Friday, November 23, 2012

Amid reports of disappearances of scores of Goma residents, a photo of Kabila & Kagame rattles Kinois

(Photo: Prez Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni, and Joseph Kabila at press
briefing in Kampala, Wednesday, November 21, 2012)


Sources in Goma report that there have been at least 50 known
disappearances of Goma residents ever since M23 seized control of the
provincial capital of North Kivu.

The "disappeared" are members of pro-Kabila political parties and civil society.

"One day you see your neighbor, the next day the person mysteriously
vanishes!" a Goma source told me today.

There's no way of determining whether blogger-journalist Charly
Kasereka is among those "disappeared" by M23--though his last known
whereabouts were at Kibumba, where he was reporting as an FARDC embed.

M23 are now turning into a news-averse outfit, cutting off radio and
TV signals willy-nilly in a stupid attempt at mind control of Goma
residents--which prompted Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and
Journalist in Danger (JED) to issue a joint statement on Wednesday,
November 21, to denounce this situation.

Said Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders secretary general:

"Since occupying Goma, the rebels of the
23 March Movement (M23) have seized
control of the news media and are
behaving as if they were media
executives and editors. We remind
them that it is not their job to decide
the content of the news."

The joint statement goes on to say:

"The same sources said that, after the
rebel takeover, the M23 spokesman [Vianney Karazama] personally went
to Mount Goma – where the antennae of local radio and TV stations and
the relay antennae of the national and international broadcast media
are located – and told a representative of the National Network of
Satellite Telecommunications (RENATELSAT) to disconnect these three TV

So much for highway bandits who purport to teach Kabila lessons in
governance and democracy.

That's why Kinois--who still enjoy their freedom of movement and the
freedom to access the news--were rattled at seeing, on the same day
that reports of M23 treating Goma residents as chattels and slaves
were featured in the news, photos like the one above and TV footage of
Kabila grinning alongside Kagame and Museveni--the very culprits of
the misery of Goma residents and of more than a half million of
Congolese IDPs.

Hardcore anti-Kabila elements--those who believe that the Congolese
Prez is a Rwandan golem--didn't exactly put on kid gloves to describe
the scene as the grand reunion of the "balkanizers" of the DRC.



1 comment:

H Stewart said...

Good blog Alex "A Rwandan Golum" indeed. I decided to follow suit and post with a focus on Christophe Deloire's postion being the basis of the post but real life has away of intruding into intentions.

Yesterday I spent the day visiting two Congolese friends in hospital, in those situations I was asked about what was happening in Goma. Last night was a BBQ I have long since become used to being the only white guy in the room yet last night I was uncomfortble the mood was of undelying tension. The Congo was off the menue
That mood got to me today and I found myself profoundly angry about Charly Kasereka. My blog ended up being about him. There are areas I can't easily blog about. My partners family in the Congo being one.

I have always felt that as bloggers we owe each other support. I usually treat that as an obligation to share information and link back to those I lean on. I leaned on Charly last week to provide a humanity to a blog. I have today started to make a noise. I am listening to Peter Gabrial's "Biko" .