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Rebel and government leaders asked to protect reporters in Congo

Two IFEX members have joined forces to call for the increased safety of journalists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Earlier this month - on the eve of the start of a Francophonie summit in Kinshasa - Reporters Without Borders (RWD) and Journaliste en Danger (JED) presented a report on the state of freedom of information in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa.

The report reminds DRC president Joseph Kabila to combat crimes of violence against journalists - a promise he made at the closure of the last Francophonie summit in October 2010.

Two years later, RWB and JED find that no investigation into a media worker's murder has ever yielded a conclusive result in the DRC, although at least eight journalists have been murdered there in recent years.

RWB and JED also report that freedom of information has deteriorated since the 2011 elections and accuse the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), local and provincial authorities, and the media regulatory body called the Higher Council for Broadcasting and Communication (CSAC) of being mostly to blame for this decline.

Read the full report here (in French).

More recently, RWD and JED came together again in an appeal to the leader of a Congolese rebel movement. The partner organizations wrote to Jean-Marie Runiga, the political coordinator of the M23 rebel movement, voicing concern about the dangers for journalists working in M23-controlled territory, especially Rutshuru, in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, and asking him to take action to stop the threats and guarantee their safety.

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