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PUBLIC BROADCASTER EMPLOYEES ATTACKED

IFEX members Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are calling on the Burundi government to investigate two separate attacks last week that killed one employee of the country's public broadcaster and left another staff member wounded.

Cécile Ndikumana, a sales agent with Radio-Télévision Nationale du Burundi (RTNB), was killed by gunmen in the capital city Bujumbura while on her way home with her husband on 12 May. Ndikumana died instantly and her husband received non-life-threatening injuries.

The same evening, cameraman Hilaire Minani was with a neighbour in Bujumbura when two gunmen attacked them, demanding their money and mobile phones. Minani was wounded on the head and his friend was shot dead.

IFJ is calling for a thorough investigation into the two attacks, as well as improvement in the working conditions of RTNB journalists and media workers. Union members have been on strike since 28 April in protest over the failure to implement a collective bargaining agreement signed in December.

There has been a wave of violence in the Burundian capital in recent weeks since clashes resumed between the army and rebels of the Forces nationales de libération (FNL), the last active, armed movement in Burundi. At least 20,000 people have fled their homes, says UN humanitarian news and analysis service IRIN.

Visit these links:
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=26967
- IFJ: http://tinyurl.com/6ze6n5
- IRIN: http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=78129
(20 May 2008)

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