In less than a week, after the government of South Sudan government threatened to kill journalists who are reporting 'against' their country, a reporter formerly working for The New Nation and The Corporate Newspapers was found dead, reportedly killed by unknown gunman in Juba yesterday at 8: O’clock p.m. local time.
Police officials have not disclosed circumstances, which led to the death of Peter Moi, but witnesses who saw the body at the scene alleged that the journalist was short while he was on his way home in Korok area.
Julius Jilong, the father to the decease and his family were met with shocking news of the sudden death of their son. “He was a courageous and hardworking son,” said the father.
Moi before he died was preparing to conduct his wedding in December this year according to Solomon Jok, a close friend. Central Equatoria government was also processing appointment of the late Moi to assume a position of Communication and Information Officer for the state education department.
Journalists and media practitioners condemned the killing of Moi describing it as an acceptable action and calling on authorities concerned to apprehend any criminal behind the killing. South Sudan Union of Journalists, international and local media bodies including The Corporate Newspaper to which the decease worked for condemned the incident.
The death of Moi raised the number of journalists killed in South Sudan to six this year. Reports of international media agencies including Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists rank South Sudan as a difficult country with limited freedom of press for journalists to work in.
The Union of Journalists in the country has announced three days mourning for the media houses in the country lay down their pens, cameras, recorders and notebooks for three days as a sign of protest for injustices committed against journalists.
A civil society organization in Yei River County has called on citizens to promptly report any abuse to the concerned authorities to ensure justice prevails.
The call comes following a late reporting of a rape case where a man believed to be in his 40s rapped a ten year old girl in Pakula quarter council of Yei municipality last week, and the report was delayed for days before reaching the police.
Community Empowerment for Rehabilitation and Development-CEFoRD condemned the act, and called for apprehending and meting of justice to the perpetrator.
“The perpetrators must be brought to book and justice must be accorded,” said Mawa George Lazarus, the organization’s programme coordinator. He decried that most cases of abuse are not reported to the authorities and this in turn promotes the act.
“Some two days ago, I also heard another incident happening around Logobero. The challenge is that such kinds of issues are not reported,” he said.
Mawa challenged social workers to perform their task through regular visits to the grassroots, especially payams and bomas so that they can gather information about abuses in the community.
He echoed calls to law enforcement agents to ensure that reported cases are transparently and honestly handled in accordance to the demands of the law.
“They need to perform their task the way the laws demand them to do,” he added.
The civil society organizations will continue to engage with the law enforcement bodies so that justice prevails to violators of human rights as stipulated in the law, he said.
Women usually complain of lack of justice for violators of their rights. Last year, they decried that lenient sentences are encouraging more abuses because violators are punished contrary to the demands of the law.
Victoria Nasera, the county assistant commissioner of gender, child and social development said her department has been holding awareness campaigns against domestic violence in the payams and bomas, which she believes could help reduce violence against women and children.
“There is a lot of domestic violence in the community and even the work load in houses, making girls to fail in school,” she said.
Despite the efforts in place, Mawa says more financial support is needed to supplement women associations and offices to collectively step up activities, including awareness campaigns, on the dangers of gender based violence.
“We appeal that the county women association and other stakeholders need to be supported to do more of their work,” he says.
Chiefs in Yei River County and the municipality have lamented that random movement of herds of cattle in farmlands have destroyed crops, which the government should address to avoid conflict.
“Last week, the cattle entered one of the lands of my community members and destroyed all the cassava. This is our living and theirs is cattle,” Abel Sebit Morjan, Minyori, quarter council chief in Yei municipality told TCT on Saturday.
“The government should take this issue seriously and know where have they (cattle) come from so that they go back,” he said.
He complained that the farmers are afraid of farming on a massive scale because cattle keepers are well armed.
Last week, Tore payam head Chief Anthony Amedeo Mauya decried that the large herds of cattle in the payam had destroyed many crops.
“Our brothers who brought many cattle here, had wanted to provoke us but our hearts were strong because we thought they might have escaped from their homes due to fear. We reported to the commissioner about what to do to help those who have their crops all eaten by cattle,” Amedeo said.
The chief said local farmers who lost their crops in cattle destruction were stranded on what next to do, adding that the payam authority had given a report to the county so that the affected people can be helped.
However, Azaria Khemis Noah, the payam director reported that local farmers had resumed farming when cattle keepers started leaving the area with their animals. He said the move was implementation of the resolution reached between cattle keepers and farmers.
“Most of them have moved and the residents are now preparing lands so that when it rains they will plant their first season crops,” he said on phone.