Rooting For Ethiopia At The 2013 Africa Cup Of Nations

by Sean McLachlan
One of the byproducts of travel is that you become more aware of events that don’t get much coverage back home. The sports pages here in Spain, for example, aren’t exactly full of stories about the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

This continent-wide football championship, starting today in South Africa, is sure to be watched by millions of Africans. I’m especially curious as to the public reaction in Ethiopia. I’ve traveled a lot in that fascinating East African nation and I know they’re crazy about football – European football.

You see Real Madrid and Manchester United jerseys everywhere, and every village has a beat up old Foosball table painted in the colors of popular European teams. Yet Ethiopians seem singularly blind to their own football teams. I spent hours trying to hunt down an Ethiopian National Team shirt for my son, only to be told that they aren’t made in children’s sizes.

The kids don’t want them.

Hopefully that’s all about to change. Ethiopia has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time since 1982. They haven’t won since 1962. With that kind of record, you can understand why the fans have been less than enthusiastic. Their first game is against Zambia on January 21. Zambia has a FIFA ranking of 34; Ethiopia’s is 102. It’s going to be a tough match.

My son and I are going to be rooting for Ethiopia. We’ll be sitting at home here in Spain watching it on the computer, urging on the Ethiopian team as crowds in cafes and bars across Ethiopia will be going crazy. It’s going to be a nice way to reconnect with my favorite country to travel in.

Hey, if a guy from Addis Ababa can be an Arsenal fan without ever having been to England, I can be an Ethiopia fan, right?

AFCON 2013 Result: Keita secures three points for Mali over Niger

940364-15520255-640-360Seydou Keita exploited a goalkeeping error as Mali narrowly beat minnows Niger 1-0 in a poor African Cup of Nations Group B clash in Port Elizabeth.

Former Barcelona midfielder Keita, who had been the standout player in a scrappy match, was on hand to fire home after keeper Kassaly Daouda spilled the ball after coming to claim a cross.

Keita had been the biggest threat for Mali, forcing a couple of smart stops from Daouda and hitting the crossbar six minutes before he struck the winner.

Mali were comfortable favourites against their neighbours and, despite resting Momo Sissoko, Modibo Maiga and Samba Diakite, they started well.

Cheick Diabate twice stung the palms of Daouda, Sigamary Diarra fired over the bar and Mahamdou N’Diaye could only put his header wide from a corner.

But Niger gained in confidence as the half went on, with Mali keeper Mamadou Samassa forced into a fine double-save after a goalmouth scramble followed a corner.

Still, the possession and chances were falling to Mali, with Cheick Diarra missing a sitter, although admittedly the ball came to him at pace after Daouda flapped at a corner.

The half was nothing to write home about though, ending goalless albeit with Mali in the ascendance as Diabate and Diarra impressed going forward.

Mali were comfortably the dominant force in the second half as Diarra and substitute Mahamadou Samassa continued to threaten; Mahamadou Samassa fired one just wide and put another into the side netting, while Keita – who had grown into the game – forced an excellent save from Daouda.

Niger, meanwhile, were struggling to pass halfway, their best opportunity coming when Mohamed Traore gave the ball away, keeper Mamadou Samassa doing well to deny Modibo Sidibe.

A very scrappy phase followed, although the match sparked back into life with a quarter of an hour remaining.

It came from a rare Niger chance, with Moussa Maazou heading over after a towering leap, that incident seeming to re-awake Mali from their slumber.

The latter stages were all about the Malians, as Keita side-footed against the bar, while Mahamane Traore headed over from close range.

The breakthrough finally came on 84 minutes, and it was disastrous for poor Daouda, who had done well until he dropped a high ball under pressure from Diabate. Keita, with a trademark late run from midfield, was on hand to finish.

The final minutes saw Mali sit deep to close out the win, with Niger out of ideas and energy as the match fizzled out.

The 2-2 draw between Ghana and DR Congo means Mali go top for now, although they will have to play much better to beat that pair.

Ethiopia: We can progress – Coach Sewnet Bishaw

Saladin Said: The household name Ethiopian FootballSaladin Said: The household name Ethiopian Football

Saladin Said: The household name Ethiopian FootballSaladin Said: The household name Ethiopian Football

Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw has shrugged off his side’s underdog status on the eve of their return to the finals of the African Nations Cup for the first time in more than 30 years.

