“South Sudan is by far better than India”, Amir Ali explains

Amir Awad Ali, a 60-year-old woman known for hate-mongering on social media, claims that South Sudan, regardless of external perceptions, is much better than India in terms of development and food security.

“South Sudan is much better than India,” said Amir in a Facebook show shared live on Tuesday.

In 2017, the former Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Pagan Amum Okiech, filed a lawsuit against Amir Ali, over hate speech and defamation on social media.

Amum also criticized Facebook for allowing hate speech to flourish on its platform without tough restrictions.

“It ceased to become free speech and becomes hate speech when the content is inciting violence, is demonizing and dehumanizing persons for whatever reason they aim,” Amum said.

Amum was accused of committing rape and murder, a baseless charge—that he emphatically denied in the court.

South Sudan’s conflict has broken down largely on tribal lines, with opponents of President Salva Kiir accusing him of trying to concentrate power and property in the hands of his Dinka tribe.

Why Goc Akot Atem is an innocent victim of proxy media war

A response to the allegations concocted against him in the open letter of Concerned Youth

Goc Akot Atem| Photo: Courtesy of the writer

By Deng Rialdit Akook

Dec 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–Opinion | It was last week when a group of hopeless, disgruntled and hunger traumatized youths who proclaimed themselves to be representatives of ten states and three administrative areas rushed to the social media with a fake open letter to the president of the Republic of South Sudan, calling for the urgent dismissal of Deng Wal, Goc Akot Atem and Eng. Akol Santo Arech.

In their open letter to the president, The unknown thirteen proclaimed representatives of ten states and three administrative areas under of the name of non existing Concerned Youth, levelled baseless allegations against a kind hearted potential man Cde Goc Akot Atem.

The self imposed representatives in their open letter accused Cde Goc Akot of donating over 50 cars mostly V8 and premios to his home boys of Awan Pajok, exposing himself to the public as a presidential waiter, turning himself into a millionaire and politician, buying of quarter of juba City luxurious buildings, and so many unfounded allegations.

Before I respond to the above allegations fabricated against a respected and kind potential youth Cde Goc Akot, I would like to bring into the attention of the youth of South Sudan that there is no association or union called ” Concerned Youth of Ten States and Three Administrative Areas”. The only legitimate body that represents the youth at the state level is the State Youth Union. The Concerned Youth of Ten States and Three Administrative Areas was created by the desperate lobbyists who are lobbying for various positions in the presidency.

The thirteen names of the individuals who claimed to be representatives of Concerned youth are all fake and all those thirteen names seemed to be the names of people who died 1000 years ago. The thirteen names were just coined by two to three individuals at the tea places of Juba City and then put in to the white paper. To prove this, the thirteen signatures of the so called representatives look alike and same. This means it was one individual who signed on behalf of those coined names.

Coming back to the unfounded allegations levelled against Cde Goc Akot Atem by the non existing representatives of Concerned Youth. The unknown and non existing thirteen individuals accused Cde Goc Akot of distributing over 50 cars mostly V8 and premios to his homeboys of Awan Pajok Community. Dear readers, Cde Goc has no personal vehicle leave alone distributing cars to the people.. He is currently using a government car for his personal mobility because he lacks money to purchase for himself a private vehicle. How can a man who uses government vehicle as his personal mobility manage to donate 50 cars?. It is clear that this allegation was concocted in order to mislead the South Sudanese in the social media. The mere allegation of exposing himself to the public as a presidential waiter is a pure lie and it is groundless. Cde Goc Akot is not a waiter in the presidency. The fake thirteen representatives of non existing Concerned Youth don’t know his position in the presidency and they were gambling in order to confuse the public in the social media.

In that same open, the enemies under the disguise name of Concerned Youth accused Cde Goc Akot of purchasing quarter of Juba City buildings. They went further to claim that he is in negotiations with owners of various hotels in an attempt to buy those hotels. To be frank you, Cde Goc Akot doesn’t own any luxurious buildings in juba City with exception of his personal house. He doesn’t have enough money to buy an empty plot in first class residence leave alone buying expensive mansions. If Cde Goc has such luxurious buildings in Juba as claimed by the enemies of progress, why is he residing in a very local house?.

In addition, he never asked the buying price of any hotel in his life. This allegation was fabricated and it holds no water in the mind of intellectuals. The allegation of turning himself into a politician and millionaire is a pure lie with no evidence to support it. Cde Goc Akot doesn’t have any interest to be a politician and he has never commented or participated in any political activities. Attending social gathering doesn’t mean a person is a politician. Cde Goc sometimes attends social gathering organize by various communities in his capacity as an ordinary citizen of South Sudan. In addition to that, being a millionaire is neither claimed nor easy.

“How can a man who lacks a private car be called a millionaire?”

In conclusion, all the allegations invented against Cde Goc Akot Atem in the incendiary open letter entitled ” A joint open letter from concerned youth of ten states and three administrative areas to President Salva Kiir Mayardit” are baseless and rubbish. The allegations were manufactured by the enemies of progress with a clear intention of tarnishing the good image of a humble and kind hearted gentleman Cde Goc Akot.

