Internews (2011). Radio in southern Sudan and the Three Areas Findings of Community Impact Assessment Sonya De Masi, May 2011
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In 2005 after nearly four decades of civil war between northern and southern Sudan, a peace accord was signed with the promise of elections and a referendum on independence. It was a critical juncture in southern Sudan’s history, heralding a period of social mobilization and transformation. =In the period following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the information needs of the people of southern Sudan were immense. It was into this context that Internews, in 2006, launched its community radio project in southern Sudan. Internews took media, in local languages, to 'information dark communities’ in remote locations for the first time. Located in some of the most challenging regions in southern Sudan, the establishment and
maintenance of these stations represent a significant logistical achievement. Extreme dust and heat – the enemies of sophisticated radio technology –
conspire with erratic to non-existent electricity supplied only through generator or solar power, to challenge consistent and reliable broadcasting. Nevertheless, Internews radio has been broadcasting to local communities in local languages for an average of eight hours a day, at least five days a week for the past four...
years. Internews’ FM radio stations are in Malualkon in Northern Bahr el Ghazal,
Leer in Unity State and Turalei in Warrap which broadcasts into the disputed
border region of Abyei. The two transitional areas of Kauda, in the Nuba
Mountains of Southern Kordofan and Kurmuk in Blue Nile State are also part of
the network which has an estimated audience reach of 1.7 million listeners.
Beyond the bricks, mortar and transmitters, these small radio stations have had a
substantial and meaningful impact on their host communities. They have
catalyzed community engagement in the political process; informing people
about the terms and implementation of the CPA, about registration and voting
for the referendum, about the popular consultations held in transitional areas, and
results of these political processes. The stations promote democratic culture,