By Manyang David Mayar – JUBA
One of South Sudan’s most outspoken political critics was killed last night in Juba. Police say Isaiah Abraham, whose real name is Diing Chan Awuol, was killed by unknown gunmen who broke into his home.
Police say Abraham was alone in his house in Juba’s Gudele suburb when he was SHOT AND killed. Colonel James Monday Enoka DESCRIBES WHAT HAPPENED.
“Around 1 am the neighbors heard a sound of a gunshot and people came and found him dead. He was hit by one bullet. This is very unfortunate and as I speak the police are still following up to apprehend the criminals”, Monday said.
Local residents here worry about the rising crime rate. Last week members of the Eritrean Community in Juba protested the killing of three of their colleagues.
Police say most killings are carried out by armed robbers. But Colonel Monday says, Isaiah Abraham’s murder is different.
“Because the property in the house is intact. That means the police want to study if he has been targeted or a kind OF assassination. This will be proven by investigation”, he said.
Civil society activists believe Abraham was assassinated by people outraged over his articles critical of the South Sudan government often published in the Sudan Tribune and found on Gurtong websites.
Ateny Wek Ateny, a member of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance and a columnist for The Citizen newspaper in Juba, says Abraham’s killing does not bode well for a democratic society.
“The way he was killed looks like a politically motivated killing. May be Abraham was cornered because of his political opinion but I don’t thought to do that. Even if Abraham criticizes you, he does it with absolute responsibility. I am worried about the nation of South Sudan because if such a high profile person could just be killed, I am worried about the future of South Sudan”, Ateny lamented.
Dong Samuel, a member of the South Sudan Law Society – called on authorities to track down the killers and bring them to justice.
“We condemn the killing of Isaiah Abraham in the strongest terms possible because the responsibility to protect relies with the government. And somebody like Isaiah to die this mysterious death, I think requires our government to investigate”, Samuel said.
This is not the first time a civil society activist has been targeted by unknown gunmen. The chairman of the South Sudan civil society alliance, Deng Athuai, was kidnapped last July and found wandering in a forest three days later.