This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
The training that ran from Tuesday to Friday was organized by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) with financial support from UNESCO and the International Media Support (IMS).
It aimed at equippingjournalists with necessary skills and knowledge on press freedom violations particularly on their personal safety and protection while carrying out their duties.
“It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome our friends and partners from the Media Council of Kenya who have sacrificed their many commitments to come and help us establish better media monitoring and reporting mechanism in South Sudan,” said Salah Khaled, UNESCO’s Country Representative
“I also welcome members of the Union of Journalists Media Observatory Committees from all the 10 states, to attend this training which is within the framework of the UN Plan of Action on Safety of journalists and issues of impunity.
“I wish to start by thanking our partners IMS who have co-funded this training and enabled the Media Council of Kenya partners to spend the next four days with you, sharing best practices and working with you, to establish a better mechanism in monitoring and reporting issues related to impunity, safety, security of journalists.”
South Sudan is one of the five selected pilot countries implementing this UN Plan of Action. The others are Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan and Mexico.
This according to the UNESCO representative is the first systematic UN plan which aims at creatinga free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, including social media producers, in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide.
This is donethrough strengthening UN Mechanism, cooperating with Member States, partnering with other organizations and Institutions, raising awareness and fostering safety initiatives.
Journalism environment in South Sudan
“In this regard, UNESCO is fully aware that the working conditions of journalists in South Sudan is wanting and would wish to take this opportunity to reiterate that investigating crimes against journalists and other citizens first and foremost, remains the responsibility of governments,” said Khaled.
“The UN Plan of Action is therefore in no way replacing or taking away the responsibility of the government in ensuring the safety and security of its citizens including the media personnel. This is informed by the fact that the governments have ratified the existing international instruments and conventions that outlines their responsibility in regard to their citizens’ human rights.”
The Chairperson of UJOSS Mr. Oliver Modi thanked the partners (UNESCO and IMS) and urged the participants to keenly learn new strategies and mechanisms for networking.
The facilitators included Victor Bwire, John Gachie and Dr. Haron Mwangi from the Media Council of Kenya and Mr. Edward Terso Loku, General Secretary of UJOSS.