Journalist arrested over FVP US sanction

By: Sheila Ponnie 

A Journalist was arrested last Friday in Torit State for broadcasting First Vice President’s sanction on the state owned radio station, “the voice of Eastern Equatoria state 97.5 FM”.

According to the locals in Torit, Ijjo Bosco Modi a Radio broadcaster who also works as Eye radio correspondent in the state was arrested after he aired out the news about the FVP’s sanction. 

Last week, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctioned the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai for an alleged involvement in human rights abuses including death of civilians in the country.

However, the FVP rejected the allegations on the human rights violations and sanctions against him saying that he is a man of peace.

In an exclusive telephone interview with Juba Monitor during the weekend regarding Modi’s arrest in Torit, Governor Tobiolo Alberio Oromo, said that the allegation are not true, Modi deliberately threw away the news that he was expected to air out on that Friday night at 7pm news.

“The reporter who is working in Torit Radio Station 97.5 FM threw the news about the transportation of the South Sudan People’s Defense’s Force (SSPDF) to the training center in Owinykibul away, the news that was well  edited and given to him by the editor to broadcast.

Oroma said that Modi threw the news away and broadcast wrong information that was not true, they were not aware of.

According to Governor Oromo, the protocol of the state is that the state local news is meant to be given the first priority and then other news follows.

“Our interest is for our people to hear that we are implementing the Revitalized Peace Agreement. We are moving all our forces IO and SSPDF to the training center, he hid the correct news deliberately and he continued to announce something that cannot benefit our community and he has been doing that all the time this is not the first time he is doing that and why does he keep doing that?,” Governor Oromo questioned.

The governor admitted that Modi is being detained and is under investigation for him not airing the news and what his intentions are for hiding the local news.

Governor Oromo was questioned about what Journalist Modi announced on air that Friday night.

“He announced about the high prices of goods in the market and then the sanction of the First Vice President and he immediately stopped there,” he said.

He added that the announcement of the prices and the sanctioning of the FVP is important news but his consent is what the journalist’s intentions were for not airing out the local news about the transportation of the troops.

However, the governor said that he will free the journalist and they are committed to the peace agreement.

According to an eye witness, with a request of his name not to be mentioned, IJJo Bosco Modi, the journalist was arrested on Friday.

“Yes he was arrested on Friday evening and even we are still looking for a way forward on how to get him out of the detention,” he said.

According to Reporters without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index, South Sudan is ranked 139th out of 180 countries? The ranking has improved.

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