South Sudan Blocks Two News Websites, Citing ‘Hostile’ Reporting

South Sudanese refugee families disembark a bus on Feb. 24, 2017, in Kuluba, Uganda.

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

South Sudan’s government said it blocked access to Sudan Tribune and Radio Tamazuj, popular websites for news on the war-torn country, accusing them of “hostile” reporting.

The block went into effect Monday, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said by phone from the capital, Juba. “If they have been disseminating hostile messages towards us then we have the authority to close them,” he said. “So many countries have been closing down, even giving total blackout to such media houses which create hostility.”

Paris-based Sudan Tribune didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment sent to its general inquiries address. Radio Tamazuj, which acknowledged it was blocked on its Facebook page, didn’t immediately reply to a message sent on the social-media website.

South Sudan is engulfed in a more than three-year civil war that’s left tens of thousands of people dead. The world’s newest nation is ranked 145th of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index.

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