17 July 2017: South Sudan National Communication Authority, the official communication sector regulator in the Eastern Africa country, blocked several websites:
www.sudantribune.com English & Arabic [Paris, France]
https://radiotamajuz.org English & Arabic [Amsterdam, Netherlands]
https://paanluelwel.com English only [Washington D.C., US]
http://nyamile.com English only [British Columbia, Canada]
A tweet from Radio Tamazuj confirmed the blocking.
— Radio Tamazuj (@RadioTamazuj) July 17, 2017
It is interesting to note that all blocked websites are hosted and run from outside South Sudan, which may point to a hostile domestic environment for independent media. Considering they are some of the most popular (by visit count on Alexa and Facebook page ranking per country basis), that may indicate self-censorship by the residents in South Sudan who may not report or publish their thoughts but are eager to read when such content is available.
The country’s president, Salva Kiir, declared a state of emergency in several parts of the country following renewed fighting on the same day the websites were blocked, declaring Gogrial State, part of Tonj, Wau and Awiel States respectively under lock down.
These developments, and the recent arrest of SSBC TV head, Adil Faris Mayat, for his apparent failure to broadcast live President Salva Kiir’s speech during independence day celebrations, point to a country on the blink.