Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the decision by South Sudan's Media Authority to suspend the activities of the Al-Jazeera English bureau in Juba until further notice.
The Media Authority, whose members are appointed by President Salva Kiir, issued its order on 1 May. The bureau's staff is banned from covering anything to do with South Sudan.
The ban follows a series of Al-Jazeera reports about the ongoing clashes between government forces and rebel troops. The Qatari TV news channel reported
on 20 April that many civilians had been displaced by fighting in the southern county of Kajo-Keji. Its references to the significant losses sustained by the government forces in the course of this fighting seem to upset the authorities.
RSF regards the closure of the Al-Jazeera bureau in Juba as an attack on media pluralism and the freedom to inform.
South Sudan has fallen 30 places in RSF's World Press Freedom Index
since the start of the civil war
and is ranked 145th out of 180 countries in the 2017 Index.This statement was originally published on rsf.org.