16th February 2019
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Kiir urges social media users to support peace efforts

Author : @er | Published: 8 months ago

President Salva Kiir has reportedly appealed to the general public to desist from hate-mongering and posting negative comments on social media, after signing the Khartoum agreement on a permanent ceasefire.

The President last evening declared a ceasefire throughout the Republic of South Sudan in a presidential order read out on the state-run TV, SSBC.

Kiir also called on the public to support the peace efforts.

He urged social media users, and those in authority to avoid negative criticism about the deal, or towards the peace process.

He reiterated his commitment towards implementing the ceasefire, and called on the public to “give peace a chance.”

“Well, the President called on people to used social media responsibly, because they have to observe peace – particularly South Sudanese,” said Ateny Wek Ateny, Press Secretary in the Office of the President.

Last year, President Salva Kiir attributed the huge desertion of homes by civilians in Equatoria and Upper Nile regions to “scaremongering” by social media users.

In 2015, a Berlin based agency launched a project to act on the ongoing South Sudan political and civil crisis which resulted in the creation of a civil war and internal refugee catastrophe.

The project #defyhatenow, was designed as a response to the growing problem of social media based hate speech and its directed incitement to violence.

According to an Evaluation Report by #DefyHatenow for the year 2015, traditional media as well as internet and social media had been a serious factor in fueling the conflict since the beginning of it in 2013.

The report indicated that there was a growing concern about the role of the media in the incitement and ethnically biased violence.

A more recent 2017 report by Peace by tech lab, an organization that seeks to develop effective peace building solutions, states that “supporters of the diverse rival parties have adopted inflammatory language targeting their opponents.”

It adds that Social media users have introduced new hateful language, as well as adapting previously identified terminology to meet their needs.

Labeling languages against rival tribes, such as “killers,” “traitors” or “backstabbers,” and more hate terms continue to be used regularly