Dalia Marko

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Marko, a reporter for the local radio station Raja FM, was among five journalists killed when unidentified gunmen ambushed an official convoy in South Sudan’s Western Bahr al Ghazal state, according to news reports.

According to reports, the two-car convoy was returning from Sepo to Raja when the assailants opened fire on the vehicles from both sides of the road. Witnesses reported that the victims were shot and attacked with machetes before being set on fire.

The journalists were accompanying James Marodama Benjamin, commissioner of Raja county, on a visit to families of individuals killed in another attack by unidentified gunmen on January 22 in Sofo town, local journalists told CPJ.

Marko was one of five journalists killed in the attack. There were 11 victims in total, according to reports. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

While a spokesman for the South Sudanese army, Phillip Aguer, claimed that Ugandan rebels were responsible, state Governor Rizik Zachariah suggested that the perpetrators were likely part of the rebel group led by former Vice President Riek Machar, according to news reports.

Conditions for the press in South Sudan, difficult since the country gained independence in 2011, have deteriorated further since civil war broke out in December 2013, according to CPJ research.