Easter Equatoria State, National, News

A call for free speech, responsible social media use

By Ijoo Bosco


A two-day stakeholders’ forum in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State concluded with a call to respect fundamental rights of free expression, association, and peaceful assembly. These rights are crucial for a democratic South Sudan.

Eastern Equatoria State Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Angelo Geri William in his closing remarks at the workshop applauded the forum for uniting political and civil society actors to discuss creating civic space in the state.

Geri acknowledged challenges related to civic space, emphasizing that free speech should not incite violence.

“The government welcomes constructive criticism to improve service delivery and development,” he said.

Geri also cautioned against social media misuse that spreads hatred and division.

“The state government encourages free speech, but it shouldn’t incite violence,” Geri explained. “Spreading false information on social media is a disservice. We encourage constructive criticism to improve services.”

Women’s activist Rose Nakiru praised the forum for equipping participants to deliver accurate information to communities. She called for more civic education to empower citizens to make informed choices in upcoming elections.

“This workshop helped us understand what to tell our communities about the elections,” Nakiru said. “Civic education is crucial for people to choose the leaders they need and the change they want.”

UN Mission’s Role

“Being an informed citizen who can choose leaders peacefully is a fundamental right,” Cevik stressed.

The UN Mission in South Sudan’s Civil Affairs Division team leader for Eastern Equatoria, Tahir Cevik, urged stakeholders to promote civic and political space statewide.

“Exercising your views and choosing leaders is a fundamental right in a democracy,” Cevik emphasized. “An informed citizenry makes better choices. We encourage you to spread this knowledge beyond Torit, to Kapoeta, the counties, and all communities.”

The forum highlighted the importance of responsible free speech and civic education to empower South Sudanese citizens for a stronger democracy.


Comments are closed.