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S. Sudan: Media body condemns suspension of Al-Jazeera

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May 3, 2017 (JUBA) - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the decision by South Sudan’s Media Authority to suspend, until further notice, activities of Al-Jazeera English bureau.

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Information minister Michael Makuei Lueth (R) speaks at a media forum as presidential press secretary Ateny Wek Ateny looks on in Juba on 7 September 2014 (ST)

The media body issued the directive in a letter dated 1 May, 2017.

According to the media authority order, Al-Jazeera bureau’s staffs have been banned from covering anything to do with South Sudan.

The ban reportedly follows a series of Al-Jazeera reports about the ongoing clashes between government forces and rebel troops, in which it was reported that several innocent civilians had been displaced by fighting in Kajo-Keji, a county in South Sudan.

“Its [Al-Jazeera] references to the significant losses sustained by the government forces in the course of this fighting seem to upset the authorities,” RSF said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

The media body described the closure of Al-Jazeera bureau in Juba as “an attack on media pluralism and the freedom to inform”.

In recent months, however, increasing reports of harassment faced by journalists in South Sudan have raised concerns that South Sudan is reneging on the basic freedoms its authorities promised the population when the country seceded from Sudan in July 2011.

Also, South Sudan government’s failure to pass legislation protecting the media has increased concerns about the state of press freedom.

For instance, when conflict broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, authorities warned the media fraternity against reporting about rebels. In some incidents, the country’s security forces would march into newspaper offices and demand that a copy to be re-written.

War-torn South Sudan, according to RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, has fallen 30 places since the start of the civil war and has been ranked 145th out of 180 countries surveyed in the 2017 Index.

(ST)

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  • 4 May 07:34, by Frak Cho

    Al-Jazeera is not impartial body.

    repondre message

    • 4 May 08:02, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

      They journalists or free lance journalists working 4 AJ needs to be terminated.they are playing with dignity of South Sudanese people.and after all they are an Arab Organizations working for for an Arab cause of which during our seperations Iran and Qatar were vehemently opposed to an independent S.Sudan.

      repondre message

    • 4 May 11:14, by Eastern

      Have you just woken up from your slumber to realise this? Al Jazeera sides with those who are wronged; this is their mode of reporting the world over....

      repondre message

      • 4 May 21:40, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

        I dont takes anything.they like of cigerates.shisia.alcohol or anything of that kind since i was born unlike Mr Eastern who rely on opium everyday and comes to the forum here to talks lunatically.

        repondre message

  • 4 May 10:19, by Dengda

    Nothing good for media will come out from the ministry lead by Micheal Makuei Lueth. He born dictator amd anti-media. Al-jazeera is profession corporate media worldwide, if South Sudan claim it conduct is unprofessional, this proved the brutality of government toward media and journalist are, government want to cover up their dirty work and crime it committed for fear of accountability.

    repondre message

  • 4 May 11:01, by Sunday Junup

    If Aljazeera is impartial then you (Dinka) needs only Gurtong to run media in our country.

    repondre message

    • 4 May 12:02, by Don-Don Malith Rual

      Mass media is the penetration of people’s daily lives;pple relies heavily on media then be4,no news is a good news a lot of propaganda nowadays,media tends to broadcast alternative fact then actual facts,Media being biased is something arguably world wide,You see newly president elect DonaldTrump of U.S.A Complaining and called🤔

      repondre message

  • 5 May 09:40, by Rais wen

    What a confused government who will never accept the truth!
    Aljazera publishes news from the right sources including the government itself, why refuse to be criticized for wrong doing?

    You should act maturely to grantee freedom of press in South Sudan.

    repondre message

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