United Nations in talks with South Sudan to keep radio station open

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

AFP United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, USA Mar 10, 2018, 12.51 AM (IST)

The United Nations on Friday was in talks with South Sudan's government after it ordered a UN radio broadcaster be shut down.

The decision to close Radio Miraya would be another blow for press freedom in South Sudan, where foreign correspondents have been forced to leave and authorities have targeted other media outlets.

Radio Miraya was ordered to end its broadcast because of "persistent non-compliance and refusal to be regulated" under domestic laws, said Elijah Alier, who chairs South Sudan's media authority.

Alier told reporters in Juba that the request to withdraw the frequency allocated to Radio Miraya would go into effect on Friday.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, however, said talks were ongoing with Juba about the decision.

UN officials are "in touch with the South Sudanese authorities to clarify the situation. At this point, the UN radio station is still broadcasting," said Dujarric.

Run by the UN mission in South Sudan, Radio Miraya started broadcasting in 2006. 

It bills itself as an independent radio station that provides impartial news and information.

South Sudan this year entered its fifth year of war, with nearly four million people uprooted and millions more in dire need of humanitarian aid.