World, Africa

South Sudan orders shutdown of US-backed radio station

South Sudan ranks second to last in 2016 World Press Freedom index

Ekip   | 11.11.2016
South Sudan orders shutdown of US-backed radio station


By Parach Mach

JUBA, South Sudan 

The South Sudanese authorities have on Friday shut down a popular U.S.-backed radio station Eye Radio, which allegedly aired a talk show critical of the government, its news editor told Anadolu Agency.

“Our radio has been served with a copy of indefinite closure by National Security," Mabior Philip said. He said the closure was not a surprise but a political retaliation for airing programs critical of the government.

Mabior condemned the increasing clampdown of freedom of the press and called on the authorities to lift the suspension.

The government declined to comment but concerned authorities are expected to hold a news conference to explain the raid.

South Sudan ranked second to last in the World Press Freedom index this year and journalists have often complained of harassment by the authorities.

Reporters without Borders said the government has restricted journalists from freely covering issues linked to the conflict that broke out in 2013 following political differences within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.

EU aid

Meanwhile, the European Union announced Friday a 78-million-euro ($85 million) emergency aid to help those affected by the South Sudan crisis.

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management Christos Stylianides in the Ugandan capital Kampala announced: "Our new funding will help our humanitarian partner organizations get life-saving aid to those who need it most."

A million refugees from South Sudan have fled to neighboring countries. The number is expected to grow.

The conflict in South Sudan has led to tens of thousands of deaths since it began in 2013. Fighting between rebel and government forces began again in July following a peace deal last year.

*Halima Athumani contributed to this story from Kampala, Uganda

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