DR Congo

DR Congo/South Kivu: MONUC pays homage to Didace Namujimbo in Bukavu

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Tom Tshibangu / MONUC

On Monday 24 November 2008, MONUC paid homage to Didace Namujimbo, a Radio Okapi journalist assassinated on 21 November last in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province. In the Radio Okapi offices where Didace worked, a homage ceremony took place before the thanksgiving mass.

At the burial, the various speakers all wished to see the authors of the crime arrested and brought before justice. In particular they expressed the wish to see peace return to the east of the country.

"Didace was a knight of the peace of modern times, who was killed by the enemies of peace," declared the regional MONUC director Alpha Sow, speaking on behalf of MONUC chief Alan Doss. The death of Didace, continued Mr. Sow, far from discouraging his fellow journalists, should reinforce their determination to keep high the flame and ideal of peace.

At the same time in Kinshasa, the colleagues and friends of Didace Namujimbo observed a homage in his memory, in the presence of the Deputy Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, Leila Zerrougui and of MONUC's Director of Public Information, Kevin Kennedy. For Ms. Zerrougui, in spite of the difficult circumstances, the journalists should continue to work for the expression of the truth.

Didace Namujimbo was mown down last Friday by armed gunmen as he made his way home from work.

In its November 22 press release, MONUC vigorously condemned this new assassination which follows that of his colleague Serge Maheshe in June 2007, by inviting the Congolese authorities to use all available resources to find the authors of this "wretched act," so that they can be brought before justice.

The UN Mission promised all its support and assistance to the Public prosecutor, who has already opened an investigation. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, in the name of the Secretary General, of all MONUC personnel and the United Nations family, offered his sincere condolences to the grief stricken family, friends and colleagues of the late journalist.

Furthermore, Norbert Masirika, representative of the Congolese press in South Kivu, , denounced the fact that journalists are obliged to work in an atmosphere of insecurity and impunity.

The family of the late Mr. Namujimbo has asked the authorities that his widow and three children be protected, as they continue to receive threats by telephone.