Curfew in Lesotho as gunmen kill journalist
Foreign News

Curfew in Lesotho as gunmen kill journalist

Authorities in Lesotho have declared indefinite curfew with the hope to curtail movement of people at night and help curb gun violence in the small southern African kingdom.

The curfew came into force on Tuesday, days after gunmen killed a prominent radio journalist.

The killing shocked the nation.

“A curfew is imposed on all persons throughout the Kingdom of Lesotho with effect from today,” the government said in a gazette on Tuesday.

Authorities banned residents from being outside between 10.00 p.m. (20.00 GMT) and 04.00 a.m. (02.00 GMT), according to Police Commissioner, Holomo Molibeli.

The curfew will remain in place until further notice, Molibeli said.

Those failing to comply face a fine or up to two years in jail.

Police Minister, Lebona Lephema, said the move aimed to tackle gun violence across the country.

“Unknown assailants killed Journalist Ralikonelo Joki, host of current affairs show on local private radio.

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“The incident occurred as he was leaving his workplace in Maseru on Sunday night.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said unknown assailants shot Joki once in the head and at least 13 times in the body.

“Joki, the host of the current affairs show ‘Hlokoana-La-Tsela’ (I Heard It Through the Grapevine), covered government, agriculture and corruption.

“He was best known for breaking a 2021 story about five politicians, who were illegally trading alcohol,” the CPJ said in a statement.

“The journalist received at least three death threats from different Facebook accounts in March and April related to his work as a journalist,” the organisation added.

The Police has not made any arrest in connection with the case but said investigations are continuing.

The CPJ called on authorities to launch “a credible investigation” into the killing.

Gang-related shootings are common in Lesotho, a landlocked mountainous country of two million people.

There are a large number of unlicensed firearms in circulation in the country. ( Al-Jazeera)


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