South Sudan

South Sudan

End of a series of murders?

No journalist was killed in South Sudan in 2018 for the first time in five years. In a country ravaged by civil war since late 2013, the signing of a peace accord in September 2018 was accompanied by a let-up in conflict. But the situation remains precarious. With at least ten journalists killed from 2014 to 2017, years of fighting have weakened the media. Forced by the government to avoid issues linked to the conflict, the media are very sparing in their reporting on important developments. President Salva Kiir’s verbal threats against journalists who “work against their country” in August 2015 were followed three days later by reporter Peter Moi’s murder in Juba. Christopher Allen, a US freelance war reporter who sustained fatal gunshot injuries two years later, was described by the authorities as a “white rebel.” The exact circumstances of his death have never been clarified. Two soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2018 for the murder of a journalist, but the authorities continue to harass the media. The BBC’s local relays and a UN radio station were shut down and the media regulator ordered a journalist to apologise to Sudan’s ambassador for covering the “internal affairs” (big anti-government protests) in this “friendly nation.” Harassment, arbitrary detention, torture or execution-style murder is the price that journalists pay for not censoring themselves. Some have preferred to flee the country or just close their publications.


139
in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+5

144 in 2018

Global score

-1.23

46.88 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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