The Association of Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) has strongly condemned the closure of the English language daily newspaper, the Nation Mirror, by South Sudanese authorities.
South Sudan’s Catholic radio, Voice of Hope, reported at the weekend that the country’s media association warned the government that the closure of the newspaper is a grave threat to press freedom and freedom of expression.
“(This) is a clear sign of intimidation to scare the media fraternity from doing its work in South Sudan,” AMDISS expressed.
The closure of the National Mirror comes shortly after the newspaper published details from the US group, Sentry. The Sentry group recently made public findings that accused South Sudan's politicians from both the government and opposition sides of profiting from the conflict in that country. The media Association has appealed to authorities to end media interference and instead create a conducive environment for the press to play its role as a watchdog.
AMDISS has called for the unconditional lifting of the ban on the National Mirror and urged the government of South Sudan to embrace dialogue as a means of resolving issues that led to the shutting down of the daily. “Security (officials) should leave all matters related to media to the Media Authority to handle,” AMDISS emphasised.
Last week Wednesday, the manager of the National Mirror newspaper was summoned by the South Sudan National Security Service in Juba and ordered to cease publication with immediate effect.