RADIO TAMAZUG: JUBA (20 Aug.);
A journalist working for the New Nation newspaper and the Corporate Newspaper, Peter Moi Julius, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Jebel area of Juba Wednesday evening.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Radio Tamazuj that Julius was killed as he headed home from work.
The incident comes three days after President Salva Kiir made a comment threatening to kill journalists for reporting “against the country.” Kiir made the statement at State House on Sunday before flying to Addis Ababa to attend peace negotiations.
At around noon Thursday a police ambulance brought the body to the mortuary at Juba Teaching Hospital.
At the hospital, Moi’s father Julius Kilong told reporters he found his son’s body near UNMISS in Jebel at a place called Hai Gomaroya after receiving a phone call at about 8:30 about the shooting. He said local residents told him they heard gunfire at around 8 pm.
Julius said his son was shot twice in the back but police prevented him from looking closer at the wounds. Photographs of the body reveal bloodstains on the left torso.
The elder Julius said his son had been with a girlfriend earlier in the night who lived in the same area as the journalist near the South Sudan Breweries Limited complex. He said he was unable to contact the girlfriend so far.
AFP news agency reported that his cell phone and money were not taken from his dead body which could indicate a targeted attack.
The head of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) Oliver Modi said Kiir’s statement may have contributed to Peter’s murder. “This might also been taken by some individuals and then they acted to confirm what the president has said,” he explained.
“I would appeal to the president to give a press statement against his words so that the people of the Republic of South Sudan will get convinced of what he has said because now we have already started losing journalists,” he said.
Modi said he condemned the killing and said the security agencies are responsible for protecting all citizens including journalists. He called on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to account.
“This is not what the vision of this country,” he continued. “When we moved from 1955 up to date the vision is very clear to establish a new nation, and that was very clear in the words of the late Dr John Garang, moving from dictatorship of Khartoum regimes to a nation where we can guarantee freedom of expression, freedom of media.”
At least seven journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work in South Sudan this year, including journalists killed by unidentified gunmen during a January ambush of an official convoy traveling through Western Bahr el Ghazal state.
Earlier this month, the South Sudanese government shut down two newspapers and Free Voice, a group that is known for producing dramas aimed at promoting peace.
This article was updated at 15:57 on 20 August 2015.
Corrections: this article initially stated Moi Julius was found in Gudele – it was Jebel- and that Kiir made his remarks at the airport, when he had done so at the State House.
Photo: Moi Julius, Facebook