JMEC: Press freedom is critical in building peace and national cohesion in South Sudan

Posted: May 3, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Press Release

World Press Freedom Day: “Freedom of the press critical in building peace and the promotion of national cohesion”

Isaiah Abraham

May 3, 2017 (SSB) — As the world marks this year’s World Press Freedom Day today (May 3), the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) Deputy Chair Amb Gen. Augostino Njoroge has called for an end of the crackdown on journalists and the protection of fundamental principles of press freedom in South Sudan.

Amb Gen. Njoroge said, in conflict situations as it is in South Sudan, free, objective and neutral media can help promote peace, enhance National Dialogue and counter hate speech that would otherwise tear the fragile country apart and plunge it into further conflict.

He said while performing their day-to-day duties, journalists in the country suffer character assassination, sexual and physical assault, arrests and even death.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), South Sudan is ranked 140th in the World Press Freedom Index, where at least eight journalists were killed in the past five years and tens of others detained or fled the country.

The Deputy Chair called on the Transitional Government of National Unity, state agencies as well other important non-state actors to help promote and protect existence of free media and expand the continuously shrinking space of the sector.

“The media, in South Sudan, like it is globally can offer a platform for various voices that seek to promote tolerance, dialogue, cohesion and compromise. This will ensure an all-inclusive national healing and dialogue and also shape the development agenda of the country,” he said.

He challenged sector players to lead in imparting understanding of the South Sudan’s peace process as envisaged in the Peace Agreement by engaging various players.

This he said, will in turn promote inter-ethnic, inter-religious and inter-cultural unity among societies by disseminating true and balanced contents.

May 3 is annually set aside to evaluate and celebrate press freedom around the world and to defend the media from attacks on its independence.

The day is also marked to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

This year, the theme is: “Media’s Role in Advancing Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.” UNESCO leads the worldwide celebration.

ENDS

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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Comments
  1. […] and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the body overseeing the implementation of the peace deal, called for greater press freedoms. He emphasised the crucial importance of an objective and independent […]

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  2. […] and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the body overseeing the implementation of the peace deal, called for greater press freedoms. He emphasised the crucial importance of an objective and independent […]

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