Africa, Democracy, Human Rights, Press Freedom:
South Sudan’s ‘State Actors’ Turn on Journalists and Aid Workers

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Juba - Harassment and attacks against journalists, government critics and aid workers have been reported in South Sudan, causing concern that the country is repeating some of the oppressive characteristics of Sudan.
 
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), attacks or harassment on aid workers accessing insecure areas rose by 48 per cent in 2012 from the previous year. Eighty- five per cent of the incidents were carried out by state actors.

Chase Hannon, a security advisor to 150 NGOs in South Sudan, says the true number of incidents is probably far higher as NGOs often do not report them.

Government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin Benjamin said the government was not aware of these cases, and that journalist, aid workers and activists were free to do their work in the country.

Reported incidents include the beating of 61 staff members, the arbitrary arrests of 78 aid workers, and the seizure of 97 vehicles.

(END//2013)

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