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Journalist in Kananga receives death threats, forced into hiding for predicting failure of start of new school year

(JED/IFEX) - On 25 August 2008, Jeff Kande, a journalist with Radio-Television Amazone (RTA), a privately-owned broadcaster based in Kananga, capital of Western Kasaï province in central DR Congo, received anonymous phone calls threatening him with imminent death.

According to information obtained by JED, the threats followed the 20 August broadcast on RTA of a programme entitled "Why not talk about it". During this programme, whose theme was "The start of the new school year in relation to the province's development," the host reportedly predicted the failure of the start of the 2008 school year if teachers' salary demands are not met.

While the programme was still on the air, Kande received a phone call from an unknown individual saying, "If the start of the school year is boycotted on Monday 1 September 2008, it's you who will take responsibility for the teachers; otherwise, we know where you live and you will pay for it dearly."

A few days later, individuals identifying themselves as agents of the National Intelligence Agency (Agence Nationale des Renseignements, ANR) appeared at RTA looking for the journalist. Kande managed to escape and has since gone into hiding.

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