Sudan Journalist Murdered In Juba
A South Sudanese journalist was on Monday murdered in what colleagues and relatives described as a targeted act by the South Sudanese army.
John Gatluak Nhial, a reporter with Internews, was gunned down in the capital, Juba during clashes between the country’s rival forces.
The deceased, relatives said, was killed at about 4:00pm when South Sudan army forces stormed a private guesthouse accommodating mainly international staffs at Jebel, about 6km west of Juba.
“We are saddened on hearing the death of John Gatluak as simple as that. We believe he was targeted because he is from the Nuer ethnic [tribe]”, Rev. John Chuol Chap, a relative, told Sudan Tribune Tuesday.
He described the late Gatluak as a neutral journalist, who was solely dedicated to the core values of journalism.
The entire family of the late Gatluak feel saddened and ask South Sudanese authorities to apprehend those behind his death, he said.
“We are calling for justice on the perpetrators who took the law into their hand for the death of our son; it cannot be left like that we need an investigation over his target”, stressed Chuol.
Nigel Ballard, the director for the Internews, said Gatluak loved his journalism career with humor and was a great critical thinker.
“He was a heroic reporter and a leader, widely loved and embraced in his community,” reads his statement posted on Internews website.
“He had great integrity, would never rush to judgment and was always fair. John was quiet, gentle and a deep thinker whose actions were informed by his commitments to open and independent journalism,” it added.
Before he relocated to Juba during the previous conflict, the deceased worked as Internews station coordinator at Naath FM in Leer town, before he led team of reporters who relocated to Juba.
He was at the time of his death the Internews head of community radios.
“What John would want now is for his work to continue and for independent journalism to thrive in South Sudan,” said Ballard.
“He would want us all to keep working toward the day when everyone has access to the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” he added.
A member of South Sudan Editors Forum, Gatluak represented his country at the 2014 African Leaders Forum in Washington DC.
He is survived by a widow, Rebecca Chol Ngundeng Teny and three children.
Picture by: radiotamazuj.org