Four days after President Salva Kiir of South Sudan warned the country’s journalists against working against their country through their reportage, a journalist has been murdered in the capital, Juba.
Peter Julius Moi, who worked with the independent New Nation newspaper in Juba, was reported killed after he closed from work.
Reuters quoted residents as saying Moi was shot in the back by two bullets and nothing was taken from him after the attack.
Although the state has not been formally accused of the murder, the warning from Kiir to journalists continues to rake up sentiments against it. President Salva Kiir warned on Sunday that "The freedom of press does not mean that you work against your country. And if anybody among them does not know this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day on them."
The Press Freedom Group have described Moi’s death as a "very foreboding sign". Similarly, the United States condemned the killing and called for a thorough investigation. They also want Kiir to renounce his comment. "We're very concerned about this development," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby, stated to journalists in Washington
"Separate and distinct, we are obviously deeply concerned by President Kiir's comments regarding journalists earlier this week, and we call on him to disavow those words," Kirby added.
Reuters said six other journalists were killed in January when they were ambushed by unknown people in the western Bahr el Ghazal region.
Several newspapers and broadcast stations have also been closed by security personnel without notice or a court warrant.