National, News

Six years; American-British Journalist’s murder Probe starts

By Charles K. Mark

South Sudan government has formed a committee to investigate the murder of an American-British journalist, Christopher Allen, who was killed six years ago.

Allen was killed in 2017 while covering fighting between SPLA-IO and the government forces in Kaya town near Uganda border, and close to Democratic Republic of Congo.

He was embedded with the SPLA-IO.

In an order on Monday seen by this outlet, Cabinet Minister, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, named a seven-member committee to be chaired by Justice, David Charles Ali Bilal.

Other members to the Investigation Committee are, Brig. Gen. Riak Bim Top, Brig. Gen. Jalpan Obyec Kir, Lawrence Kamilo Loro, George Stephen Lomeling, Ochola Paul Omal, and Brig. Gen. Alex Makelele, a rapporteur.

The Committee is mandated to Investigate the cause and circumstance of the death of journalist Christopher Allen and also identify, summon and interview any relevant witnesses of the incident.

The committee is expected to submit its final report and recommendations within (15) working days of the issuance of the order.

The formation of the committee follows several pleas by the United States and other Western countries calling on the government to investigate, Allan’s death.

The then seemingly non-compliance by the government a diplomatic jitter between Washington and Juba after government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, said the journalist was killed on “the other side” of the battlefield and there was no further probe the government could do.

“This man entered South Sudan illegally in the first place, and that is why I declared in a statement that we have killed a “white rebel” because he was killed on the side of the rebel,” Makuei said during the celebration of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Juba last year.

Makuei’s comment that Christopher was a “white rebel” enraged the US, forcing the Embassy in Juba to write to the national government seeking an explanation about the circumstances of Allen’s death.

Earlier in 2017, Makuei alleged the British-American journalist had entered South Sudan without proper documents.



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