US condemns Makuei’s remarks over Allen’s death

By Taban Tom Henry

The United States Embassy in Juba has termed as “Irresponsible” the remarks made by Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth over the killing of the American Journalist Christopher Allen calling for clarification from the minister.

Christopher Allan an American journalist was shoot and killed in 2017 at frontline in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State area of greater Yei River that has been witnessing serious fighting.

The journalist was reportedly killed in crossfire by government forces on the side of the opposition armed group SPLM/A-IO in the Southern town of kaya, near the border with Uganda and close to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Early this week the minister of Information and official government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth said that the government should not be held accountable for the death of the American journalist Christopher Allen.

The government spokesperson said Allen entered South Sudan illegally.

Makuei made the remarks in an event organized to mark the international day to End Impunity for Crimes against journalists.

In previous media reports minister Makuei was controversially quoted as saying “we killed a white rebel” as reacting to the shooting of journalist Christopher Allen.

“This man entered South Sudan illegally in the first place, he is a rebel and this is why I declared in a Statement that that we have killed a white rebel because he was killed on the rebel, so he was a rebel. Now can we be held answerable or accountable for the death of such a journalist? This is funny and we are being asked to investigate, whom do we investigate now?”

However, in response to the remarks the US embassy in a statement issued yesterday condemned Makuei’s remarks calling it irresponsible and reprehensible at any time.

“Makuei’s remarks would be irresponsible and reprehensible at any time” it stated.

The U.S. Embassy then said it’s seeking for clarification as to whether those comments represent the position of the Government of South Sudan, or the minister personal opinion.

U.S. government further once again renewed its calls to the Government of South Sudan to conduct a credible inquiry into Mr. Allen’s death and to share its findings with Mr. Allen’s family.  

“The U.S. Embassy condemns in the strongest terms the November 2 comments of Michael Makuei, the Minister of Information, regarding Christopher Allen, an American journalist killed while covering clashes between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition in August 2017,” U.S embassy said in a statement.

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