The lowest-ranked of all the finalists at 110 in the FIFA rankings, Ethiopia won the tournament in 1962 but have not made it past the qualifying stages since 1982.

And they could not face a more daunting start in Group C as they face reigning champions Zambia, who are aiming to become only the fourth team to retain the trophy.

Bishaw, whose side won their final pre-tournament friendly 2-1 against Tanzania earlier this month, said: “Our confidence is sky-high.

“We are looking at going as far as we can with our first aim being the quarter-finals.”

Zambia coach Herve Renard, who has a full-strength squad to choose from, has also warned his side must be careful not to underestimate the Ethiopian threat.

The Zambians do not enter the tournament in the best of form, having failed to win any of their last six friendly matches, while a scheduled warm-up clash with Namibia this month was cancelled.

Renard said: “They (Ethiopia) have a lot of skilled players able to run right to the end.

“We have to be very careful about this team. It is going to be a very tough match for us.”

AFCON 2013: Nigeria v Burkina Faso Preview

Nigeria soccer team

Nigeria soccer team

On the first days of matches for Group C Nigeria face Burkina Faso in Nelspruit. Burkina Faso may have gone 17 matches without a win in the tournament but there is an air of optimism about their squad, particularly with the likes Aristide Bance and Alain Traore leading their attack. Nigeria have typically been a force to be reckoned with in African national football and many of their players have made names for themselves in the Premier League but they missed out on the tournament last year. Fans will be hoping this will spur their side on to the kind of performance they expect to see from a good squad of players.
The bookies are firmly behind Nigeria for this fixture and clearly feel that their quality will prove too much for Burkina Faso with stanjames offering odds of 8/11 on Nigeria taking all three points. A draw being the final outcome has odds of 13/5 from Ladbrokes. Alternatively, a surprise win for the less experience Burkina Faso side has odds of 9/2 from paddypower.

Burkina Faso may have qualified for eight of the last ten Africa Cup of Nations tournaments but they have only made it out of the group once and that was when they were hosts in 1998 and had the support of the country behind them all the way. In last year’s tournament they bowed out at the group stages without even collecting a point and they are desperate to avoid a repeat of that. williamhill have odds of 13/2 on a routine 2-0 win for Nigeria and the same odds of the outcome being a 1-1 draw. Alternatively, if you reckon Burkina Faso might cause an upset with a 1-0 victory then stanjames will offer you odds of 10/1.

Neither sides have suffered any injury setbacks since picking their squads although it remains to be seen whether Victor Moses and Alain Traore, absolutely key men for Nigeria and Burkina Faso respectively, will be fit for this fixture. In the absence it may be a lower scoring affair and ladbrokes have odds of 8/13 on under 2.5 goals being scored. They also have odds of 6/5 on over 2.5 goals being scored, whereas coral are offering odds of 7/2 on over 2.5 goals being scored.

Of the two squads it is Nigeria’s that contains far more familiar names to fans of the European game and this reflects the greater quality and history as a footballing nation that Nigeria can call upon. Chelsea’s Moses has odds of 2/1 on finding the net from bet365. Alternatively, bet365 are also offering odds of 8/5 on Uche scoring and odds of 21/10 on Emenike doing so. For Burkina Faso, Alain Traore has odds of 11/4 on finding the net from williamhill, although whether or not he will be fit is another matter. bet365 are offering odds of 7/1 on Bance getting a goal, whereas paddypower have odds of 9/2 on Nakoulma getting a goal for his side.

The match kicks off at 18:00 GMT on January 21st.

Nigeria’s Prseident Goodluck Jonathan Visits Switzerland, Ethiopia

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan will embark on a working visit to Switzerland and

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ TIMOTHY A.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ TIMOTHY A.

Ethiopia tomorrow with engagements in Geneva and Davos devoted to drawing the attention of more members of the international business finance community to Nigeria’s immense investment potentials.

