South Sudan’s media body orders newspaper to stop covering protests in Sudan

Protesters in Khartoum streets calling on al-Bashir to step down on Tuesday 25 Dec 2018 (ST Photo)

South Sudanese Media Authority Monday ordered Al Watan Arabic newspaper in Juba to stop publishing articles about the ongoing protests in Sudan.

Al-Watan which is supportive of the nationwide in Sudan used to cover extensively the political developments in the neighbouring country and published on daily basis opinion articles against the government of President al-Bashir.

Also, Sudanese charge d’affairs in Juba Isam Idriss Ibrahim wrote an article on 4 January in response to a feature article written by Al-Watan Editor in Chief Michael Christopher on 3 January.

The diplomat blamed the latter for his editorial line hostile to the government of President stressing it does not represent the position of the South Sudanese people, alluding that he supports the Sudanese opposition as he pointed to a number of Sudanese contributors.

Aware of the situation, the media authority in Juba summoned Christopher to appear in person before a hearing committee at the premises of the media on Monday.

Once he was heard by the media regulator, the committee handed him over a letter a letter where it referred to three articles that Christopher published on 3, 4 and 7 January and ordered him to stop writing about the political situation in Sudan.

The “Media Authority warns Al-Watan Arabic Newspaper to stop with immediate effect writing anything on topics relating to the ongoing protests in Sudan, which is an internal political issue of a friendly neighbouring country,” read a letter signed by Sapana Agyuli Abuyi, the acting managing director of the media body seen by Sudan Tribune.

Abuyi further ordered the Arabic newspaper to publish an apology to the Sudanese embassy in Juba within 72 hours from the date of the warning letter.

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Despite the independence of South Sudan, the two countries host hundreds of thousands of Sudanese and South Sudanese. Also, people in the two countries follow the situation on the north or South Sudan on daily basis.



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