South Sudan Shuts Down UN Radio Station

The government has ordered for the suspension of the operation of Radio Miraya 101 FM for non-compliance to orders of license. Radio Miraya is operated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Director of the South Sudan Media Authority, Elijah Alier Kuai, (Photo: Gurtong)

JUBA: The Director of the Media Authority, Elijah Alier Kuai said the move was taken following several notifications for registration which were not responded to by the management of the Radio station.

“This is to inform the public and media houses that the Media Authority has suspended the operations of Radio Miraya 101 FM for persistent non-compliance and refusal to be regulated under media laws in the republic of South Sudan,” a statement from the Media Authority reads.

According to section 34(1) of the media authority act, 2013, a person shall not provide a broadcasting service except in accordance with a valid broadcasting license.

Alier said the suspension letter was sent to radio Miraya after numerous notifications since June, September, November 2017, and February 2018.

“Nonetheless, the management of radio Miraya has not responded which is a clear violation of non-compliance with the media authority orders,” he added.

Alier said the Media Authority has requested the National Communications Authority (NCA) to withdraw the frequency 101FM that was allocated to Radio Miraya FM under UNMISS for non-compliance with the license condition with effect from Friday march 09th, 2018.
The order applies to all of Radio Miraya’s platforms including online broadcasting, according Alier.

He said the suspension will stand as long as the management of Radio Miraya refuses to be registered.

He said journalists working with Radio Miraya will not be allowed to cover events outside UNMISS because they would not be having accreditation.

“The media authority is more of content because all the content of the media we look at the content of all what you are broadcasting is healthy to the public.

He said Radio Miraya operates in an environment of its own when it is operating in the Republic of South Sudan.

“There are issues that are of concern that we have to decide with the broadcasters and radio is not immune to such issues because they are public to the public and if they are open to the public, issues to do with hate speech, hatred, incitement have to be regulated,” Alier said.

Radio Miraya is the radio station of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Radio Miraya started broadcasting in South Sudan on June 30, 2006, when it was still part of the Republic of Sudan.

The management of Radio Miraya was yet to respond to the suspension order.