15 December 2012

South Sudan: FBI to Investigate Killing of S. Sudanese Political Commentator

Photo: http://www.crs.gov
Media (file photo).

Juba — United States has asked South Sudan to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) assist in probing the recent killing of Isaiah Abraham, a renowned South Sudanese political commentator.

Princeton Lyman, the US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan said the decision to involve FBI followed a meeting that took place between South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and Susan Page, the US ambassador to South Sudan.

"Ambassador Page [Susan] has offered to the President the assistance of the FBI in the investigation of the assassination of Isaiah Abraham and the president has accepted that," Lyman told journalists Friday in the South Sudan capital.

"We hope that the investigation of that terrible tragedy will send a signal to all those who would violate the basic human rights here in South Sudan and lead to accountable for any of those responsible," he added.

Established in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation, FBI is a US governmental agency belonging to the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency (counterintelligence).

A local blogger and well-known political commentator, Abraham, whose real names were Diing Chan Awol, was killed outside his home in Gudele, located west of the South Sudan capital by unknown gunmen.

Close family member say the deceased, on several occasions, received numerous threats, mostly warning him against his writings.

Recent intimidations and killings of journalists, the US special envoy said, undermine the democratic principles, which the young nation struggled to achieve for years.

Last week, President Kiir ordered full investigations into the death of Abraham, while the South Sudan's national security service this week announced a $50,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of his assailants.

UN REACTS

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has condemned the killing, urging authorities to institute thorough investigations and bring those responsible to justice.

On Tuesday, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also expressed concerns on the number of attacks on human rights defenders,, recent killing of a journalist and civilians in South Sudan.

Rupert Colville, an official from the OHCHR, said of the Office of the High Commissioner welcome the fact that President Kiir ordered the security services to conduct a "thorough investigation," into the murder of Abraham.

The UN, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, further expressed concerns on attacks and intimidations directed at human right

activists in recent months, citing the recent kidnapping and beating of a member of South Sudan Civil Society Alliance (SSCSA).

In October, Ring Bulabuk, a lawyer representing members of the alliance was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by "armed" men, with the incident said to be linked to their anti corruption advocacy.

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