By Jok P Mayom
JUBA, 05th February 2015 [Gurtong]: Wol Atak Deng, the Editor in Chief said that the paper was closed down following an error in the headlines of a story that was run on the 28th of January.
“Copies of The Nation Mirror have been seized on February 03rd 2015; and ordered to shut by the Internal National Security Bureau. The order is based on a news article , the Nation Mirror published on 28th January regarding the rebels attack against government forces North of Renk. Due to a typing error the title of the main headline gave impression six days back that the SPLA have withdrawn from Renk garrision.” Wol explained.
Wol explained that the story narrated the attack on Imtidat located north of Renk, where a platoon of SPLA was stationed but not Renk Itself as was in the headlines.
“The following day on 29th January 2015, the Nation Mirror editorial team and its administration extended an apology to the gallant forces of the SPLA, and the entire readership of the Nation Mirror.” said Wol.
The editor- in-chief said that the paper also published an apology and a statement for the Government of Upper Nile State. He said that the Security agents have labeled the newspaper as anti-government.
It has come to our attention that superiors of the leadership of Internal National Security Bureau think this article amount to ‘anti-government publication’ thus the Nation Mirror must be shut indefinitely” said Wol Atak, Chief Editor.
“We are not anti-government or anybody. The Nation Mirror is simply doing its journalistic work” Wol decried.
“We would like to inform the entire readership of the Nation Mirror that we are still negotiating re-open with the Internal National Security Bureau in Juba. We would inform you if there is a breakthrough” concludes Mr. Wol.
The United States Ambassador to South Sudan, Charles Twining in a statement has urged the government to re-open the Nation Mirror Newspaper, which was shut down indefinitely on Tuesday.
U.S. Chargé, Ambassador Charles Twining visited the offices of The Nation Mirror on Thursday to show support to the editor-in-Chief Wol Deng Atak.
“I was very unhappy to learn about the government’s closure of The Nation Mirror. I have been alarmed at recent reports of the intimidation and harassment of journalists in South Sudan by elements within the government and I hope this does not represent a trend. We urge the government of South Sudan to allow The Nation Mirror to reopen immediately.”
This is not the first time that the Nation Mirror is being shut down by the National Security Service on claims that it is anti-government.