The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Tuesday condemned the brutal killing of 11 civilians in a roadside ambush in Western Bahr el Ghazal.
In a statement released in Juba, UNMISS expressed its condolences to the families of those killed when the car they were in was attacked by heavily armed gunmen. UNMISS said the roadside ambush was the second in South Sudan in less than two weeks. UN officials called on local, state and national authorities to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
The ambush occurred on Sunday, when heavily armed men opened fire on a two-car convoy that was travelling between Raja and Sepo in Western Bahr el Ghazal. Five local journalists, including two women, were among the victims of the attack. Alor Deng Kur, the director of South Sudan Radio in Wau and chair of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan in Western Bahr el Ghazal state, identified the slain journalists as reporters Randa George Adam, Dalia Marko and Adam Juma Adam; Musa Mohammed Dhaiyah, the director of Raja Radio; and cameraman Butrus Martin Khamis.
Witnesses have said the victims were shot and then attacked with machetes before their bodies were set on fire. Some of the bodies were so badly burned during the attack that hospital officials said it was impossible to tell if they were women or men.
South Sudan in Focus has been unable so far to confirm the identities of the other two victims of the attack.
Newly appointed Raja County Commissioner Maradom James Benjamin was in the vehicle that was able to escape the ambush. James and three others were wounded in the attack but none received life-threatening injuries.