Authorities warn media against condoning incitement

Authorities warn media against condoning incitement
Director-General of South Sudan Media Authority, Sapana Abui speaks during the opening of peace conference in Juba on Monday September 27, 2021. (photo credit: courtesy)

The South Sudan Media Authority has warned media houses against providing platforms to politicians to incite the public for their selfish interests.

Director-General of South Sudan Media Authority, Sapana Abui, said the national media regulatory body would not condone news outlets that propagate divisions in the country.

“Pass this message to your media houses. Media should be used to promote peaceful coexistence among the communities and not to allow politicians to incite the community; that will not be allowed,” warned Abui.

The Director-General was speaking during the opening of a peace conference organized by CoMNeTSS in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Juba on Monday.

The conference brought together journalists from across South Sudan to discuss the role of media in peacebuilding and promoting peaceful coexistence in the country.

“Journalists should not allow themselves to be used as tools by individuals for their selfish interests,” Mr. Abui added.

The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Peace, Pia Phillip called on scribes to promote peace rather than destroying society’s social fabric.

“The role of media is to promote peace and be sensitive to those words that cause conflict…build the social fabric of our society through communication,” Phillip told journalists.

South Sudan has been witnessing recurring inter-communal fights over the past years with thousands of population displaced, most of whom were women, children, and elderly people in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Conflicts

Most of the regions affected have been Greater Upper Nile, parts of Central and Western Equatoria States, Warrap, Lakes, and Unity States.

As the polarization continues to surge among the citizens, the Executive Director of CoMNeTSS, Joseph Achiro called on journalists to employ their conflict-sensitive reporting skills to forge unity among the community in the country.

“We need peace in our society, and it is us to communicate that to our community. What are they doing to support peaceful coexistence among the 64 tribes in South Sudan? So peace journalism is one of the tools to promote peace in the community,” said Achiro on Friday last week.

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