Journalists walk out of SPLM Press Conference

By John Agok

Journalists from various Media Houses in the country boycotted the SPLM Press Conference yesterday after they were verbally harassed by a protocol member in the SPLM Secretariat. The SPLM press conference was about to be chaired by the acting secretary General Nunu Kumba.

Speaking to Juba Monitor, a journalist from Eye Radio described how they were harshly attacked by a member of SPLM in the protocol prior to the commencement of the conference.

He said, “Journalists arrived on time slated for the Press Conference and sat in the compound for about thirty minutes prior to being led to SPLM Press Conference Hall. Later, they sat in the places already arranged for them, unfortunately, somebody wearing SPLM T-shirt came into the room and started ordering them (journalists) to sit behind and leave the chairs for more officials to come and occupy, but the journalists refused in the name of Press Conference not a meeting for them to move out.”

However, the journalists decided to walk out boycotting the conference calling the unfortunate incident a harassment of the highest degree.

“If you are told to register the Media House you represent first, and being pushed around without recognition as the media, then what are we here for?” They questioned.

A journalist from Dawn Newspaper also explained that it was a bad gesture to Media House representatives that attended the press conference.

“We were looked at like strangers and like intruders, while we were officially invited by secretariat to come and cover the event,” he expressed.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) member posted the media invitation on Monday evening on the platform of South Sudan Journalists (SSJ). The content of the Press Conference was not indicated in the media notification but later on in the very press conference hall. The document was distributed to all journalists seated at the table and commotion commenced immediately from protocol docket which disrupted everything.

Later on, the content of the document was a resignation notice from SPLM/IO official who is rejoining the SPLM-IG. The official was Ambassador Dr. Wesley Bokati Natana Abraham who resigned from position of SPLM/IO representative of Tanzania, East Africa.

It seemed the institutions are not aware about the role of media; it is high time they learn how to approach media personnel to do their job professionally.

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