By Parach Mach
JUBA, South Sudan
South Sudan has banned 20 foreign journalists from entering or working within the country, accusing them of carrying out propaganda and unsubstantiated reporting.
Under the new move, the South Sudanese government said it would regulate both print and online publishing to restore already degraded country’s image through healthy reporting.
Elijah Alier, managing director of government-run South Sudan Media Authority, said they have issued accreditations to over 200 journalists and that the authority will not allow more foreign journalists in the country.
Alier said some of the journalists have negative attitudes toward the government of South Sudan. They have written stories that insult or degrade the country and its people, he added.
“We will restore the country’s image by regulating what comes out of the media because it is the same media being used to portray the country’s image negatively,” he added
The Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) said the move would have a negative impact on the country.
Alfred Taban, a veteran journalist who head the AMDISS said, "We need to expand the work of the media in South Sudan instead of restricting them. “The issues such as National dialogue and humanitarian crisis including famine need world attention which is not possible without media," he said.
Journalists have repeatedly complained of harassment from authorities in conflict-ridden South Sudan.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, five reporters were killed while working in the country in 2015.
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