Woman trampled in Suvuma protest was Khaiwoonese journalist, Khaiwoon calls for ‘caution and care’

Yupmin Emily Baiwopha
Yupmin Emily Baiwopha

KHAIWOON — While Neo Delta celebrated the return of its ambassador from Suvuma, Khaiwoon mourned the death of a young reporter killed in the violence sparked by the diplomatic tussle.

Speaking at the Legislative Assembly this morning, Khaiwoon’s foreign minister Alan Satmooë confirmed that the woman fatally injured last Sunday by the stampeding crowd at the anti-Neo Delta riot in Suvuma was a Khaiwoonese journalist, Yupmin Emily Baiwopha.

Baiwopha, 29, was a native of Khaiwoon who had served as a volunteer aid worker in Suvuma for three years after graduating from college, before starting a career in journalism with the Times of Khaiwoon.  She was covering the rising tension in Suvuma for the Times when she was trampled by protesters fleeing tear gas and rubber bullets fired by Suvumese riot police protecting Neo Delta’s embassy.

A spokesman for the newspaper said Baiwopha’s coworkers were in shock.  “She had such a sharp mind and an energetic personality,” said Kevin Hambex. “It’s hard to believe she’s gone.”

Baiwopha’s family did not offer a comment to the media.

Khaiwoon maintains diplomatic relations with Suvuma as well as informal relations with Goytakanya.  Instead of an embassy in Goytakanya, Khaiwoon operates a ‘Khaiwoonese Affairs Bureau’ facilitating numerous commercial ties.

Satmooë, the foreign minister, urged governments to “exercise caution and care” with respect to the dispute over Goytakanya.

“For decades Khaiwoonese diplomats have helped the Suvumese and Goytakano parties avoid a repeat of large scale violence by following a careful path of restraint and discretion, neutrality and compassion, engagement and development.”

“Recently however, we have seen a handful of governments jumping in, picking sides, shaking things up and inflaming the situation. We fail to see how these actions help move the two parties toward a peaceful solution.  All they do is worsen tensions, destabilize the Suvumese leadership, jeopardize the safety of Goytakano people in Suvuma, and provoke needless violence against the innocent.”

“Khaiwoon has lost a daughter,” he added. “We do not wish anyone else to experience the same.”

Baiwopha’s remains arrived at Khaiwoon International Airport this afternoon.  A memorial service is planned for Friday evening.

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