AMDISS with support from UNESCO on Tuesday, 28 May 2024, conducted a two-day training workshop for security agencies on enhancing their understanding of the role of journalists, observance of media framework, access to information, and safety of journalists at the Tourists Hotel in Yambio, Western Equatoria State.

The training brought together 30 participants drawn from the Police, National Security, SSPDF, Prison Service, State Ministry of Information, and media houses to forge common ground to enhance their working relations, observance of media laws, freedom of expression, and access to information at the time the country prepares for first-ever polls scheduled for December this year.

Addressing the opening ceremony, the State Minister of Information and Communication, Hon. Isaac Mursal advised the journalists to stick to their professional ethics and report accurately to avoid misinforming the public.

Minister Mursal disclosed that since the formation of the transitional government of national unity, there has been no harassment, arrest, or intimidation of journalists in Western Equatoria State.

He affirmed the government’s readiness to work with the journalists and organized forces to serve the people of Western Equatoria State with accurate information to promote tangible development and peaceful coexistence in the state.

On her part, UNESCO Communication and National Information Specialist, Doreen Loboka urged the security officers to use the workshop to enhance their working relations with journalists, uphold the freedom of expression, and give unhindered access to information in line with the laws of the land.

She appealed to the journalists to use the diverse local languages spoken in Western Equatoria State to communicate vital information to their audience across the state.

The Chairperson of AMDISS, Josephine Achiro commended the journalists and security agencies for coming together to dialogue among themselves to find solutions to and foster cooperation and collaboration in the area of information sharing and freedom of expression in the state.

Achiro reiterated the call on security agencies to grant journalists access to information so they can disseminate accurate and credible information to the public.

UNESCO South SudanNetherlands Embassy in South SudanUnited Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)Media Development Institute