The presidential ban on singing of the national anthem has caused public outcry – with some people describing it as a “mistake”.
On Friday, President Salva Kiir banned singing of the national anthem in any public event in his absence.
The directive was announced by the minister of information, Michael Makuei.
The National anthem is usually played or sung during national holidays, especially during the Independence Day celebrations, and is also performed during cultural and other festivals in the country.
It reflects the country’s history, struggles, and traditions of the nation and its people; it also serves as an expression of national identity.
Makuei said it had been observed that the national anthem is being played all over, adding that it is only meant for the president, and functions attended by him.
Responding to the matter, some members of the public have criticized the directive.
They say South Sudanese have the right to sing the national anthem.
“There is no reason to ban the national anthem. Banning the national anthem makes us lose our aim of having our own country,” said Santino Aken, a university student.
National anthem is sung during football matches, all over the world.
“The president cannot prevent people from that. What about our national football team when they go outside to represent the country? This is something important for our identity, this is a very big mistake,” protested Mario, Wau resident.
A Bor resident who identified himself as Santino said: “If they made it for one person, that means the name of the national anthem should be changed to individual anthem.”
Meanwhile, an advocate has called for legislation of laws that will regulate use of the national anthem.
Philip Anyang of the Advocates Without Borders says there should be a law explaining when, how and where should the national anthem be sung.
“There should be a law in place to tell us exactly when the national anthem should be sung, when it should be used by the public, which occasion should it be sung at,” Anyang told Eye Radio on Monday.
He described President Kiir’s ban as “mistake”.
“It’s a mistake in itself, because the President is not in all the states. The president cannot attend almost all the events and he cannot be in all the occasions.”
South Sudanese online also expressed their views on the presidential order: