New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: South Sudan Detains Two Ugandan Journalists

Two Ugandan journalists have been detained in South Sudan.

"Two Ugandan Journalists are being detained incommunicado in South Sudan after they were arrested in Juba by security operatives," a statement from Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) said.

Justin Dralaze, a correspondent for Reuters and Hilary Ayesiga were reportedly picked up by security officials on Saturday night from streets of Juba before being detained incommunicado in a military establishment.

Sources in Juba confirm the two journalists are being detained at the National Security headquarters in Juba. Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers reportedly arrested the journalists on Airport Road while filming.

South Sudan security officials claim the two journalists had no press permits or formal accreditation issued by Juba authorities. But it is not clear why the two civilians had to be detained in a military barracks instead of being taken to a Police Station or Courts of law.

"We condemn in the strongest terms possible the arrest and detention of the journalists in a Military establishment, moreover incommunicado," said UJU president Lucy Anyango Ekadu. She said South Sudan authorities should have produced the two journalists in courts of law, if they committed any crime, than being detained in a military barracks.

"We call on the Juba authorities to immediately and unconditional release the two journalists," she said. The arrest of journalists comes at the height of tensions in the world's youngest nation after president Salva Kiir disbanded the entire Cabinet last week.

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