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More than 10,000 demand restoration of RFI's FM signal

(JED/IFEX) – Kinshasa, 16 April 2010 – At a 16 April press conference held at its Kinshasa offices, JED officially closed its campaign to collect signatures calling for the restoration of RFI's FM signal, in accordance with Article 27 of the Congolese Constitution.

The petition, addressed to President Joseph Kabila, collected 10,186 signatures since its launch on 23 February. For 45 days, Congolese citizens in Kinshasa and throughout the country and diaspora signed the online petition or added their names to paper versions circulating in the provinces.

JED is encouraged by the response, which illustrates the Congolese people's desire to once again be able to tune into RFI's diverse FM programming.

JED also expressed confidence that the president would grant the petitioners' wishes after a recent interview with "Le Soft International" newspaper appeared to show a retreat from his original position. The president indicated that the government had "maintained contact" with RFI and that "things would return to normal" soon.

JED views these remarks as a sign of reconciliation and asks the president to back up his words with concrete action.

The government cut RFI's FM signal in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in May 2009; in July 2009 the signal was cut in the remaining regions of the country.

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