Journalists in Congo

A great essay from Congolese journalist Fidel Bafilemba Bienda about the ongoing situation in Congo, western media’s lack of interest, UN “peacekeeping” and the deaths of local journalists,

…I wish we would get more journalists to come here and see for themselves. But as fighting continues and innocent people die, the countries that should be helping don’t seem to have much interest. There have been occasional articles in newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times, and the BBC has covered the conflict, but I doubt the average person in North America or even much of Europe has any idea how conditions here have worsened. They should be more interested, since their governments are supposedly sending foreign aid and supporting a UN peacekeeping force, MONUC. But that too is a mystery to me. MONUC has not been able to stop the killing…
…Some of our local journalists are paying a high price for trying to report about the conditions here. News editor Serge Maheshe Kasole of “Radio Okapi,”the UN radio station, was gunned down last June 13 in Bukavu, and his death remains unsolved. Freelance photographer Patrick Kikuku Wilungula was shot in the head and killed last August 9. He was accosted by gunmen near his home in Goma. And then there is Noella Mwambikwa, who was arrested several weeks ago by officers of the military intelligence service as she prepared to board a UN helicopter to report on the current fighting in Sake and Rutshuru North-Kivu province. Getting the word out is becoming increasingly dangerous, but there are still courageous reporters and I don’t want them to be overlooked. If only the world community would decide that we are a country worthy of more attention. Perhaps an influx of journalists would stop the various factions from intimidating and murdering those who want to report on the atrocities. link via Ethan