The South Sudan civil society organization has appealed to the country’s authorities to lift restrictions on all online media and physical media outlets operating in the nation.
According to a press release issued today 14th of July 2019 by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) in Sudan, said that among the right actions that can be taken by the government are lifting the restrictions on the online media outlet namely Alwatan Arabic newspaper, Radio Tamajuz, and Sudan Tribune as a sign of building a new page for the partnership for social progress.
He added that prioritizing efforts for making media freedom obey, fulfil, and expected in the country should be an obligation for all. The civic society, in the statement, strongly urged the leadership of South Sudan to do more on the observation of media freedoms with the recent positive developments of the media authority in South Sudan.
He added that the CEPO will be undertaking actions on media freedom engagement by increasing partnership with others stakeholders’ on facilitating dialogue on media freedom, creation of national media platform in partnership with Media Authority, and Access to Information Commission. The Initiation of the Annual National Report on the Status of Media Freedom is not exempted.
It should be recalled that In July 2017, the South Sudan government blocked access to the Paris-based Sudan Tribune website over its “hostile” news coverage. After South Sudan obtained independence in 2011, war broke out in 2013, and the ensuing political and security crisis has not spared the media. News outlets have been suspended, newspaper issues have been seized, and journalists have been detained arbitrarily, tortured, harassed, forced to censor themselves or forced to flee abroad.
However, South Sudan is ranked 139th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index. According to the Reporters Without Borders in its 2018 report, at least ten journalists have been killed in the young nation since 2011.