President Jonathan will at a meeting with an Eminent Persons Group on Nigeria’s Transformation Agenda in Geneva on Tuesday lead a drive to attract greater foreign expertise and capital to boost the Federal Government’s efforts to rapidly modernize and positively transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

Members of the Group include Mr. Bill Gates, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kofi Annan, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, the President of the Africa Development Bank, Mr. Donald Kaberuka and the Chairman of the Del Monte Produce Group, Mr. Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh.

The President will at a special session of the annual meeting of the world’s leading businessmen and industrialists at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday also promote new incentives for investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector targeted at attracting greater international support for the establishment of a much more successful and profitable agro-allied industry in the country.

The session will also focus on ongoing policy and institutional reforms in the sector, the establishments of staple crop processing zones and medium to long term financing options for agriculture in Nigeria.

On Thursday, President Jonathan who will be accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Adewunmi Adesina, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is scheduled to host a private session with representatives of leading multinational companies under the auspices of the Business Interactive Group on Nigeria.

The President will also seize the opportunity of his participation in special sessions of the World Economic Forum titled “De-Risking Africa” and “Africa’s Promise” to draw fresh global attention to the great opportunities which ongoing reforms and deregulation, privatisation and commercialisation of former public sector monopolies have opened up for willing investors in key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as oil and gas, power supply, communications, transportation and agriculture.

President Jonathan will meet privately with the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Norway, the President of Costa Rica and the Chief Executive Officers of the Huawei Technologies Company, Total and Coca-Cola Worldwide on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

He is expected to leave Switzerland on Friday for the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa where he will confer with other African leaders on action to resolve the boundary dispute between Sudan and South Sudan as well as fresh and ongoing initiatives to restore peace, security, political stability and normalcy to Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Match build up; are the black lions of Ethiopia ready to maul Zambia?

(By Getahune Bekele, Nelspruit- South Africa.)

_64526800_ethiopiaDespite the annoying mannerism of Ethiopian Football Association boss and top TPLF cadre Sahilu Gebremariam who prevented the players from meeting their passionate fans at the Oliver Tambo air port in Johannesburg on Friday afternoon, the colorful country men and women are streaming to the city of Nelspruit for Monday’s crunch battle against Zambia.

 

Will classy goal poacher Saladin said, leader of the pride Degu Debebe, power house Yared Zenabu and the inspirational Adane Girma catapult Ethiopia, the 1957 runners up and the 1962 winners to glory?

Although it is unfair to compare the current crop of players to the 1962 intrepid soldiers of the lion of Judah, they do have what it takes to bring back the glory days of yester year soccer.

We are told that the free kick specialist of the black lions who can bend it like David Beckham is defender Abebaw Butako with Saladin deputizing to take those around the 18 yard area.

Fuad Ibrahim of Minnesota stars in the US is aiming high to share the goal scoring responsibility with Saladin. Dangerous crosses expected to come from the man known for his electrifying pace, Yusuf Saleh of Syrianska club in Sweden.

Our goal keeper, the proven shot stopper Sisaye Bancha will be well protected by the likes of Biadgelegn Elias, Aynalem Hailu, Asrat Megersa, Alula Girma and co while the acrobatic coffee goal minder Jemal Tassew waits on the wings to grab his chance if Bancha fails to stay switched on for the crucial 90 minutes against the Zambians.

When the black lions win a corner kick, the imposing Adane Girma and yared Zinabu will pose a serious aerial treat to the solid but aging Zambian defense.

Furthermore, the match against the copper bullets will give black lions Coach Sewnet ‘Mourinho’ Bishaw a chance to outsmart and outfox the more experienced Zambian French Coach.

Moreover, it must be a huge relief for Sewnet Bishaw that the heart and soul of Zambian team, the 26 year old England bound TP Mazembe star Rainfor Kalaba is still nursing a hamstring injury. The rumor is he will start on the bench.

However, Sewnet still must find answers on how to stop the powerful but cumbersome Zambian front man Collins Mbesuma who plays for South African premier league side Orlando Pirates.

Leaving him one on one with Degu Debebe will be a fatal error. We hope the equally powerful black lion Yared Zinabu would cut the supply line with our goal keeper doubling up as sweeper to clear long balls landing behind our defense for Mbesuma and England premier league player Emmanuel Mayuka to chase.