The authors of the open letter are desperate lobbyists who are trying by all means to find way into the presidency through writing deformatory articles against hard-working staff like Cde Goc Akot Atem.. Therefore, I am urging the South Sudanese in the social media to disregard whatever was written against Cde Goc Akot and throw it into dustbin.

The writer is an activist Senior and can be reached via email: damosipdeng@gmail.com or number: 0914606064

Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The South Sudan Herald is not liable for any comment submitted by individuals or authors and reserves the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com

Opinion: The role of the media to keep South Sudanese informed about coronavirus

April 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–Media scholars described the media as the fourth estate after the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary arms of government. As the three arms of government ought to operate independently to ensure checks and balances, the media also ought to operate independently without any interference in principle in order to maximise its output to provide information services to its beneficiaries. Others refer to the media as the mirror or reflection of the society.

The role of the media traditionally is to provide information, education and entertainment to its target audience whether being readers or viewers depending on the media outlet. The roles mentioned above are the primary roles of each media house in any country is to basically ensure that the population are informed on current affairs issues or various matters that concerns them and affects their lives. And this information is packaged through different formats e.g. news articles or broadcasts, opinion articles, talk shows, interviews and public service announcements (PSA’s) among others.

Research has proved that the rate of media consumptions normally shoots up when there are crisis, natural catastrophes, conflicts and including pandemics like the outbreak of COVID-19; this is because people become hungry for accurate information, where media is considered to be one of the credible sources of information in democratic societies.

Therefore, South Sudan media should live to the responsibility of taking lead to inform and educate the people of South Sudan about COVID-19. The Managers of media house outlets should give more space to information about COVID-19 to educate about people about the dangers of this virus and how our citizens can protect themselves. Many South Sudanese are still naïve and ill-informed about the Coronavirus believing that our hot climate can’t be penetrated by COVID-19, or that the Coronavirus doesn’t infect black people. It’s upon the media to keep informing and updating our people about the number of African countries that has confirmed reported cases to correct this ill-informed mindset.

The media should use the Agenda-Setting Theory to ensure that Coronavirus become the central focus for the next two months to support the High Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic headed by H.E President Salva Kiir working together with the World Health Organization and National Ministry of Health to ensure that South Sudan remain COVID-19 free nation. The newspapers, radio stations and TV stations should provide spaces on their different outlets for experts to continue informing, educating and updating readers across the country and in the diaspora about the developments and what the High Level Taskforce, WHO and the Ministry are doing. What strategies are put in place in preparations for any eventualities in relation to Coronavirus.

The Media Authority and the Information Commission should live up to its mandate to ensure that media practitioners are given unhindered access to information with the sole purpose of informing the public to enhance collective understanding of the role all the stalk holders should play to combat this deadly virus from penetrating our boarders. By doing so the mainstream media in the country would be able to defuse all social media rumors and misinformation about the virus in the country. It is great that the High Level Taskforce acknowledge the media as an essential service provider, however it is important that the other stakeholders implementing the directives of the High Level Taskforce on COVID-19 cooperate with media personnel when they are conducting the duty to inform the public.

At such times where the COVID-19 became a matter of threat to the nation it would just be morally appropriate if media houses can take upon themselves as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the people of South Sudan not to charge Coronavirus related messages to be published or broadcast to the public by their media houses. Though I understand the financial challenges media houses face, this would at least be the industry’s fair contribution to this pandemic and our people.

The media should focus its efforts on behavioral and attitude change through writing articles, publishing and broadcasting contents to make the public understand the dangers of Coronavirus and embrace the preventive measures being emphasized by the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization. The media should ensure they give platform for experts to understand that all the measures and directives issued by the government and are being enforced by the security agencies are all for their own safety and aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. The media should focus its efforts through medical experts to explain to the public that for one to prevent him/herself from being infected is an individual responsibility before becoming a collective responsibility. And emphasise prevention messages on hand washing with soap every twenty minutes; avoid handshakes or hugging; avoid touching ones face, nose, eyes and mouth; covering ones mouth with a handkerchief when sneezing or coughing; keep social distancing and avoid crowds.

I recommend that the High Level Taskforce on COVID-19, the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health should form a strong Communications team to be in charge of disseminating the messages about the virus by going to the radio stations on weekly basis to talk about the virus in different radio programs using local languages. These messages should be pre-recorded in all the sixty-four languages of South Sudan and distributed to all community radios across the country.

The Communication team should also draft short messages about the virus, symptoms and ways of preventions and all these messages should be recorded in all local languages for community radios to broadcast across the country to reach out the awareness efforts throughout the country.

I recommend all the partners working on the prevention efforts of COVID-19 to South Sudan to invest in the media by using all the languages to achieve a wider reach of the awareness message across the country.

Its high time the media industry unite and work together to take lead in providing awareness, information, and educate the people of South Sudan about Coronavirus and how people can prevent themselves as directed by the Ministry of Health, WHO and the High Level Taskforce on COVID-19. Its high time the Media Industry (Radio stations, newspapers and TV stations) work with the same spirit and together will keep South Sudanese informed about Coronavirus.

Daniel Lasuba is a Media and Communications Professional.

Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in an article. The South Sudan Herald is not liable for any comment submitted  by individuals authors and reserve the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com