JUBA, MAY 3, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s civil society watchdog, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), has praised South Sudanese journalists in a statement marking World Press Freedom Day.
In the statement signed by its Executive Director Edmund Yakani and extended to Sudans Post, CEPO acknowledged the challenges facing press freedom in South Sudan but noted remarkable improvements in the last two years
“The press freedom in South Sudan is still facing some challenges, but for the last two years, remarkable improvements on less interference of the state actors with the press freedom are witnessed and registered through the remarkable work of South Sudan Media Authority,” CEPO said.
Yakani, who is himself an award-winning activist, however expressed concerns about the growing trend censorship.
“The trend of self-censorship among the actors of the press is increasingly growing, and this is due to some acts of some actors of the public institutions such as political leader’s bodyguards and protection who sometimes act aggressively toward hindering the work of the press actors,” Yakani said.
“This trend requires more efforts from South Sudan Media Authority through offering proper orientation to political leaders’ bodyguards and protocol to understand the role of the press and the importance of press freedom,” he added.
The activist urged political leaders, law enforcement agencies, and other state actors to protect press freedom, noting that unlawful interference with press freedom could contribute to public mobilization against the state or government.
“It is a time that political leaders, law enforcement agencies and other state actors to fully understand that unlawful interfering with the press freedom actually, it directly contributes to building factors that lead to public mobilization towards acts that will be against the state or government,” he said.
“Promoting and protecting press freedom is a central act that mobilizes the public to increase trust and confidence towards the actions and decisions of the state and government,” the outspoken activist further added.