National, News

UJOSS demands condolences to Allan’s family

By Kidega Livingstone


Union of Journalists in South Sudan (UJOSS) has called on the government to write a condolence to the family of British-American journalist Christopher Allen.

UJOSS commended the efforts of the Unity government in investigating the circumstances surrounding Allen’s killing on August 26th, 2017, in Kaya town, Central Equatoria State, near the South Sudan-Uganda border.

UJOSS President, Oyet Patrick Charles, emphasized that Allen lost his life while trying to tell stories of South Sudanese to the world.

Mr. Patrick further highlighted that the available evidence clearly indicates that Allen was killed within South Sudan’s territory by conflicting parties back in 2017, with those parties now being part of the revitalized government of National Unity (R-TGoNU).

“UJOSS therefore, urges R-TGoNU to produce a written report on the death of Christopher, offer a copy of the report and formal condolences to his family,” he said in a statement.

In a statement released on March 26th, 2024, the revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity supported previous government statements that Allen was “killed as a result of crossfire” while covering clashes between government forces and rebels.

Patrick further called for a thorough investigation into the deaths of local journalists in the country, following the transparent investigation into Alan’s death.

“This should also mark the beginning of the investigation into the deaths of other journalists killed in South Sudan while doing their jobs.”

At least 12 journalists have been killed in South Sudan since 2012, and the murders remain unresolved, according to UJOSS data. They said 11 South Sudanese nationals and one foreign journalist were killed by gunmen who were never identified.

On January 25, 2015, five journalists working for the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) were killed in a road ambush while traveling with state government officials to Raja County. They were Musa Mohammed, Boutros Martin, Daila Marko, Randa George, and Adam Juma.

UJOSS president Oyet cited that, according to Article 79 of the 1977 First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions (Additional Protocol 1), International Humanitarian Law provides that journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered civilians.

Government’s report

The head of the investigation committee, David Charles Ali Bilal, released the report in Juba, stating that they gathered information through interviews with witnesses in both Juba and Kaya to establish facts about Allen’s death.

He said they also utilized pictorial and video evidence during the investigation.

Charles explained that Allen died in crossfire during a military confrontation between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the SPLA-IO when the former attacked the military base in Kaya.

“Christopher Allen was unintentionally killed as a result of crossfire,” he stated as he read out the findings.

“The attack occurred at 5:30 AM, when visibility was extremely limited. It was only after the attacking forces were repelled that soldiers conducted a damage assessment, discovering among the seven corpses a white man,” Charles continued.

He stated that their investigation found that the slain journalist entered the country illegally and was not accredited by the National Media Authority.

“When we reached out to the Ministry of Interior, specifically the Directorate of Immigration, they informed us that there was no record of anyone named Christopher Allen entering South Sudan in their documents,” Bilal cited.

“They contacted all border officers across the country, but there was no trace of such an individual. Similarly, our inquiry with the Media Authority regarding accredited journalists in South Sudan yielded a negative response,” he further explained.

Dr. James Pitia Morgan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, commended the committee’s efforts, suggesting that Western ambassadors should have been present during the report’s release.



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