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South Sudan journalist shot dead: radio station

May 22, 2015

Gunmen in South Sudan have shot dead a radio journalist in the war-torn eastern state of Jonglei, colleagues said Friday.

Pow James Raeth, a correspondent for the independent Radio Tamazuj, was shot dead along with a friend in the town of Akobo by unknown gunmen as they walked to access Internet from an office, the station said.

The station quoted local government commissioner Tut Chol Rial as saying the killing was “not intentional” but was crossfire between two warring rival groups.

“We condemn the senseless killing of Pow James Raeth, somebody who was working for peace and for educating and informing the public,” Radio Tamazuj said in a statement.

The station called him a “talented and hard-working young man who showed so much promise.”

The US embassy in Juba offered their “sincere condolences to the friends, family and colleagues” of Raeth.

Reporters Without Borders ranks South Sudan as the 125th worst nation out of 180.

Rights groups have repeatedly warned that security forces have cracked down on journalists, suffocating debate on how to end a civil war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed in the past 17 months.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.