The U.S. Embassy in Juba has condemned Minister Michael Makuei’s remarks on the circumstances surrounding the 2017 killing of Christopher Allen, an American journalist – covering clashes between the SSPDF forces and the SPLA In Opposition.
Allen, British – American reporter, was shot dead on the front-line in Central Equatoria State’s Morobo County.
The journalist, aged 26 at the time, was killed on the side of the opposition armed group, in the southern town of Kaya, near the border with Uganda, and close to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Information said the government should not be held answerable to the death of journalist Christopher Allen, saying he entered South Sudan illegally.
Makuei made the remarks on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, and two months from the anniversary of Allen’s demise. The senior official stood by his earlier statement saying the government troops killed a “white rebel.”
Responding to the statement, the US said the remarks “would be irresponsible and reprehensible at any time.”
The Embassy calls on the South Sudan government to clarify whether the comments of Information Minister Makuei, represent the position of the government.
“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,” reads part of the statement.
“The U.S. Embassy is seeking clarification as to whether these comments represent the position of the Government of South Sudan.”
The government of South Sudan has not yet published an official investigation on the death of Allen, despite international pressure on the government to identify and hold to account the culprits behind his killing.
The U.S. Embassy on Friday, reiterated its appeal 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.
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