JUBA, September 3, 2017 Government Spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth said Christopher Allen had been traveling to South Sudan in the past but his request for entry in to the country in June was denied because of his “hostile, biased and unbalanced” previous reports about South Sudan.
He was speaking in a press conference in Juba yesterday.
“There are people who are still calling for an investigation I’m failing to understand who are that are to be investigated. Should the government be investigated for having killed the rebels or should the rebels be investigated for having attacked South Sudan and then Allen was killed?”
Makuei said should Allen had survived, he would have been taken to court to answer as to why he entered the country illegally.
“If Allen had not died, then he is a criminal, had he not died, we would have apprehended him because he decided to enter the country illegally,” Makuei said.
“This time we will not accept responsibility for things that happen to anybody who decides to join the rebels,” he said.
Makuei said if at all there is going to be investigations, the people should tell who they want to investigate.
“Chris Allen had been one of the reporters who had been coming to South Sudan but because of his hostile reports the government decided to deny him entry in to South Sudan and as a result he decided to go to the rebels and enter South Sudan the other way round. He entered South Sudan illegally,” he said.
On Tuesday, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova condemned the killing of the journalist “I condemn the killing of Christopher Allen,” said the Director-General. “In keeping with the Geneva Conventions, journalists retain their civilian status in conflict situations. It is therefore the obligation of all parties to protect them.”
Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa and Committee to Protect Journalist also calls for investigations in to the killing of the American freelance journalist.
Makuei said the journalist was not targeted as reported by some sources. “Those of you who have not been to front lines may not understand what happens when the two forces started fighting but when fighting ensues between two fighting forces, then whoever is in front of you is a target,” he said.
“Even in the fighting when we are shooting ourselves at a range of 50 or 100 meters, I will not be seeing that what you are carrying a camera but I will see it as another type of gun pointed at me. Nobody will ever believe that that man is carrying a camera in order to take photos but they will take it as a gun aimed at them. It was not targeted but anybody on either side is usually a target of the other side,” he said.
According to the United Nations, Allen is the 10th journalist and the first international journalist to be killed in South Sudan since 2012, according to the United Nations.
Committee to protect journalists said South Sudan is one of the harshest places in the world for journalists. In the past few months, 15 South Sudanese journalists have been detained, beaten or denied access to information, according to the Union of Journalists in South Sudan, and more than 20 foreign journalists have been denied entry or kicked out.