Stephen Omiri, the head of the Eye Radio of South Sudan will today meet the National Security Services (NSS) Director, to discuss the modalities expected to be adhered to after the possible reopening of the closed station.
‘I hope that the radio will reopened after that formal meeting where specific warnings might be made’, Mr Omiri was quoted as saying.
On Friday last week the NSS ordered the immediate closure of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) funded radio without providing a reason for the move. Eye Radio prided itself as independent news provider in South Sudan.
Eye Radio management said the NSS, communicating through parent company Eye Media, said it closed the station after it played a news clip of former South Sudanese First Vice President and leader of the armed opposition Riek Machar on October 13.
However, according to other sources in Eye Radio, the news clip from Machar had called for peace, ‘not war; we thought it was possible news because it did not called for renewal of hostilities’.
Meanwhile, media advocacy group, the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) condemned the closure.
“The closure of Eye Radio is arbitrary and amounts to brute force censorship of a vital source of independent news for the people of South Sudan,” said Murithi Mutiga, CPJ’s East Africa representative
Mr Mutiga called on authorities in Juba to cease intimidation against media and journalists and called for reopening of Eye Radio.
Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth declined to comment when contacted on Saturday, claiming he has no instruction to close the station.