Sudanese News Editor Detained


Authorities in South Sudan have closed down one of the country’s main independent radio stations and detained its news editor for broadcasting the views of rebels fighting the government, the station said on Monday.

wpid-AmateurRadioStation.jpgBakhita Radio, which is run by the Catholic archdiocese in the capital Juba, was shut on Saturday and news editor Ocen David Nicholas was arrested, the station said on its website.

The website said Nicholas had been detained for “balancing a news story about fresh fighting in Bentiu” in the north of the country.

Bakhita director Albino Tokwaro said he had written an apology to security officials in Juba, with no result.

South Sudan has been in the grip of civil conflict since a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar turned violent in mid-December, with fighting erupting between troops belonging to their respective ethnic groups, the Dinka and the Nuer.

Ceasefire agreements have been unable to stop the fighting, which has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than a million.

The United Nations has warned of a famine.

Human rights groups have accused security forces of cracking down on journalists who are critical of the government.

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