Lesotho imposed a curfew to combat gun crime

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Factory workers in Lesotho after the close of work  Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

In response to the recent killing of a journalist, Lesotho has implemented a curfew as a measure to combat gun-related crimes.

The government of Lesotho has implemented an indefinite curfew in an effort to mitigate gun violence within the nation. The curfew aims to restrict nocturnal movement of individuals and potentially reduce the incidence of violent crime.

Following the shocking killing of a prominent radio journalist, a nationwide curfew was implemented on Tuesday.

According to a notice published in the government gazette on Tuesday, a curfew has been enforced on all individuals across the Kingdom of Lesotho, effective immediately.

As per the directive signed by Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli, denizens are prohibited from venturing outdoors during the hours of 10pm (20:00 GMT) to 04am (02:00 GMT).

According to Molibeli, the curfew will continue to be enforced until further communication. Individuals who fail to comply with the regulations may be subject to a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of two years.

According to Police Minister Lebona Lephema, the objective of this measure is to address the issue of gun violence throughout the nation.

Killing of Ralikonelo Joki

On Sunday night, Ralikonelo Joki, a prominent journalist and host of a current affairs program on a local private radio station, was tragically shot and killed by unidentified perpetrators as he was departing from his place of work in Maseru.

According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Joki was fatally shot in the head and body multiple times by unidentified attackers.

“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 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.

As of this report, no arrests have been made in relation to the case, and the investigations are still ongoing.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged the authorities to initiate a credible investigation into the murder.

Lesotho, a landlocked mountainous country with a population of two million, is plagued by frequent shootings related to gang activity. The proliferation of unlicensed firearms in the region is a contributing factor to this issue.

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