January 3, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Thursday announced it has arrested a number of suspects believed to be responsible for the assassination of a leading political commentator, Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan, who was popularly known as Isaiah Abraham.
- South Sudanese political commentator, Isaiah Ding Abraham Chan Awuol, who was shot dead by unknown gunmen in front of his house in Juba, early on the morning of Wednesday 5 December 2012 (Photo: Hayat)
The political commentator was gunned down in front of his house in Gudele west area in the capital, Juba, in the early morning on December 5, 2012.
The President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit, ordered South Sudan’s security organs to carryout an investigation into the murder and to bring to justice those responsible for his killing.
He later also gave green light to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist in the investigations by employing its technical expertise in the area of investigations.
On Thursday the official spokesman of the government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, announced to the press that a number of suspects are now in the custody of the security organs.
He said a joint group involving the police, military intelligence and national security assisted by the FBI carried out the investigations under the supervision of the judiciary.
Marial did not give any hint of the identities of the arrested suspects, but said the process was ongoing and would lead to the capture of all those responsible for the assassination.
The late was known for criticizing the government, particularly the top leadership, for the way the country was being governed.
A week before his demise Isaiah Abraham wrote a number of opinion articles which were widely circulated in which he called for the resignation of the President Salva Kiir Mayardit as well as cautioned the government to reconsider its relationship with the Sudanese rebel group, the SPLM-North, in order not to severe its relations with Sudan.
The SPLM-N was part of the SPLM operating in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, during the civil war that led to South Sudan’s independence in 2011. However, since separation Khartoum has accused South Sudan of continuing to back their comrades who are now north of the new, contested and demarcated, international border.
The Sudanese government has refused to allow Southern oil to resume being exported through Sudan until it is happy that Juba is no longer supporting the SPLM-N.
President Kiir and his northern counterpart will meet Friday 4 January to try and resolve how to implement the Cooperation Agreement they signed in September.