Sewnet Bishaw also needs to stifle the Katongo brothers; Felix and Christoper in order to win the match convincingly.

With 20 of our 23 boys playing their club foot ball on home soil, Zambian Coach might fancy an easy win thinking that the tactical and technical ability of his overseas players will freeze the Ethiopians.

Nevertheless, Ethiopia has one more triumph card that can hugely influence the outcome of the encounter, the supporters!

“Tekebresh Yenorshiw babatochachin Dem” and “Endet Yeresal” will be reverberating in the stands with no federal police watching who sings what.

Go black lions go!

infohorntimes@gmail.com

AFCON 2013 Result: Ghana 2 – 2 DR Congo

AFCON 2013 Result: Ghana 2 – 2 DR Congo

Ghana's Kwado Asamoah (right) celebrates his goal against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ghana’s Kwado Asamoah (right) celebrates his goal against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Africa – Democratic Republic of Congo recovered from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with title favourites Ghana as the African Nations Cup burst into life on Sunday after two goalless draws on Saturday’s rain-sodden opening day.

Ghana scored the first goal of the competition in the Group B game at the sun-drenched Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium when Emmanuel Agyemang Badu stabbed home from close range after a superb run and return pass from surging left-back Kwadwo Asamoah.

The defender then made it 2-0 himself when he was left unmarked following a 49th minute corner to head in off the underside of the bar.

But DR Congo halved Ghana’s lead four minutes later when Tresor Mputu scored with a sweet flick after 53 minutes. They levelled 16 minutes later when Dieudonne Mbokani, who had his shirt pulled by Jerry Akamino and dived theatrically in the box, picked himself up and scored from the spot.

Youssouf Mulumbu almost won it for Congo with 82 minutes on the clock but was denied by a superb low diving save from Ghana keeper Fatau Dauda.

The second Group B match in the same stadium was starting at 8pm between Mali and Niger.

AFCON 2013: Zambia v Ethiopia Preview

Zambia's captain Christopher Katongo, right, with teammates passes the ball during their training at the Stade de l'Amitie in Libreville, Gabon, Saturday Feb. 11, 2012. Zambia will play their African Cup of Nations final soccer match against Ivory Coast on Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Zambia’s captain Christopher Katongo, right, with teammates passes the ball during their training at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, Gabon, Saturday Feb. 11, 2012. Zambia will play their African Cup of Nations final soccer match against Ivory Coast on Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Ethiopia will be welcomed to the continental fold after a lengthy absence with a fixture against defending champions, Zambia.

The Walya Antelopes surprised everyone – perhaps including themselves – by securing a berth at the 2013 Afcon at the expense of neighbours Sudan.

The east African nation failed to convince the regional fanatics of their abilities after a drab performance during the regional Cecafa tournament, held in November 2012, led to a quarter-final exit.

But the impressive results registered in the latest build-up games, especially the 2-1 win over Tanzania, dictate more promise.

The talent is almost all home based, from the club sides Dedebit, Defence and Saint George. Just one professional plays club football outside Ethiopia – star striker Saladin Said, who features in the Egyptian Premier League.

The opening fixture will be crucial for both sides, and Zambia, who have vowed to defend their title at all costs, are seeking no less than three points.

Head coach Sewnet Bishaw, who has been in charge since November 2011, believes Ethiopia’s relative anonymity can help them spring a surprise in a group that contains holders Zambia, as well as Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

The players, having become national heroes through qualifying, do not want their journey to end in the group stage.

“We know Nigeria and Zambia are strong opponents, but they should not forget we qualified by beating Sudan, who played at the 2012 Cup of Nations,” said 27-year-old striker Adane Girma at a press conference.

“In the past, we had problems in beating opponents in away matches. Now this is history. Psychologically we have shown encouraging improvements, and as a result we also have a chance to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”

Much of the weight of expectation will lie squarely on the shoulders of Girma and attacker Fuad Ibrahim.

Zambia boss Herve Renard has chosen to work with a majority of the squad that clinched the Afcon title in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon last year. Captain Christopher Katongo, TP Mazembe’s Stopilla Sunzu and English-based Emmanuel Mayuka are the players to watch in this match.

