September 25, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan has reiterated its demand for responsible journalism, urging journalists to promote and protect the country’s integrity through good reporting.
“This country belongs to all of us. It does not belong to president Salva Kiir or our vice president, James Wani Igga. It belongs to all of us and it requires all of us to put our act together, regardless of our political affiliations. Yes, we can have more political parties but we cannot more than one president as head of state and government in one country at the same time,” Salva Mathok, the former interior minister, told reporters on Thursday.
He said the media plays a vital role in promoting agricultural development, attainment of national food self-sufficiency agenda as well as promoting peace and conflict resolution.
“The media must be conscious of their responsibilities in national development,” said Mathok.
According to the former minister-turned lawmaker, the current regime under president Kiir has a system of ensuring that everyone promotes democracy and peaceful coexistence.
“Political organisations were created and some have failed but we must all show determination to work responsibly,” said Mathok.
The president, he said, has always encouraged young people, including journalists to belief in themselves and in their professions, adding that this was the main reason why the former signed into law the media bills to as to promote media work in the country.
“We all have to work according to the laws of the country. You can only be as democratic as you can so long you are not defying the law,” he said.
Mathok said the country was at critical moment which requires consolidating efforts aimed at promoting and reconciliation so as to restore stability in order to focus attention to development and in government’s drive towards the attainment of food self-sufficiency.
“Remember, you are doing this for yourselves. If you give wrong information about this country you are endangering the future of your children and your children’s children,” he said.
Mathok also urged journalists to continue to operate under the guidance of the law.
South Sudan operated without media laws until it came into effect earlier this month.