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Civil society body urges lifting of media restrictions in S. Sudan

July 11, 2019 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese civil society body has appealed to country’s authorities to lift restrictions on all online media outlets operating in the young nation.

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South Sudanese civil society activist Edmund Yakani (The Niles/File)

“Among some of the actions are lifting the restriction on the online media outlet namely Alwatan Arabic newspaper, Radio Tamajuz and Sudan Tribune as a sign of building new page for partnership for society progress,” Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) in a release issued Friday.

It added, “Prioritizing efforts for making media freedom obey, fulfill and expected in the country should be obligation for all”.

CEPO, 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.

“CEPO will be undertaking actions on media freedom engagement as follow; 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 and Initiation of Annual National Report on the Status of Media Freedom,” it stressed.

In July 2017, 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.

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South Sudan is ranked 139th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index. According to Reporters Without Borders, at least 10 journalists have been killed in the young nation since 2011.

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