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Campaign to end impunity 2013 - 22nd day


Province Orientale: Journalist kidnapped by soldiers in the practice of his profession

Jean-Paul Basila, journalist with the Radio okapi, a UN station broadcasting in Bunia, a town about 700 km from Kisangani, in the Province Orientale (north- eastern DRC), was arrested, on Saturday  31 August 2013 by a group of elements from the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC). The journalist was accused of interviewing an accomplice of Mr. Cobra Matata, militia leader of “ Force Patriotique de Résistance de l'Ituri (FPRI)” operating in Province Orientale.
Jean Paul Basila was arrested in a restaurant by eight FARDC soldiers, when he was interviewing Serge Lossa, former head of Bunia. Lossa had been thrown into a jeep and sent to Kinshasa, the capital of DRC. As for Basila, he was driving his own car under the surveillance of armed soldiers towards the former FARDC operational zone headquarters. Arrived a few miles from the head office of the UN Mission for Stabilization in Congo (MONUSCO), the reporter took the risk to direct the car towards the main gate while shouting for a help. He succeeded in escaping thanks to the popular clamor created by taxi drivers at the sight of his arrest. The police officers standing outside the headquarters of MONUSCO rescued the journalist and gave him a shelter in their facilities.
JED strongly condemned the attempt of kidnapping the journalist in full practice of his profession, by heavily armed military. But no investigation had been launched by neither the military or judiciary authorities in order to know the ins and outs of this case.
Untitled Document
République Démocratique du Congo / Kinshasa
Kasai Oriental: radio station ransacked by the armed forces and police elements

Journaliste en Danger (JED) is deeply concerned by reports of the arrest of a journalist and the sacking of his radio in Miabi, area located 30 kms from Mbuji-Mayi, capital of the province Kasai Oriental (Central DRC), by elements of the Armed Forces and Police.

According to testimonies collected by JED, Fortunat Kasongo, owner of Radio Télévision Autonome Sud Kasai (RTAS), community station broadcasting in Miabi, was arrested on Tuesday 14 August 2012 at 4:00 p.m. local time, in Tshilundu, locality of Miabi, by a group of FARDC soldiers and police.

Kasongo was forcibly loaded into a jeep and led, the next day, Wednesday 15 August 2012, to Mbuji-Mayi where he has been detained in a hidden location. The same sources reported to JED that, on way to Mbuji-Mayi, security officers ransacked the radio station before obliging him to sign a document in which he recognizes to have published detrimental information against the Head of State, Joseph Kabila.

Contacted by JED, Lufuluabo Placide, Director of RTAS, confirmed that the FARDC and police officers in their passage in Miabi, looted their media facilities and carried away some equipment, including the mixer and the radio transmitter. "We do not have political programmes in our schedule. We only relay the RFI’s news broadcasts", said Lufuluabo. Joined by phone call, in his turn, Marcel Madimba, acting administrator of the Miabi territory, confirmed the arrest of Fortunat Kasongo refusing to mention the plunder of the radio. "This is a sensitive issue under review at provincial security level", he said.

Hyppolite Mutombo, Provincial Minister of the Interior in charge of the media, told JED that Fortunat Kasongo was not arrested as a journalist. "I cannot tell you the official reason for his arrest because the investigation is confidential. Kasongo has to look for a lawyer to find out why he is under arrest. The FARDC cannot loot a ghost radio, for it functions without legal documents", said the provincial minister.

Without going into the substance of this case, JED requires from the Kasai Oriental Officials the reason for the journalist’s arrest and the investigation over the attack and looting of his radio by a group of security forces’ elements in violation of all laws of the country in terms of protecting people and their property.

Thursday 26 March 2015.

Flash news
South Africa mourns Mandela, will bury him on December 15

06 December 2013

South Africans united in mourning for Nelson Mandela on Friday, but while some celebrated his remarkable life with dance and song, others fretted that the anti-apartheid hero's death would make the nation vulnerable again to racial and social tensions.
UN launches unmanned surveillance aircraft to better protect civilians in vast DR Congo

3 December 2013

With top United Nations and Government officials and a crowd of reporters looking on, the world Organization today launched its first-ever unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the interest of better protecting civilians in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
UN peacekeeping chief in Eastern DR Congo to inaugurate new protection technology, sees progress

North Kivu, 2 December 2013

On a visit to the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today, the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations said that the situation in the region, where civilians have suffered through recurrent insurgencies, showed evidence of improvement, and gave hope for further progress.
World AIDS Day: UN hails gains in combating virus, urges greater action towards 'zero discrimination'

1 December 2013

While welcoming the solid progress being made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, United Nations officials marked World AIDS Day with urgent appeals for the international community to work even harder to end stigma, discrimination and complacency, to stop new HIV infections among children and to ensure access to care and treatment for all those that need it.
UN envoy to the Great Lakes in region to push conclusion of Kampala Dialogue

Kinshasa, 25 November 2013

Mary Robinson, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes, has begun a week-long mission to help shore up peace efforts in the region, visiting Tanzania, Rwanda, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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