First and only president of South Sudan since it became independent in 2011
Predator since becoming president
South Sudan, 139th/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Constant censorship and harassment
South Sudan is one of Africa’s most hostile and dangerous countries for journalists. Ten reporters have been murdered or killed with impunity since its creation in 2011. As well as an extremely fraught security environment, journalists are subjected to censorship and harassment. The security services are widely used to prevent them from working and to act as an editorial police, infiltrating news media, confiscating newspaper issues as they come off the press, arresting journalists arbitrarily and holding them incommunicado. The climate of fear is such that several journalists have fled the country. These predatory policies are directly encouraged and endorsed by the president, who has threatened to kill journalists he regards as hostile to his interests.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: Independent journalists
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Direct threats
“Freedom of the press does not mean that you work against your country. And if anybody among [the journalists] does not know this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day on them.” (News conference on 16 August 2015).