JUBA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Friday agreed to end the bickering over the operations of the UN-owned radio in the strife-torn country after previously being ordered to shut down.
Head of UNMISS David Shearer told journalists that they reached positive resolution with South Sudanese Minister of Information Michael Makuei on the operation of Radio Miraya after the media regulator ordered its shutdown on March 9 over failure to register.
"I just had a very good meeting with the minister of information, it was cooperative we set out both sides of the issue around Radio Miraya. We came to a resolution about moving forward in terms of looking at it from a legal point of view," said Shearer in Juba, adding that the UN legal team from New York will be coming in the country over the issue.
South Sudan has 38 radio broadcasters which have been registered but Radio Miraya is covered under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between the government and UN in the wake of South Sudan winning independence from Sudan in 2011.
Radio Miraya focuses much of its programs on peace, culture and nation building.
The director of international organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andruga Duku denied shutting down the radio as it continued operating on the air waves despite the shutdown order by the South Sudan media authority.
"I am saying that it (Miraya) has not been shut down even this morning I listened to Radio Miraya. We hope that this process will be resolved and of course the decision has been taken by the authorities concerned because of lack of cooperation," said Duku, urging further cooperation between the two parties.
He expressed hope that there will be mutual understanding between the management of radio Miraya, UNMISS and the ministry of information.
"What has been misunderstood here is the regularization of Radio Miraya does not mean censorship. The frequency 101 was given before South Sudan came into existence, but now if this frequency is not given to Radio Miraya legally it becomes difficult any other person can interfere," Duku said.
He also disclosed that the local laws of South Sudan must work hand in hand with the Status of Forces Agreement between government and UNMISS.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to split within the SPLA, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the conflict was weakened after the outbreak of renewed fighting in July 2016.