The government finally formed a seven-member committee to investigate the death of the American journalist, Christopher Allen, killed in South Sudan five years ago.
The investigation committee was constituted by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, who issued a statement on September 29, 2023, to that effect.
Dr. Lomuro directed the committee to investigate the killing of Allen on August 26, 2017, in the territory of South Sudan.
The committee is led by Justice David Charles, with the other members such as Gen. Riak Bin, Gen. Jalpan Obiyee, Gen. Alex Makele, Lawrence Kamilo and George Stephen.
The committee has been given 15 working days to piece up evidence detailing the circumstances of the death. They are tasked to identify and interview any witnesses.
Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation welcomed the decision by the government to investigate the death of Christopher Allen.
“This is the opening of a window for further investigations to the crimes committed against journalists in South Sudan,” he said.
He called on the committee to adhere to the 15-day deadline for the submission of the report.
However, Yakani highlighted that the lack of political commitment and political will has led to the natural death of several reports in the past.
“Crimes committed against journalists in South Sudan should be investigated and those responsible must be held accountable not only for international journalists but for all journalists in the country,” he lamented.
Allen was caught in a fire exchange between SSPDF and the SPLA-IO forces.
South Sudan army deputy spokesman, Col. Domic Chol Santo, told The Associated Press at the time that Allen was killed when opposition rebels attacked the town of Kaya near the borders with Uganda and Congo.
He was “caught in the fighting” that also left 15 rebels dead, the army spokesman said.