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Media, NSS workshop concludes in Juba

By: Khamis Cosmas Lokudu

A two-workshop aimed at strengthening relationship between the media fraternity and National Security Services (NSS) in across the country has been wrapped up in the capital Juba.

Last week Media Authority and the government of Canada with financial provision from Journalist of Human Rights brought together representatives of local media professionals and members of national Security Services for two days intersection workshop to assess the relationship between the two entities. 

In a presentation delivered by Sapana Abuyi, Director General for Information and Media Compliance, he said it is a violation to interfere in the operations of Media by the security sector.

Abuyi told participants of the two institutions that it’s not permissible for the security organs to intimidate and threaten the journalists or other media practitioners.  

“No journalist should be harassed physically or socially by members of the security organs, and the National Security Service are expected to co-operate and coordinate media issues with South Sudan Media Authority,” he said.

“In strong terms, the media and the journalists are warned to avoid leakage of sensitive classified security information for public consumption and no unauthorized person should be in possession of classified information. Media should be allowed to get access to information necessary for public consumption,” Abuyi added.

Abuyi said the public has the right to know how the safety of the country is being handled by the concerned authorities in order for them to make informed decisions.

“It is the responsibility of the security to know which information to release to the media and the media should avoid reckless reporting of security information,” he said adding security is a concern and responsibility for all and its protection is necessary in the interest and safety of the nation.

At the closure of the event, Eliza Alier, the Managing Director of South Sudan Media Authority said he discovered three key words during the two days’ workshop and these were honesty, trust and cooperation between the two sectors.

Aler commended the Canadian government in its commitment to support the effort of the Media Authority saying it’s very rear for foreign governments to unveil support to another country, especially one engulfed in crisis.  

Last year with support from Journalists for Human Rights, the Media Authority was able to bring state Ministers from all the 32 states plus Abyei administrative area, director generals for information and Secretary General of the government to juba.

The Media are the mirror where we view ourselves every day and it’s the same way the world views South Sudan. So at the time we need to portray the good image of the country in various institutions.

Daglaus Scott, the newly appointed Canadian Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan said the presence of the participants is a tangible demonstration to improve the working relationship between the media and the national security in South Sudan.  

“Freedom of expression and rule of law has vital to instruct the kind of the society that the liberation struggle could see.  Freedom of expression and the press as fundamental   human rights in country like South Sudan have to be respected and protected. There is need to support women in journalism, balance gender equality in the profession and so on,” he said.

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