September 14, 2016 (JUBA) - The South Sudan authorities Wednesday have ordered the closure of the independent Nation Mirror newspaper for activities incompatible with its mission.
- A newspaper vendor in South Sudan’s capital, Juba (Photo: Cafod)
The decision intervenes as the daily on its edition of Wednesday focused on a report about the corruption of South Sudanese leadership and highlighted the accusations of corruption against the country’s leader.
"The Nation Mirror indulges in activities that are (...) incompatible with their activities (sic)," partly read a brief order seen by Sudan Tribune handed over to the newspaper editor on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the Nation Mirror, the officers ordered the reporters and other staff to vacant the facility immediately. One news editor said the management was not surprised of the decision of the security service.
But the security order didn’t refer directly to the publication of an article about the report.
The report by US-based ‘The Sentry’ organization has revealed for the first time evidences of documented gross corruption practices involving President Kiir and his immediate family members, including his adolescent kids who also hold company shares worth millions of dollars.
Even if the findings of the two-year report speaks about corruption by his main rival former First Vice-President Riek Machar, the South Sudanese presidency was furious after its release and threatened to sue for defamation the Sentry which co-founded by actor George Clooney and the founding director of Enough Project John Prendergast.
Since the eruption of the South Sudanese crisis, several newspapers were closed down by the authorities after publishing articles criticizing the government.
Rights groups denounced Juba efforts to muzzle the local media and urged to respect media freedoms.
Last July, the security services shut down the Juba Monitor and detained its editor Alfred Taban for two weeks. The newspaper however resumed its activities after his release.
Also the editor of the Arabic language Al-Watan newspaper, Michael Christopher was arrested late in July by security operatives and the daily was closed.
Since September 2015, Nihal Bol, the vocal editor of the Citizen shut down his newspaper and stopped his journalistic activities, citing personal security and safety concern after allegedly receiving several warnings with death threats from government agents.