginning with lieutenant general, Peter Gatdit, an area commander of Jonglei State and Gat Kiir, Pochalla County area commander. Relocating the area commander of Otalo village in an urgent manner isn’t only a cover up of the debacle but also an attempt to destroy valuable evidence
  • Recruit more county police and station army barracks away from the civilians
  • Protect Anyuak in Akobo Country from being systematically terrorized with an aim to move them off their land

On the other hand, in the spirit of nationalism or patriotism, we regret the death of our gallant soldiers, who chose to defend their newly born country. We respect their services and expected them to die for a higher reason. We pray for their beloved families, friends and the nation at large.

The 43-year-old King Akwai Agada succeeded his half-brother King Adongo Agada, who passed away November 30, 2011 after battling chest pain caused by car accident when he was a young man.

Called from the United States to be seated on the throne, he resettled in 1995 during the South – North Sudan civil war, becoming an American citizen later.

Married to a beautiful young woman – Abarry Akwai, his Majesty King is the father of two children with the third baby on the way to be born in July this year. Agada Akwai and Awilli Akwai whose ages: four and three respectively are currently residents of Mankato, Minnesota.

Sincerely,

Office of Public Relations

Interviews:

Should you want to interview King Akwai, contact Adhiero Omot in Canada: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (306-684-0541). If you want to interview ASSAD representative in Australia, contact Friday Awow and in United States, contact Ojulu O. Ogala: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (206-501-0554)

SSHURSA Welcomes suspension of Two Cabinet Ministers, Appeals to President to do more

The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA)
 “Your Rights; Your Dignity”
 
SSHURSA Press Release, For Immediate Release, June 19, 2013
Juba, South Sudan

Juba, June 19, 2013 (SSNA) -- The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) lauds and welcomes the move taken by the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit in suspending and lifting the immunity of the two cabinet Ministers Hon. Deng Alor Kuol and Hon. Kosti Manibe Ngai of the Ministries of Cabinet Affairs and Finance & Economic planning respectively. This is a move in the interest of the public and SSHURSA hails the President for the bold action taken. 

“This is a long over due and I think practically, President Kiir has truly acted in the interest of the people and this is what has been expected of him” Said Biel Boutros Biel, the Executive Director of SSHURSA. “In the eyes of the law, the two ministers remain only as suspects of corruption allegations placed on them and therefore, are still innocent until their guilt is proved otherwise, howevever, worth to mention is that since their immunity has been lifted and altogether they are suspended from their official duties, is indeed in the right direction as full and fair investigations will lead to the material facts of the allegations and as usual, we call upon the President to do more”Biel added.

As SSHURSA hails the action taken by His Excellency the President, it also appeals to him to equally act on the most serious alleagtions levveled against some of the Executive members of government as follows:

1. He should suspend and lift the immunity of the Deputy Minister of Interior Lt. Gen. Salva Mathok Gengdit accused of murder of Banyjioth Mathoat Tap. As long as he is still the Deputy Minister of Interior, no fair, free and impartial investigations would be expected of the case.

2. Reveal identities, suspend and lift the immunity of the 75 alleged corrupt officials in and out of the government whom he had written a letter to in May 2012 over the disappearance of public funds entrusted to them. They should be investigated with urgency on equal note.

3. SSHURSA appeals to National Parliament to summmons and question the Ministers of Interior, National Security, Information and Justice for failing to avail results of investigations as who was responsible for the assassination of Isaiah Abraham in December 2012.

For more information on this Press Release or on what we do, contact SSHURSA through its Executive Director on: Tel. +211 915 300 382, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Juba, South Sudan.

South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy(SSHURSA) is a non political and non profit making organization founded in 2007 with its vision geared towards building an enlightened Human Rights abiding South Sudan. Its mission is to monitor, document human rights vioaltions  in South Sudan and train general public on the respect and importance of Human Rights, fundamental freedoms of an individual, democracy and Rule of Law to creating responsible, justice and good governance oriented South Sudan.  SSHURSA pays particular focus on the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

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