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South Sudan establishes probe into killing of U.S journalist

South Sudan’s government has decided to form a probe team to investigate the cause and circumstances that led to the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen in 2017 during a rebel offensive in the border town of Kaya.

The minister for cabinet affairs and secretary-general of the high-level standing committee for the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, Martin Elia Lomuro formed the seven-member committee to investigate the death and file a report within 15 working days.

“The term of reference of the committee shall be as hereby to investigate the cause and circumstances of the death of journalist Christopher Allen, identify, summon and interview any relevant witness or witnesses of the incident,” Lomuro said in a circular issued on Monday  in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Christopher Allen,26, was embedded with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Riek Machar when he got killed on Aug 26th during clashes between government troops and rebel fighters.

The journalist’s death sparked outrage from the U.S government after the South Sudan army alleged that he was killed while fighting alongside rebels, in the border town of Kaya located South East of the capital near the Ugandan border.

The U.S and United Kingdom governments have since 2019 been calling for investigation into the journalist’s killing, putting pressure on the South Sudan government which is eager to thaw relations with the two countries.

The United States and the U.K imposed arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan and it’s officials following outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

The latest move by the South Sudan government to probe the death of the journalist comes in the wake of President Salva Kiir’s recent visit to the United States where he attended the 78th UN General Assembly meeting.

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