JUBA, JANUARY 23rd 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s prominent activist Edmund Yakani has appealed to the government of the country to improve shrinking media space ahead of the visit by Pope Francis next month.
On February 3rd, Pope Francis will visit South Sudan, the first for a head of Roman Catholic Church since the country obtained independence from Sudan in 2011.
His visit also comes less than a month after several journalists were detained by government security agencies over circulation of a video in which President Salva Kiir Mayardit could be seen wetting on himself in public.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director Edmund Yakani, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) called on the government to respect the media warning that the visit by Pope Francis will cover worldwide media coverage.
“CEPO adds it voice to the call for the respect of media access to information in the face of the Pope Francis visit to South Sudan. This visit of Pope Francis will draw heavy national and international media coverage of the visit events,” Yakani said.
“The government should embrace unrestricted media coverage of Pope Francis visit and this should be essential. It is great that South Sudan media authority is attempting to improvement the media space in South Sudan through creation of the code of conduct for journalism practice. It is essential that media houses and media authority have collective efforts for successful media coverage of the Pope Francis visit,” the activist added.
He stressed that “media play effective role in bridging flow of information between the citizens and their leaders at various capacities at national and international levels. We wish our concern government authorities will do their level best to ensure that no incidences against media are registered in links with Pope Francis visit to South Sudan
“This is great event to demonstrate what is South Sudan as media and freedom of expression is concerned.
“Finally, CEPO is urging media authority to demonstrates the best to the world about South Sudan in terms of media coverage of Pope Francis visit.”