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Govt concludes Christopher Allen was killed ‘in crossfire’

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, March 21, 2024

Journalist Christopher Allen in South Sudan. (File photo).

The government-led investigation committee into the killing of British-American journalist Christopher Allen concluded Thursday that he was killed “in crossfire” during fighting at Kaya town of Central Equatoria State.

The seven-member committee said it has found that Allen entered South Sudan illegally and did not have accreditation from the South Sudan Media Authority.

The committee argued that there were no visas or documents that the journalist used to enter the country.

Mr. Allen was killed during clashes between government forces and the opposition in Kaya town, Central Equatoria state on 27th August 2017. His family and home governments have been demanding answers as to how the journalist died.

In the findings released in a press statement on Thursday, the committee also concluded that there was no intention to kill Allen and maintained that he was shot in crossfire during the attack.

The team of inquiry comprising National Security Service, Criminal Investigation Department, Police and SSPDF, and legal counsels, also conducted interviews in Juba and Kaya to get witness accounts on how the journalist was killed.

According to the committee, evidence showed that the journalist Christopher was embedded with the SPLA-IO for approximately three weeks before the battle of Kaya.

The committee also displayed three videos that Eye Radio cannot independently authenticate – showing the late journalist addressing the SPLA-IO troops before the attack, thanking them for their hospitality.

The team stated that there is no evidence that establishes the identity of the person or persons who discharged the firearm causing the death of Christopher Allen.

The findings also stated there was no evidence that Christopher was known to be a journalist by the person who discharged the firearms that caused his death during the combat.

“We found that in our findings, that first of all if Christopher Allen was to be a journalist he was not carrying any helmet or waste protected,” said the head of the committee, David James.

“The protection was not there as we see in different international media where journalists put protection vest and press identification.”

Christopher Allen was a freelance journalist and war reporter, who worked with various news outlets, including Al Jazeera.

“Secondly, after consultation and we wrote to the ministry of interior, department of immigration national and passport, they told us he entered South Sudan illegally.”

“There were not any things show that Christopher Allen entered South Sudan legally. So, this is part of our findings and are sorry for the death of Christopher Allen in South Sudan.”

The committee said it conducted a series of interviews with eyewitnesses and people who they believe were present during the incident.

The committee said it regrets the journalist’s death.

The presentation of the findings was witnessed by ambassadors and a number of diplomatic officials in South Sudan, including the ambassadors of Egypt, Ethiopia, and others.

The US and UK embassies in South Sudan have not commented on the findings of the investigation committee into the killing of British-American journalist Christopher Allen.

 

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