Sign up for PM Award Updates!

S, Sudan pulls popular FM radio off air

November 11, 2016

A popular independent South Sudanese FM radio station was pulled off the air by the government Friday in what some of its staff said could be retaliation for giving air time to the opposition.

“The senior management of Eye Radio would like to inform the general public that Eye Radio was shut down by the authorities this afternoon,” a statement from the radio said, adding that efforts were under way “to immediately resolve this matter.”

No reason was given for the closure but staff who asked to remain anonymous said the government decision could be linked to the broadcast the previous day of an interview with an official linked to Riek Machar, the former vice-president turned rebel chief.

The closure of the radio, which receives funding from USAID, follows the shutdown in September of the country’s main English-language daily after it ran a front-page story on a US report accusing the country’s leaders of war profiteering.

Adama Dieng, the UN adviser on prevention of genocide who was winding up a week-long visit to the world’s newest country, called on the government to immediately open the radio.

“The radio is promoting peace. They [government authorities] should rather encourage, congratulate, use that radio as a model, say from now onwards that that is the message we want,” Dieng said.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.