Mali Conflict Could Refuel Algeria’s Civil War

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire

In regard to the situation in Algeria, there has been over the last two decades insurgencies led by Islamist forces there and it appeared as if these difficulties and conflicts had been settled some 12 years ago with the negotiated settlement between various Islamist groups and the Algerian government but with the current conflict going on right now in Mali, it could refuel these difficulties that the Algerian government has experienced over the last 2 decades.”

The French offensive against Malian militants can refuel the Algerian government’s more than a decade-long armed conflict with various rebel forces which ended in 2002, an analyst tells Press TV.

Algeria’s News Agency (APS) says that military operation by the Algerian Army to rescue hostages, held by militants at a remote natural gas complex has finished. According to a report, released by the APS on Thursday, at least four foreigners, including a Frenchman, two Britons, and a Kenyan were freed and four more hostages, including two Britons and two Filipinos were killed after the Army conducted raids on the African country’s In Amenas gas facilities. The military operation ended in the evening, the report added. Earlier in the day, the kidnappers said that at least 35 foreigners and 15 militants were killed in the operation by Algerian forces. The so-called al-Qaeda-linked militants in the African country had earlier claimed to be holding 41 foreign employees of the desert gas complex hostage at the site.

In an interview with Press TV, Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of Pan-African News Wire in Detroit, shares his thoughts regarding the issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

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Press TV: What exactly did happen as far as this hostage drama goes? And how does this all link in with Mali?

Azikiwe: It is still not clear. All of the details are still coming out in regard to this horrendous event that occurred today that began yesterday at the In Amenas gas fields in southern Algeria. It appears as if the Algerian national army engaged on a seizure operation that lasted for some 8 hours and the reports indicated that some 50 people have been killed in the operation, however, some have denied that the casualties were in that great number.

However, we do believe that it is clearly related to the ongoing military operation, the bombings, the ground operations that is being carried out by France in neighboring Mali. There has been close links for generations between the peoples of Mali particularly northern Mali and southern Algeria.

In regard to the situation in Algeria, there has been over the last two decades insurgencies led by Islamist forces there and it appeared as if these difficulties and conflicts had been settled some 12 years ago with the negotiated settlement between various Islamist groups and the Algerian government but with the current conflict going on right now in Mali, it could refuel these difficulties that the Algerian government has experienced over the last 2 decades.

Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe, I wanted to in fact ask about Mali. Has France in a sense woken up a monster of sorts that it will not be able to control by intervening in Mali?

Azikiwe: All of the various groups that have been targeted in northern and central Mali have said that essentially they are widening the conflict inside Mali as well as throughout the entire region of west and north Africa.

This is an operation that France has embarked upon but we do believe that it is going to be a disastrous war. France does not have a strong track record in regard to intervention. We can look back at the situation even in Algeria itself during the 1950s and early 1960s when they were fighting against the FLN [National Liberation Front] who were demanding their national independence. Even before that in Vietnam, they suffered horrendous defeats at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and even in Afghanistan recently.

They withdrew all of their combat forces last year because of the high casualty rates that were being experienced by the French forces. We believe this is going to be no different in regard to the situation in Mali and we believe that it is going to cause tremendous problems in regard to French-African relations and also relations between the overall European Union and various African states and particularly grassroots organizations are in Africa as well as in Europe.

This operation by France has been denounced by the Worker’s Party of Belgium as well as the World Federation of Trade Unions. Anti-war organizations here in the United States have opposed as well the French intervention because it has drawn in the United States as well as Britain, Denmark and other NATO countries.

This is going to be a very very long campaign and one that has many many hidden and very disastrous dimensions.

Media Legislation: A Litmus Test for Democracy In South Sudan

By Beny Gideon Mab

Long overdue media legislation in the Republic of South Sudan has for the first time in eight years seen light of the day in what I may described as a serious policy and legislative developmental process. The completion of Media Authority Bill 2012, Right of Access to Information Bill, 2012 and Broadcasting Corporation Bill, 2012 respectively was a great job well done.

