08 May 2012 - Journaliste en Danger (JED) expressed very serious concerns in the wake of serious threats against Gisele Kaj Kaung, a journalist with Radio Okapi, provincial station of Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu (eastern DRC), from Mr. Julien Paluku, governor of the province of North Kivu.
JED warns the province’s politico-administrative and military officials on their full responsibility in any harm that could reach the journalist.
According to information received by JED, Mr. Julien Paluku invited at his home, on Wednesday 2 May 2012, Mr. Alexandre Essome, chief information officer and public spokesperson for the UN Mission for Stabilization in DR Congo (MONUSCO ) in Goma to whom he expressed his disapproval on how the UN radio handled information about the clashes between the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) and rebel soldiers who deserted in the provinces of North and South - Kivu. Then he quoted namely the journalist Gisele Kaj, accusing her of impartiality in her report aired on Monday 30 April 2012 in which she would have "exulted" for the fall of some areas under the control of the mutineers.
Contacted by JED, Kaj Gisele said her report, based on the testimonies collected from people and the reports of DGM (Direction Générale de Migration) and ANR (Agence Nationale de Renseignement), mentioned the displacement of more than 2000 persons to Rwanda from Masisi and Rutshuru fallen in the hands of mutineers. "This is the second time Julien Paluku accuses me of having dealings with the rebels. In 2008, the same provincial governor had said that I was one of the concubines of Laurent Nkunda, former leader of the rebel movement named Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP). Even today, he accuses me of having a lover among the rebels. Mr. Paluku is undermining my reputation and making me insecure, "she added.
JED raises a strong protest against these false accusations and threats against the journalist whose professionalism cannot be in doubt. JED believes that such serious charges in a province plagued by violence and insecurity look like calls for murder against the journalist, and urges all Congolese and UN agencies authorities to do their utmost to ensure the physical security of the journalist Kaj Gisele.
JED remarks that two other journalists from Radio Okapi were murdered within one year in the province of South Kivu in circumstances that have never been clearly elucidated. These are Serge Meheshe and Namujimbo respectively killed on 13 June 2007 and 21 November 2008.
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