By William Madouk Garang
Over 200 media personnel from 69 media outlets are expected to cover the historic visit by the Pope to South Sudan.
South Sudan’s media authority said, they have so far accredited 291 journalists from 32 countries who will come to cover the arrival, and activities of the Catholic Holy Father in the country.
99 of the press men and women are Vatican press team while others are national, regional, and international journalists.
“The significance of the ecumenical pilgrimage of peace to South Sudan has drawn the attention of 69 media agencies globally. They are from 32 countries,” Managing Director of Media Authority, Elijah Alier said.
“291 journalists have been accredited by the media Authority in the Republic of South Sudan to cover the papal visit,” he added.
He called on reporters to do their job well covering the event.
“The Media Authority urged journalists to be ethical and committed to the principles of journalism during the ecumenical peace pilgrimage to South Sudan,” Alier noted.
He further called on journalists to exercise maximum diplomacy and to cooperate with the security while on their duty.
Pope Francis is expected in the country on Friday, February 3 for a three-day peace pilgrimage.
During his visit, the pontiff is expected to meet political as well as religious leaders, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and later hold a public mass at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum, on February 5.
Sapana Abui, Director General for information and Compliance at the Media Authority said 86 national journalists have been accredited including 16 from the national broadcaster – SSBC, seven from the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and 17 from the Presidential Press Unit.
According to Media Authority, the local and international press, Vatican journalists will have different IDs tags.
For instance, international journalists will have blue tags; the presidential press team will have yellow tags, SSBC will have a white tag, meanwhile local journalists will be having green tags for easy identification by the protocol.