Roselyn Nakopit Lotyam, a female journalist, was detained by the NSS.
On Thursday morning, a National Security Service (NSS) and police team detained a female Toposa language news anchor for Singaita FM in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria State.
According to reports, Roselyn Nakopit Lotyam, the arrested journalist, was pulled away from her house on Wednesday for documenting the arrival of the Toposa Youth Association (TOYA) interim chairman, Ngoya Yaba, at the Kapoeta town airfield.
On Tuesday, a section of the youth association’s members held a general assembly, ostensibly with the blessing of Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong, and re-elected Lolib Carl Peter, who had been impeached by the TOYA executive for alleged failure to perform, as the organization’s chairperson.
Several teenagers, including TOYA acting Chairperson Ngoya Yaba, who was greeted by a large throng of youth on Wednesday at the Kapoeta airfield, were detained by security officers on Wednesday night after the rival general assembly the day before.
The interim station manager of Singaita FM, Karisio William Lonya, informed Radio Tamazuj that security people went to the radio station and when they couldn’t locate Nakopit, they proceeded to her house and took her up.
“The driver phoned to say Nakopit had been detained.” When these people (security) arrived to the (station) complex and discovered she had not arrived, they hurried to her house and grabbed her up. “We have no idea what’s going on,” Lonya said.
According to a Singaita FM staff member who desired anonymity for fear of retaliation, Nakopit was perhaps chosen to cover the arrival of TOYA interim chairman Yaba.
“Roselyn Nakopit is our Toposa language news anchor, and she has not done anything,” the source added, “but what may be underlying all of this is coverage of an occurrence yesterday (Wednesday) at the airfield.” “As you can see, there is some misunderstanding here.” The Toposa Youth Association has two executive bodies. I believe one is hosted by the government and the other is not.”
“There was another chairman chosen on Tuesday, and then there is another TOYA chairperson,” the insider continued. Remember that there was a paper circulating claiming that the TOYA chairman was impeached? That impeached chairman constituted an interim body, and he was re-elected on Tuesday.”
According to the Singaita FM employee, the security officials did not bother them and merely requested for Nakopit.
“It was a combination of national security and law enforcement.” The station is operational. According to the source, “there were no threats.” “They just came in and inquired whether she had arrived, and our security guy informed them that she had not yet arrived.” We saw them getting into their vehicle with our colleague a few minutes later.”
On the 10th of December, armed National Security Service (NSS) officers attacked the Singaita FM radio station’s facilities with padlocks and forced the crew to turn off their laptops before closing down the studio and radio offices.
On 17 December, a week later, the inspector of police in Kapoeta town, Gen. Garang Deng Jorkuch, stated that the radio station had been reactivated. He added that the station was stopped because it did not cover an event attended by officials from the Ministry of General Education who came to examine land for the Equatoria International University in October.
At the time, Patrick Oting Cypriano, the communications minister for Eastern Equatoria State, said that he had requested that the radio station be reopened, but that there were concerns that his office needed to clear with the Singaita FM management.
Charles Okullu, executive director of the Peace Link Foundation (PLF) and former chairwoman of the civil society network in Eastern Equatoria, requested that the journalist be freed immediately and unconditionally, and urged authorities to find better methods to address youth concerns.
“The arrest would not help, but gathering the young to confront the fundamental causes of all these difficulties in Kapoeta will,” Okullu remarked. “If we continue to allow the situation to deteriorate in this manner, it will destabilize the community and the kids.”