0,,18652748_303,00(DW) — A journalist has been shot dead in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. Just days ago, the country’s president issued what sounded like a threat to the media. The US has called for a thorough investigation.

Peter Julius Moi, who worked with the independent New Nation newspaper in Juba, was shot as he was heading home after work on Wednesday evening, his colleagues said.

Residents in the area said Moi was shot with two bullets in the back, adding that none of his belongings, including his mobile phone, had been taken.

The shooting comes just days after South Sudan President Salva Kiir (pictured above) issued a warning to reporters before flying to Ethiopia for peace talks aimed at ending more than 18 months of fighting in the world’s newest nation.

“Freedom of the press does not mean you work against your country,” Kiir told journalists Sunday. “If anybody among them [journalists] does not know that this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day, one time,” he added.

US urges investigation

The United States called for a thorough investigation of Moi’s death and for Kiir to renounce his comments.

“We’re very concerned about this development,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters, speaking after Moi’s death. He urged authorities in South Sudan “to expeditiously and thoroughly investigate this incident.”

“Separate and distinct, we are obviously deeply concerned by President Kiir’s comments regarding journalists earlier this week, and we call on him to disavow those words,” Kirby added.

The Committee to Protect Journalists’ East Africa representative Tom Rhodes called the killing a “very foreboding sign.”

“It is still too early to tell whether there is a link [with Kiir’s remarks], but this tragedy will certainly cast a pall over independent reporting in the country as South Sudanese journalists are increasingly forced to self-censor as a means of survival,” Rhodes said.

Moi is the seventh journalist to be killed this year in South Sudan, which has been engulfed in civil war since December 2013 when clashes erupted following a political row between Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar. Numerous rounds of peace talks held in Addis Ababa have failed to produce a lasting agreement, while thousands of people have been killed. Earlier this week, Kiir put off signing a power-sharing deal which had already been agreed to by rebels.

se/ (Reuters, AFP)

3 thoughts on “South Sudan journalist killed days after President Kiir issues warning

  1. For African dictators, there is nothing more painful than hearing the truth about them or their administration. The moment a journalist speaks up the truth, he/she is in big trouble.

    The dictators, when they are in pain because of the truth told, they don’t use pain killers. They use bullets to kill who ever dares to speak up the truth for the voiceless.

    State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters, “We’re very concerned about this development”. Who is shaken by such a statement?

    I hate to read the word, “Concerned”. As far as their politics goes, it means we don’t give a damn. Business is as usual. What people like to see is action and not words like concerned, worried, etc.

    Shame on you Silva Kirr. With or without concern, your expiration date is counting down fast.

  2. Africa countries, including Ethiopia, are doomed due to their reliance on the cultures of political warlordism. Warlords are allergic to the truth and they cannot stand dissent. Warlords don’t care about peoples coexistence over the long run. And South Sudan’s situation deteriorated further due to other regional warlords in Ethiopia, Uganda, etc. acting as mediators. It’s delusional to expect that TPLF thugs, who cannot stand opposition activists and media in Ethiopia, to be neutral mediators. Bullies of the region, who don’t care for the people they lord-over in their countries, cannot be genuine mediators. They don’t care about the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

  3. No peace is in sight for the South Sudanese people. Salva Kiir government is facing the multiple troubles including from his own ethnic Dinka tribe. Few weeks ago, Kiir’s loyal fighters have killed as many civilians in the Western Equatoria State which is bordering Central Africa and Congo, after being abushed by rebel group in the area. And two days ago, rebel group in the Eastern Equatoria State has over run Kiir’s millitary base and killed as many soldiers and captured as many modern weapons. Till today the Nimule high way road which connects Juba the S.Sudan capital to Uganda is closed for security reasons. This young Dinka tribe journalist was shot and killed in the State of Bahr al-Ghazal which is the home of majority Dinkas. This indicates that Kiir is gradually distancing himself from his own people Dinkas. Recently, Mr. Kuir Garang, the young Dinka journalis based in Calgary Canada has exposed the dictatorial face of handful Dinka elites hanging on power at the gun point.

    Additional pain for the S. Sudanese people is that, Mr. Gathoth Gatkuoh, the commander of rebel group which has broken away from Riek Machar’ group, has undermined the signing of peace treaty as ” deceiving the S. Sudanese people ” and declared to continue the war to bring Kiir government down.

    Kiir must know that the power of people is greater, and the soft love is stronger than his hard gun and hatred toward others ethnics.

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