Lesotho authorities have issued an indefinite curfew in the expectation that restricting people’s movement at night will help reduce gun violence in the small southern African monarchy.
The curfew, which went into effect on Tuesday, comes only days after a popular radio broadcaster was assassinated, shocking the nation.
“A curfew is imposed on all persons throughout the Kingdom of Lesotho with effect from today,” according to a notice published in the government gazette on Tuesday.
According to the letter signed by police commissioner Holomo Molibeli, residents are not permitted to be outside between 10 p.m. (20:00 GMT) and 04 a.m. (02:00 GMT).
The curfew will stay in effect until further notice, according to Molibeli. Those who do not comply face a fine or up to two years in prison.
Police Minister Lebona Lephema stated that the initiative sought to combat gun violence throughout the country.
Ralikonelo Joki, the host of a current events show on a local private radio station, was killed down as he was leaving his workplace in Maseru on Sunday night by unknown gunmen.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), unknown gunmen 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, 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.
No arrests have been made in connection with the case, and 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, where there are a large number of unlicensed firearms in circulation.