File - Juba Monitor, with a heading referring to the killing of South Sudanese journalist Peter Moi of The New Nation newspaper, on August 21, 2015, in Juba.
On Thursday 7th December 2017, Juba Monitor reported sensationally in bold red headlines, ‘Cirillo’s men’ then followed in black print ‘stranded in Nimule as talks delay’. The colour red is known psychologically as colour of power. Red has the power to attract attention and also to raise sense of danger. In normal circumstance the colour red has been found by many studies to raise pulse in human beings. So its use in the report appears to be designed to make the maximum impact on its reader and also to attract attention of the public to an important story.
The report is written by Kidega Livingstone under supervision of the Juba Monitor’s editor Anna Nimriano. According to Kidega “the negotiating team sent by the Commander-in-Chief of National Salvation Front (NSF), the former Deputy Chief of General Staff of the SPLA, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka is stranded in Nimule. They are said to be in one of the hotels in Nimule following delay from the national government to respond to their calls for peace talks.” Kidega continues, “In telephone interview yesterday, the political officer of NSF and the head of delegation to the negotiation in Nimule, who declined to be identified, told Juba Monitor that they were sent by their leaders to come and present their grievance and negotiate peace. However, he said they were still waiting for the government to respond, and added that they had been waiting for three months since the team arrived in Nimule town for the commencement of the negotiations.” Kidega then quotes the supposed NSF officer saying, “We need the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the international community to come to listen to us.”
This mendacious reporting by Juba Monitor to blindfold the people of South Sudan in the government controlled areas is shocking and it can not go unchallenged. In the least it is expected that the reporter Kidega and the editor Anna would contact NSF HQs to verify the information from their sources. NSF did not and has never heard from Juba Monitor or any other reporter working for the paper. This process of checks is a rule of thumb for journalism, yet Juba Monitor fails flat in this regard. It is clear that their reporting is of Konyo-Konyo standard, which in the Western World is referred to as gutter journalism. No decent person who wants to be appropriately informed/updated about South Sudan’s fast moving events should spend their pennies on this hopeless mouth piece of the Jieng Council of Elders regime.
NSF media team has befittingly responded to this concocted story. Please see its press release, ‘False report in Juba Monitor regarding stranded NAS officials in Nimule’ [right click on this link and select ‘open hyperlink’ to access document] The issues that the Juba Monitor report raises are: 1) its timing. 2) blurring of the talks in Addis Ababa. 3) Corrupting the collective psyche.
What is strange is that the story of the talks in Nimule is published at the same time the IGAD is sending out invites to the stakeholders for the High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) meeting in Addis Ababa scheduled for the third week of December 2017. It is possible that this story is released to taint NSF so that it would appear as unprincipled organisation.
Secondly, the story has the potential to confuse the mediators in Addis Ababa. They may then ask questions as to whether the NSF can be taken seriously since it is engaged in talks already in Nimule with the government. So could this be the government’s strategy of blurring the High Level Revitalisation Forum’s talks?
Thirdly, the story is clearly misinformation designed to confuse the people of South Sudan who are already looking at NSF as the most likely saviour of the country.
The report seeks to portray NSF as a weak organisation poaching for positions without any teeth to pose challenge to the government of South Sudan as an alternative. This can be seen from the supposed NSF officer asking for the United Nations and the International Community to come and listen to it. The implication is that NSF is not only begging the government for talks but has resorted to plead for outsiders to come and listen to it. The question is: why would NSF beg the government and the international community to come and listen to its grievance? NSF has made its position clear from the onset. The government knows the position of NSF from the numerous documents issued by the organisation from its inception in March 2017 to date. Please see, ‘The National Salvation front: The Mission‘ & ‘The Declaration of National Salvation Front’. The objectives of NSF as can be seen in these documents expose the blatant lie of the Juba Monitor. Again if this newspaper is credible, it should have seen the declaratory documents of the organisation. If it has not seen them, then this makes their existence as a national paper a subject of ridicule.
