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S. Sudan newspaper editor quits journalism over death threats

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September 9, 2015 (JUBA) - Nhial Bol Aken, a vocal editor-in-chief of an independent The Citizen newspaper in South Sudan and one of the most critical journalists in the country, has quit journalism, citing personal security and safety concern after allegedly receiving several warnings with death threats from government agents.

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South Sudanese journalist and editor, Nhial Bol , reads a copy of the Juba Monitor, with a heading referring to the killing of journalist Peter Moi of The New Nation newspaper, on August 21, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)

Speaking exclusively to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, Taken said he was ending his media career, revealing frustration and desperation behind the decision.

"It was not simple decision to make. It was difficult choice to make but I have finally decided to quit journalism after my family and I have concluded that I should stop due to security and safety reasons,” he said.

“I can no longer ignore this advice,” he said, adding “my security and safety have been threatened.”

He said his years of reporting industry have been the most precious in life and gave him all the sadness and happiness, all the dreams.

"I suffered and endured everything because of the dream I had. And now, the dream is dead, and I choose to leave,” he lamented.

His newspaper with its twin Citizen TV have many times been suspended by government agents.

Journalists in South Sudan have always complained of harassment and killings, forcing many of them to either change their profession or adopt new strategies including self-censorship since the current system prefers maintaining “coercive stability" as its priority in that any critical news and views are seen as potentially destabilising.

Independent media houses interested in investigative journalism, whose mission is to uncover the dark side of society, are seen as "destabilizers” and often encounter obstacles when trying to publish their pieces.

Most of the journalists have frequently found their physical safety threatened as the harassment, including arbitrary detention of journalists when reporting is almost an everyday phenomenon in South Sudan.

Nine journalists have been killed so far in the past four years since South Sudan became independent in July 2011.

(ST)

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  • 10 September 2015 04:49, by Hardlinner

    Nhial should hv been aware of atmosphere in south Sudan. if people don’t stop treating leaders like Gods, the issue of harassment under security agent won end. also the journalist themselves don’t follow the code of journalism. you can’t report something that you are unsure of. that is total breach.

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  • 10 September 2015 06:39, by Eastern

    Sad that this behaviour of dinka of killing opponents is still on; Isaiah Abraham went down the same way now Nhial Bol Is being threatened with death because he speaks the truth. Whoever hasn’t watch the video clip where Nhial gave an interview better look for that clip now! Cattle camp criminals have been let loose in South Sudan!!!!

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    • 10 September 2015 09:16, by Redeemer

      Nhial is a great man dated back from Sudan, he performed marvelously in his career, we are waiting to hear your next career Mr. Nhial I recommend Civil Society for the time being and will make a U-turn to politics after the current thugs

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      • 10 September 2015 13:39, by Akook

        I think we are moulding something worse than Khartoum. Even in Khartoum journalists like Nhial Bol could afford to breath but in Juba they are either made to quit or die like Isaiah Abram!

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    • 10 September 2015 21:44, by Whortti Bor Manza

      Beaking News:
      Money appropriated for Divisions 9 and 10 respectivey, South Kordofan and Blue Nile is being used by Kiir Cabals to fund business activities in Juba. All the Darfuris and Nubas are involed in this. Omer Bashir should raise these with IGAD. Why are these two SPLA divisions being maintained in the budget? Ya Stephen Wondu, audit Bank El Jebal.

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  • 10 September 2015 15:09, by Positive Thinker

    Nhial have to quit. your we still need you. let the killers be their time is just a matter of time though.

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  • 10 September 2015 16:21, by biarawieu

    Its better decision my brother.give yourself a time and relax from being stressful. Good luck

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