Protesters march in Wad Madani, the provincial capital of al-Jazirah province, Sudan. Picture: The Madani’s Resistance Committee via AP

Johannesburg – South Sudan’s army has been forced to apologise for an attack on two female reporters after they were physically assaulted by General Malaak Ajok, the army’s director of information and public relations.

The army said it regretted the general’s attack on two female reporters as the women covered an event at military headquarters in the capital Juba last Thursday, Radio Tamazuj reported on Sunday.

The journalists were part of a media team invited to cover the seventh military command council conference which was addressed by President Salva Kiir. Malaak was reported to have hit them on their backs using a camera tripod while pushing them towards the back of the meeting hall.

Major-General Lul Ruai Koang apologised on behalf of the military saying the army’s leadership regretted the use of violence by one of its senior officers.

However, Amnesty International in response to the incident said the incident was part of a sustained effort by Juba to intimidate the media and restrict press freedoms.

South Sudan’s army has been forced to apologise for an attack on two female reporters by General Malaak Ajok. Video: Zodidi Dano/ African News Agency.

Earlier crackdowns on the media have included the confiscation of AP correspondent Sam Mednick’s accreditation at the end of October and the editor-in-chief of Al Watan newspaper, Michael Christopher, being detained for over a month with no charges.

African News Agency (ANA)