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Gunmen kill S. Sudanese journalist after his abduction

September 26, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan gunmen have killed a journalist after he was kidnapped in June, highlighting the level of insecurity government critics face.

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Journalists attend a briefing on new media laws approved by South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, on 9 September 2014 (ST)

Relatives told Sudan Tribune that veteran South Sudanese journalist, Isaac Vuni was found dead months after he was kidnapped from home.

Vuni was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint by gunmen at his Kerepi village along the Juba-Nimule road in June, but the identities of the kidnappers remained unknown.

The late Vuni’s wife, Lucy Jua, confirmed that he was kidnapped in June only to later learn he had been killed, when his body was found dumped at a farm of a neigbour in the village. She believes her husband was killed after his abduction last June.

“We as the family do not have information about the identity of the group who kidnapped. What we know is that he was kidnapped at gunpoint at home in Kerepi and never returned”, Jua told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“We don’t know who has done that but I think he was killed immediately after he was kidnapped. The unfortunate thing is that none is helping to find out those behind his death. There is no information. We were in a total confusion until his son came and informed us that he was killed”, she added.

The deceased’s wife said she received information that six men in uniform stormed the house in which Vuni was living with guns and took him together with his cousin brother, whose life is also a subject of concern as nobody knows what happened to him since his body has not been found and no information about his whereabouts.

“The body of Isaac has been found but there is no information about the fate of his cousin brother. It is a total confusion. Everybody is quiet. The government is not talking and none is telling us anything”, she adds.

The motives behind kidnapping of the journalist remained unclear, relatives said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recently ranked South Sudan as the second worst country in Africa and fifth globally in the impunity index, highlighting the failure to bring persons who kill or attack journalists to justice.

Since December 2013 over eight journalists have been killed in the young nation.

South Sudan is ranked 140th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders 2016 World Press Freedom Index, falling 26 places since the start of conflict in the country.

(ST)