Five journalists from various media houses were arrested and detained for six hours by security agents while covering reported wrangles between Juba City council officials and traders over some shops in Custom Market yesterday.

The reporters from South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), Radio Miraya, Equator Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), Al-Maugif and Juba Monitor were arrested while talking to some venders who were evicted by officials from Juba City council from their kiosks in Custom Market last week according to Robert Pitia, the Chairperson Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce.

He added that the officials from Juba City Council expelled about 106 venders from their shops, distributed the kiosks among themselves and later on leased them to foreign traders on Friday last week.

“They arrested the journalists because they did not want the public to know the issue, this place is in Custom Market, the city council officials took over the ownership of these shops, and they distributed them among themselves.

“The traders have been paying rents to these officials,” he explains.

Pitia said the reporters together with two traders were taken to the city council office in Munuki where they were detained for six hours before being released without charges.

“They took them to Munuki Payam headquarters…the security forces are from National security, MI, and some CID officers, they were acting under the directive of the director of Munuki Block,” he said.

By press time, two traders plus media gadgets of the journalists were still being detained by city council authorities.

Last week, Juba Monitor journalist, Bullen Alexander Balla was arrested and detained for three days for covering students’ protests at Juba University.

via Juba Monitor