Media groups are angered by South Sudan’s decision
to ban some 20 foreign journalists from working in the country.
The ban is the latest infringement in a country where journalists have
been killed in their work since the conflict in 2013.
Elijah Alier, the head of the country’s media authority, disclosed the ban
in a radio interview this week.
He accused the journalists of writing “unsubstantiated and unrealistic”
stories that “insulted or degraded South Sudan and its people”.
Clea Kahn-Sriber, Reporters Without Borders’ head of Africa,
said: “This vague and alarming statement is clearly aimed at deterring
both foreign and South Sudanese journalists from criticising South Sudan
in their reporting.”
He called on authorities to lift the ban on the journalists from ten
countries. “A bad situation doesn’t go away just because you refuse to look at it
Eight journalists have been killed since the civil war. Several have been arrested, tortured and left for dead.
Media self-censor out of fear for their safety. Many journalists have had to shut down media
outlets or flee the country.
South Sudan is ranked 145th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2017 World Press
Freedom Index after falling 20 places since 2015.