Nairobi, August 20, 2014—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the killing of Peter Julius Moi, a reporter for business weekly The Corporate and independent bi-monthly New Nation, who was shot in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, Wednesday, according to reports.
Unidentified assailants in a car shot Moi twice in the back while the journalist was walking home from work in the Jebel Kujur area of the city at about 8 p.m, according to news reports.
“We condemn the senseless killing of Peter Julius Moi in what has become a deadly year for journalists in South Sudan,” said Tom Rhodes, CPJ’s East Africa representative. “More and more independent voices are being silenced in South Sudan at this critical time in the country’s history, when the public desperately needs impartial information.”
Otieno Ogeda, chief executive officer of The Corporate, and Kenneth Ouka, editorial consultant for New Nation, told CPJ they could not identify any articles written by Moi in the publications that may have triggered the attack. None of Moi’s belongings, such as his phone and money, were taken in the attack, Ogeda said.
Repeated calls to the police and to presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny about Moi’s murder were left unanswered.
Journalists are planning a media blackout for three days in protest at the killing of Moi, according to local journalists CPJ spoke with and reports.
In South Sudan, five journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work since the start of the year, making it one of the most deadly countries in 2015, according to CPJ research. Unidentified gunmen killed all five journalists in January during an ambush of an official convoy traveling through Western Bahr el Ghazal State, according to the former state minister of information, Derrick Alfred. Earlier this month, security forces shuttered indefinitely two newspapers, the privately owned Arabic daily Al Rai and English daily The Citizen, and the media outlet Free Voice South Sudan, according to news reports and journalists CPJ spoke with. No official reason was given for the closures, the journalists said.
Earlier this week, President Salva Kiir threatened to kill journalists for reporting “against the country” as he departed for Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to attend peace talks, according to news reports and a recording in CPJ’s possession.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced since the civil war started in December 2013, pitting forces loyal to President Kiir against those supporting former vice-president Riek Machar. The South Sudanese government came under pressure from the international community on August 17 to sign a peace deal brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country trade bloc in Africa, according to news reports