The Bills are already securitised by the line institutions and other relevant stakeholders and in particular private media houses, advocates and civil society organisations. The public hearing organised by the Specialised Committee of Information in the National Legislative Assembly laid a foundation for teamwork and the heated debate shown the importance of media legislation in South Sudan. As a result, the Bills are now before the Honorable August House for deliberation and of course a gesture of goodwill that the beneficiaries are now waiting the birth of media legislation in South Sudan.

The public hearing forum was so important not only for the media legislation but should be adopted a practice in all subsequent legislation because it is the only platform that brought all views and witnessed the legal form and content of the Bill in order to satisfy all users before it is tabled before the National Legislative Assembly for deliberation and would-be enactment into law. If the National Assembly passes these media law quickly, it will mark a cornerstone for young nation in its promise of constitutional governance. However, the action of the government is expected to be within the ambit of the law and above all practice of democratic principles which started with fundamental freedoms. The absence of media legislation may discredit this promise and urge the government to turn over a new leaf

Article 1 (5) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, says “South Sudan is founded on justice, equality, respect for human dignity and advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In other word, such freedoms are mandatory and must be realised by the implementation of Article 24 (1) of the same constitution which states “every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to public order, safety or morals as prescribed by law”. And finally, “all levels of government shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society”.

The three Media Bills hanging in the balance are the media laws which are missing in our society. It is very unfortunate that there is legal vacuum on media industry in South Sudan and therefore a serious violation of the constitution and the law. Yet, it is not too bad that we now receive the news of media laws though at late hours. I hope the relevant stakeholders will not regret but rather take courage and urge the National Assembly to pass media laws. This has always been the notion for instance a tailor wears shattered clothes despite being the maker. The line institutions and private media houses despite their rich experiences and expertise knowledge fails since 2005 to date even to pass a single legislation on media, leave alone lack of unifying body to follow up issue of media and journalists concerns.

In a three day hotly debate on the said Bills from 1st November to 3 November 2012 ; the failures clearly came up as a result of conflicting interest over ownership of the law between the government and private media industry. The latter wanted to own and independently run the media industry but the former strongly resisted and wanted to be the regulator. Indeed, we ended up somewhere with comprises from both institutions and the actual referee shall be seen when the law comes into force.

Last but not the least, the protection of freedoms of expression, association and assembly remain very weak due to lack of legal framework and low enforceability of existing national legislation such as Political Parties Act 2011; the Human Right Act 2009 and the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 to mention a few. However, the Press freedoms amongst other rights are more specifically fundamental because it is the very right that triggered violations from the government worldwide. It embodies right to information, right of access to existing information, and finally the right to enjoy public broadcasting services, which are covered now under the media Bills, yet to be seen on unknown date.

According to the United Nations Human Rights Council Report on South Sudan in its Twenty-first session dated 29 August, 2012, paragraph 27 of the report, the Council said “that Journalists and human rights defenders in South Sudan face intimidation and arrest in the conduct of their activities. State security forces have been reported to subject journalists to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention for publishing stories critical of the Government”. In reality, the report is not out of blue since there is no smoke without fire. The UN report is supported with some topical examples in South sudan. The cold blood murder of late Diing Chan Awuol pen-named Isaiah Abraham; the kidnapping of Advocate Ring Bulebuk and Civil Society Activist Deng Athuai Monywiir, all cases in Juba dated 5 December, 2012, 22 December 2012 and 4 July ,2012 respectively confirmed the UN Human right report. It is very sad news and the government of South Sudan at all levels must clean its face quickly to prove the contrary in the field of human rights and specially allow the press freedom. The said incidences may not be directly known or sponsored by the government as the case may be, but lack of absolute security provision is accountable to the government.

Finally, we are all aware that without media laws in place and strong civil society that advocate for human rights and monitoring of human rights violations, yet there will be no any progress. Many civil society organisations tried their best to do the job but impacted by lack of training, expertise knowledge and resources to contribute to the process of democratisation and the advancement and protection of human rights as enabling component of media industry. Therefore, the Non-governmental organisations be the local, national and international bodies and the Government of South Sudan need to support civil society in order to deliver competent public services without fear or intimidation.

Beny Gideon Mabor is an independent opinion writer on governance and human rights. He lives in South Sudan and can be reached at benygmabor@gmail.com