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US urges South Sudan to end immunity over crimes against journalists

US President, Donald J. Trump....
US President, Donald J. Trump (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

November 2nd 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The United States Mission in South Sudan has called on the government of South Sudan to end impunity against journalists and bring perpetrators to account.

In a statement issued by the U.S mission in the Republic of South Sudan, while marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against journalists, the United States recalled the establishment of the resolution in 2013 by the United Nations, saying the adoption of these measures prohibited all forms of violence against journalists around the world.

“In 2013 the United Nations General Assembly established November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The resolution condemned attacks and violence against journalists and urged Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and to ensure accountability,” the statement party read.

The US diplomatic mission said it believe that the sentencing of 10 soldiers for their roles in the Terrain compound notably in the murder of journalist John Gatluak, was an important step and urged the Government to continue holding those who have committed serious human rights abuses accountable.

“In September, a military court sentenced soldiers for their role in the murder of journalist John Gatluak Nhial, sexual assault and other crimes committed at the Terrain Hotel compound in 2016. While that verdict was an important step, human rights violations and abuses continue to take place in South Sudan. We hope that, the trial will lead to additional steps to hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses,” the statement said.

The statement revealed that a total of 13 journalists have been killed so far since 2013 including an American journalist killed by South Sudan soldiers while covering the clashes in Central Equatoria region in 2017.

“At least 13 journalists have been killed in South Sudan since December 2013. Christopher Allen, an American citizen who was killed while covering the fighting in Kaya on August 26, 2017, was one of them. The United States believes that a free press is a fundamental component of a functioning democracy and violence directed against journalists is never acceptable,” the statement added.

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