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Rebel soldiers ransack community radio station

(JED/IFEX) - On 2 September 2007, the premises of Radio La Colombe, a community radio station broadcasting from Rutshuru, located approximately 72 km from Goma, the main city of South Kivu province, were ransacked by rebel soldiers. The soldiers are followers of Laurent Nkunda, dissident general of the DR Congo Armed Forces (Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo, FARDC), currently in conflict with the pro-government forces.

According to Beguine Uwimana, a representative of the station interviewed by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), and based on information gathered by Journaliste en danger (JED), soldiers lead by Colonel Makenga burst into the station at around 7:00 p.m. (local time), and took away the station's transmitter and other equipment. The station has ceased broadcasting since then.

During the raid, the insurgents kidnapped three programme hosts and two technicians, employees of a local electrical company, who happened to be there during the attack. According to information obtained by JED, the hosts managed to escape but the other "kidnapped" individuals remain missing.

When questioned about the attack, representatives of the National Congress of the People (Congrès national du peuple, CNDP, a politico-military movement created by General Laurent Nkunda) denied any involvement in the ransacking and kidnapping of the missing persons, and attributed the actions to "uncivil" people.

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