South Sudan’s Kiir wanted to shutdown Facebook in 2017 – official

South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir attends a medals awarding ceremony for long serving servicemen of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Bilpam, military headquarters in Juba. Photo: Reuters

September 8th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit wanted to close down the social media platform Facebook in 2017, a source at the ministry of information said Sunday.

South Sudan government in July 2017 decided to shutdown three main news websites along with a blog in respond to what the government called at the time a biased reporting.

Popular South Sudanese websites Nyamilepedia, Radio Tamazuj and Sudan Tribune were closed and thus were made inaccessible to readers in most parts of the country.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia on Sunday, a government official at the ministry of information said President Salva Kiir Mayardit had sought to close down Facebook along the three websites.

Th official said Kiir reversed the decision at the last minute after he was advised by unnamed officials including family members over the matter which would have made South Sudan difficult to access via internet.

The president was about to close Facebook when he reversed his decision during the last minute,” the official told the Nyamilepedia from the capital Juba.

Facebook would have gone now with those websites,” the official said.

South Sudan government has been critical to its private media and most of the residents in Juba – were newspapers are accessible – are unable to pay a cost of around 150 a day to buy newspapers.

Many depend of the social media to access information about how the country is going.

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