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Taïna Community Radio pillaged, burned down in midst of military conflict

(JED/IFEX) - On 11 February 2009, Taïna Community Radio was pillaged and burned down between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. (local time) during clashes between the Armed Forces of the DRC (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, FARDC) and sections of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Other than the destruction of property, no casualties were reported as the radio station was empty during the conflict. Taïna Community Radio belongs to the Community Reserve of Taïna, a project supported by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Kasugho, located approximately 50 km from Lubero, in the Lubero territory, and approximately 100 km from Butembo, in North Kivu province.

Local sources informed JED that the pillage and destruction of the radio station specialising in environmental news and wildlife conservation focusing on monkeys, is the work of sections of the FDLR, which have been pursued by the FARDC and Rwandan Army coalition since mid-January 2009.

JED condemns the destruction of the station and believes that Taïna Community Radio should never be considered a military target. JED urges the Congolese and Rwandan governments to protect the media as well as the journalists in the region. JED also demands that the Congolese government assist the only radio station in Kasugho in rebuilding its facilities and reinstating service.

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