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VP Wani calls for freedom of expression, amidst shrinking media & civic space

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2021

South Sudan Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga speaking in different function in Juba on Monday, 25 January 2021. Courtesy

The Vice President, Dr. James Wani Igga has reminded government institutions to facilitate access to information and the freedom of media for South Sudan to prosper.

Since South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, freedom of expression has been severely restricted.

According to the UN Commission on Human Rights, South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist.

In February this year, Amnesty International revealed a report accusing the national security of using abusive surveillance to terrorize journalists, activists, and government critics.

Reporters Without Borders also found that several journalists have over the last two years sought refuge outside South Sudan to escape the harassment.

The government has, however, often insisted it accords freedom of the press in South Sudan.

Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga said the media and activists provide the government with views necessary for reforms.

He was speaking this week on Monday during the swearing in of Zakaria Joseph Garang as the new chairperson of SPLM party for Western Bahr El Ghazal state.

“Allow civil society; give them freedom because they will point out issues which you don’t see. Allow them to operate even the media, why should we fear the media?” Dr. James Wani Igga asked.

He called on grassroot leaders to provide civic space at their respective administrative areas.

“Even up to the Payam, let them talk about things that are done wrong. When you know that there is somebody who is going to point out what is wrong, then you will want to do good because you will be pointed out.”

“There must be free media even up to the county level, there must be free civil society ready to criticize then things will go well.”

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