AWEIL, November 1, 2023 – The National Press Club South Sudan (NPC-SS) has successfully concluded a two-day Training of Trainers (T.O.T.) workshop in Aweil, aimed at equipping law enforcement agencies with essential knowledge to promote freedom of expression, enhance communication with the media, and ensure the safety of journalists.
Supported by UNESCO, the workshop brought together key stakeholders to address the growing concerns regarding clashes between journalists and security forces.
The event commenced with an opening session where notable figures delivered remarks highlighting the significance of the workshop’s objectives, which aim to foster a positive working relationship between security officers and journalists.
The guest of honor, Commissioner of Police for Northern Bhar-el Ghazal Maj. Gen. Philip Madut Tong, thanked NPC-SS and UNESCO for taking the initiative to train police officers in Aweil. Recognizing the complementary roles of journalists and the police in society, Maj. Gen. Philip Madut emphasized the importance of facilitating journalists’ access to information, particularly during the upcoming election period.
Doreen Loboka, the Information and Communication specialist of UNESCO, emphasized that freedom of expression and access to information are fundamental human rights and constitutional rights for every citizen, as prescribed in the interim constitution of South Sudan. She highlighted the role of the police in guaranteeing freedom of expression and stated that UNESCO closely collaborates with law enforcement agencies to create an enabling environment for the exercise of this fundamental right.
The workshop addressed three key responsibilities of the police. Firstly, it emphasized the duty of the police to protect journalists from arbitrary arrests and harassment with impunity. Secondly, it highlighted the importance of building trust and fostering a collaborative relationship between the security forces and journalists.
Ms. Doreen Loboka further stressed that freedom of expression is a crucial element for fostering development and promoting democratic governance in South Sudan.
Mr. Ochaya James, the Executive Director of NPC-SS, outlined the organization’s role in developing the media landscape in South Sudan. He emphasized the primary objective of the workshop, which was to empower trainers to deliver comprehensive courses on these critical topics at both national and state levels.
The workshop also sought to improve the curricula of law enforcement training institutes by incorporating new modules or courses.
Mr. Ochaya urged participants to utilize the knowledge gained to build a holistic relationship between the police and journalists, encouraging the police to intervene if a journalist is mistreated by any of the organized forces.
The collaborative efforts between the National Press Club South Sudan (NPC-SS), law enforcement agencies, and UNESCO aim to enhance professionalism and strengthen the relationship between the media and the police in South Sudan. Ultimately, this initiative seeks to foster an environment that upholds freedom of expression and ensures the safety of journalist