South Sudan has suspended the operations of Radio Miraya, which is owned by the U.N. Mission in the country, for failing to comply with media laws, the media regulator said on Friday.
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. They said the radio station was "not immune" to oversight.
Alier said they're not trying to censor the station but rather they are monitoring it for "hate speech and incitement". The union resumed operation after the media authority approved its licensing application, according to media reports, and Sapana Abuyi, director general for information and media compliance of the South Sudanese Media Regulatory Authority.
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He said the station had failed to respond to several queries over the years, including the violation of the terms of its broadcast licence.
The media sector remains the most threatened in the country since civil war broke out in December 2013.
Reporters without Borders ranked South Sudan 145th out of 180 in its 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
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"Radio Miraya is continuing to broadcast across the country, " Francesca Mold, the spokesperson for UNMISS told newsmen.
The shuttering of Radio Miraya would be the latest blow for media in the East African nation, where three other outlets were recently closed or suspended.
Civic groups are calling the suspension disturbing and are urging the Media Authority and the U.N.to "sort out their differences", said Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization. Past year 20 foreign journalists were barred by the media authority from entering and reporting in the country.
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Alier, of the Media Authority says only when the United Nations complies with the law will the station be allowed to return to the airwaves.