Awuol was shot dead by unidentified men in Gudele, a suburb of Juba, the capital, according to a member of Awuol's family and a local journalist citing another relative. The sources said the gunmen came to Awuol's home a little after midnight, asked him to come outside, and then shot him dead and took his cellphone.
Awuol was a contributor to news websites, including Sudan Tribune, Gurtong, and SudaneseOnline, typically writing opinion articles critical of the South Sudanese leadership and their relationship with Sudanese authorities, local journalists told CPJ. He had been threatened several times in the past and had received anonymous phone calls warning him to stop writing, according to local journalists and news reports.
Local journalists told CPJ that Awuol could have been targeted in connection with his online columns. In his last article, published on November 27 in the Sudan Tribune, he urged authorities to foster a better relationship with Sudan and refrain from supporting Sudanese rebel groups. Although South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 after a long civil war, internal conflicts continue to rage in the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan where rebels are fighting for increased civil rights and greater autonomy from the Khartoum government.
Inspector General of South Sudan Police Acuil Tito told reporters they were investigating the case.
Awuol was working as the director for administration and finance in the Employees Justice Chamber at the time of his death. He was a former major in the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the war, but ended his military career in 2005. He is survived by two wives and five children.