Journalist Christopher Allen with SPLA-IO soldiers before he was killed. (Courtesy photo)

U.S Embassy riled, condemns Makuei’s comments about slain American journalist

The U.S Embassy in South Sudan has strongly condemned the comments made by national Information Minister Michael Makuei regarding the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen in 2017.

The U.S Embassy in South Sudan has strongly condemned the comments made by national Information Minister Michael Makuei regarding the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen in 2017.

Allen was killed in 2017 while covering fighting between the SPLA-IO and the SSPDF. He was embedded with the SPLA-IO.

Minister Makuei, while addressing a function to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, said the government could not investigate Allen’s death and considered him a rebel at the time of his death.

“This man (Allen) entered South Sudan illegally in the first place and that is why I declared in a statement that we have killed a white rebel because he was killed on the side of the rebels,” Makuei said on Wednesday. “Now can we be held answerable or accountable for the death of such a journalist? This is funny and we are being asked to investigate, whom do we investigate now?:

However, the U.S Embassy in a Friday statement condemned the information minister’s remarks.

“The U.S. Embassy condemns in the strongest terms the 2 November comments of Michael Makuei, the Minister of Information, regarding Christopher Allen, an American journalist killed while covering clashes between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition in August 2017,” the statement read.

According to the U.S Mission, Minister Makuei’s remarks would be irresponsible and reprehensible at any time but are all the more so as they were made on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. 

“The U.S. Embassy is seeking clarification as to whether these comments represent the position of the Government of South Sudan,” the statement said. “The U.S. Embassy once again renews its calls to the Government of South Sudan to conduct a credible inquiry into Mr. Allen’s death and to share its findings with Mr. Allen’s family.”