By Ismail Akwei
South Sudan’s media authority says it has banned 20 foreign journalists from operating or entering the country for publishing false news.
The chairman of the authority, Elijah Alier told the media in Juba that the journalists have reported “unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories” that have the potential to incite hate and violence.
“Issues to do with hate speech, incitement to violence and disinformation are not acceptable in the context of our law. Some of the reporters have not even been seen in South Sudan, you need to respect also the country, you can’t just label the country as crazy,” he told local media Eye Radio.
The names of the 20 journalists and their media outfit were not disclosed.
Issues to do with hate speech, incitement to violence and disinformation are not acceptable in the context of our law. Some of the reporters have not even been seen in South Sudan, you need to respect also the country.
Alier added that over 200 foreign journalists have permits to operate in the country, and others who want to operate in South Sudan should seek accreditation from the media authority.
Civil society group, Association for Media Development in South Sudan, has condemned the ban which it describes as a sabotage of the national dialogue.
“The Media Authority law does not give this body the right to deny visas to Journalists on the ground that they write articles critical of the government … The president has assured us that all the people coming to the country especially journalists will be given full freedom to move freely,” the chairman of the association, Alfred Taban said.
South Sudan is one of the most tensed countries for the media as many journalists have died and others attacked in their line of duty.
The country has been ravaged by civil war since 2013.