The Juba Monitor clearly has the intention of portraying NSF in a negative light, however it must be made known that NSF is not the organisation that the Juba Monitor is attempting to portray it to be. NSF is a national movement with credible experienced leaders dedicated to emancipate the people of South Sudan from the claws of the JCE’s regime in Juba. In reality it is the JCE regime in Juba and not NSF that is already weak. The evidence can be gleaned from the following: 1) the feedback released by the National Dialogue of their surveys in Uganda and Kenya have conclusively demonstrated that the people of South Sudan do not want the government of President Salva Kiir. 2) The Jieng people as the rulers of our unlucky country are already viscerally divided to the extent that their grip on power is loosening fast. 3) The JCE regime has mismanaged the country driving it into total economic collapse. The Juba Monitor would be better advised to concentrate their stories on these issues facing the country rather than bowing down and acting as the mouth of the JCE regime.
The fat lie of Juba Monitor concocted by Kidega Livingstone and supervised by Anna Nimiriano is an assault on the collective psyche of the South Sudanese people most likely with the intent to corrupt it by inducing a virus into the collective to think of NSF as just a waste of time and space to enhance and protect the JCE regime from the challenges posed to it by NSF. The Juba Monitor is now worse than the mouth pieces of the failed communist regimes of pre 1991 led by the Soviet Union.
By publishing brazen lies against freedom fighter organisations, the Juba Monitor has chosen to ally itself with the regime of terror. It is clearly telling the people of South Sudan that they share values with JCE. These values are not only limited to lying but goes beyond to cover believe in abuse of human rights and criminality as a tool of governance, the very values that have driven the country to destruction.
For the people in the government controlled areas, the best way to respond to Juba Monitor’s new identity as a propaganda machine of the JCE is to hit it where it really hurts. They need to know that there is price to pay for going against the people and for supporting the JCE. It should not get away with putting the dumper on your feelings by intentionally misleading you to enhance the JCE regime. Punish this new JCE tool by boycotting the print news. It does not only lie to you to destroy your hopes, but it is actually part of the bigger JCE machine tasked with maligning your mind to psychologically turn you into a helpless person that the JCE can rule comfortably. Therefore, do not buy Juba Monitor to enrich it and make it stronger in its protection of the regime of terror. The readers of Juba Monitor who abhor the JCE regime should remember that they have the power in the money they spend to buy the paper. Use that power effectively to compliment the bigger struggle against the regime of terror.
Juba Monitor may not feel the pinch of falling income as the regime of terror is already bribing them with huge sums of money to do their dirty job of propaganda. So losing income from sales may be subsidized by the money poured into their coffers by the JCE regime. However, it may be shocked to find out that its crucial source of revenue in form of advertisements will dwindle too. The reason for this is simple; a boycott of the newspaper is also aided by the very fact that any newspaper that publishes inaccurate stories slowly loses credibility locally. The strength of any media business is based on trust and the loss of such trust locally among the readership and advertisers means that as a propaganda tool it becomes useless to invest in. This is a very important point because it means that this will spell the downfall of Juba Monitor. The regime of terror will not see any benefit in funding it if it is not influencing the public in its favour. The advertisers too will not waste their money on advertising on newspapers without credibility and wide readership.
If Mr Peter Morbe, the Chairman, Board of Directors of Juba Monitor and the editor Ms Anna Nimiriano want to save their business, they need to either issue a public apology to the National Salvation Front, or to withdraw their woolly story by issuing a public statement. This is the only way they can restore credibility.
Finally, Juba Monitor unethically has sold its soul out to the JCE regime. It can no longer be an impartial news processor and disseminator that enlightens the public in this difficult time in the country. In taking sides with the JCE regime, it has consciously decided to work against the people of South Sudan. The ball is now with the public to do the right thing in the struggle for freedom
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
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