South Sudan

Press Briefing - Near verbatim transcript, Wednesday 24 February 2016


Ladies and gentlemen, media and dear radio listeners, good morning, and welcome to our weekly press briefing brought to you live by Radio Miraya.

Today our special guest is Fred Yiga, the UN Police Commissioner. The Police Commissioner has been in South Sudan since June 2006 when he worked with UN Development Program (UNDP) as the first UN Chief Technical Advisor to the Minister of Interior and the Inspector General of Police. In May, 2012 he was appointed as UN Police Commissioner. Police Commissioner Fred Yiga is an expert in police reform and has a vast experience in working with police forces in fragile conflict situations. He will return in less than a week to his home country, Uganda, where he has the rank of Assistant Inspector General of the Police. Today, he will outline his successes and challenges as the Head of UNPOL for the last 4 years.

Freedom of the press Let s start with some rather good news for the journalists in South Sudan:

  • The release of one of your colleagues Joseph Afandi, journalist with the El Tabeer who was detained since 29 December 2015. - The establishment of an autonomous South Sudan Media Authority with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the UN lead Agency on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists. The Media Regulatory Authority in South Sudan is in charge of overseeing the media industry in terms of regulation, media development and issuance of broadcasting licenses.

In 2015, 7 journalists were killed; the country is ranked as second worst in Africa and 5th globally, on the Committee to Protect Journalists global impunity index. Reporters without Borders also ranked South Sudan as 125th out 180 countries on 2015 World Press Freedom Index, 6 positions down from the previous year.

Briefings to the UN Security Council Friday 19 February:

  • The UN Security Council has condemned the Malakal violence committed between Shilluk and Dinka communities in the protection of civilians’ site. Members of the Security Council were particularly alarmed by credible reports of armed men in SPLA uniforms entering the compound, firing on civilians, and the looting and burning of tents.

  • Before this statement was issued, the UN Security Council was addressed by the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan Mr. Moustapha Soumare. Mr. Soumare expressed grave concern at the violence in the Mission’s protection sites in Malakal, and insisted on the civilian character of Protection of Civilians sites. He also deplored insecurity in Wau area and the intercommunal violence in Jonglei, Warrap and Lakes regions.

UN Secretary-General visits South Sudan

In an unrelated development, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be traveling tomorrow to South Sudan as part of a three-stop trip in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. The SecretaryGeneral is expected to meet with the President of South Sudan, representatives of the diplomatic corps and UN agencies, funds and programs, as well as NGOs and community representatives from the Juba Protection of Civilians site.

On the Force activities

Force has provided protection to the team of the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) for a two-day visit to assess the situation in Mundri, Lui and Bari, Western Equatorian region. A summary of the latest violations of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements can be found on the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) website, The JMEC met yesterday in plenary session. Ruth Feeney, the CTSAMM strategic communications officer, is in attendance in the room and will be available to discuss with you after the briefing.

I will now give the floor to Fred Yiga.

Just as a reminder should you want to talk about specific issues, please send us a text to: +211 912 1 77 141