By Radio Tamazuj:
Radio Easter 94 FM, a branch of the Catholic Radio Network, is off-air in Yei River County. The station has been the only FM radio used by both the public and government to pass out public announcements.
Workers at the station said the facility was hit by lightening and its connection cable got burnt completely. The station workers also said if there is no access to fuel, the station may continue to remain silent until further notice.
Radio Spirit had already been suffering blackouts due to lack of fuel and technical problems with its transmission system.
Women’s activist Mama Hawa said they have resorted to the old days of accessing information through the shortwave channels.
“Apart from getting information from Radio Fm as the only radio covering parts of Yei River State, we have resorted from getting information from the old BBC, [and] South Sudan radio shortwave channels not known by many people,” said Hawa.
Hawa says access to pass information to the public via the local media houses in Yei has been greatly affected.
Meanwhile, human rights and civil society activist Mr. Dara said “information black out” in the area will create a vacuum allowing for rumors and fabricated information to spread, which is very dangerous for Yei River State.
“Information blackout means nobody knows what is happening and if nobody knows what is happening, then the people will find a way to access information and when individuals are allowed to find information, then it will be a dangerous result to our country and once people are missed informed, there will be a lot of chaos in the country,” Dara explained.
Dara added that the constitution protects right to access information but this right is not being fulfilled.
“We all know that article thirty two of our constitution provides for the rights to access to information whether in form of an audio or electronic record. Information is power and its one of the critical aspects of national governance. Our leadership should intervene. People need information to make correct decisions,” said Dara.
This article is republished courtesy of Radio Tamazuj, a daily news service and current affairs broadcaster covering South Sudan, the southern states of Sudan, and the borderlands between the two countries.