HomeMiddle EastCurfew in Lesotho to tackle gun crime after journalist's murder

Curfew in Lesotho to tackle gun crime after journalist’s murder

Radio journalist Ralikonelo Joki was shot multiple times by unknown assailants.

Lesotho authorities have declared an indefinite curfew in the hope that reduced movement of people at night will help curb gun violence in the small southern African kingdom.

The curfew, which went into effect Tuesday, comes just days after a prominent radio journalist was shot dead in a killing that shocked the nation.

“A curfew is imposed on all persons throughout the Kingdom of Lesotho as of today,” according to a notice published in the government gazette on Tuesday.

Residents are prohibited from being outside between 22:00 (20:00 GMT) and 04:00 (02:00 GMT), according to the document signed by Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli.

The curfew will remain in effect until further notice, Molibeli said. Those who do not comply face a fine or up to two years in jail.

Police Minister Lebona Lephema said the move was aimed at tackling gun violence across the country.

Journalist Ralikonelo Joki, presenter of a current affairs program on local private radio, was shot by unknown assailants as he was leaving his workplace in Maseru on Sunday night.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said unknown assailants shot him 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, and was best known for publishing a 2021 story about five politicians who They traded illegally. alcohol,” CPJ said in a statement,

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

No arrests have been made in connection with the case, and investigations continue.

CPJ urged authorities to launch “a credible investigation” into the murder.

Gang-related shootings are common in Lesotho, a landlocked mountainous country of two million people, where there are large numbers of unlicensed firearms in circulation.

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