According to reports from several South Sudanese media outlets, President Salva Kiir issued a warning to all journalists in the country, that they may be killed.
During a news conference Sunday Kiir said “The freedom of press does not mean that you work against your country,” adding, “And if anybody among them does not know this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day on them.”
Since the beginning of 2015 roughly 52 times newspapers were preventing from printing publications or those publications were confiscated from media outlets prior to their release. All bans were done without ever being given a reason by authorities.
Four newspapers in late May were placed on indefinite suspension from printing their daily publications without ever being given any reason.
South Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services mandate that all media must pass through them for approval. Editors are often measured with stern warnings that their material has crossed a line and that what they are printing interferes with national security.
In 2013, Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup setting off a new civil war, the United Nations has cited various human rights abuses at the hands of the government soldiers. While Kiir had refused to sign a peace agreement with his former deputy, Sudanese journalists that report any information about it now stand at grave risk of death.