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Army chief threatens to kill journalist

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 14 July 2007, the Chief of Defence Staff of Niger's Armed Forces (FAN), General Moumouni Boureima, threatened to kill Moussa Kaka, a correspondent for Radio France International (RFI) in Niger, over his coverage of the rebellion in the Northern part of the country.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that General Boureima threatened the journalist when he went to greet a number of dignitaries attending a reception at the residence of the French Ambassador to Niger. The reception was to commemorate France's National Day.

The correspondent said that when Kaka was shaking hands with General Boureima, he furiously told him: "You, one of these days, I will kill you".

In March 2007, the Niger Movement for Justice (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice, MNJ), an armed movement, launched a rebellion in the country's northern region and Kaka was the only journalist in Niger allowed to access the rebel controlled areas.

Not comfortable with the correspondent's reports on RFI, General Boureima decided to threaten him.

Kaka told the MFWA correspondent that he felt threatened.

Kaka has also published several photographs and articles that have resulted in suspensions and warnings to three other newspapers.

This is not the first time General Boureïma has issued a threat against Kaka. On 26 October 2004, following his displeasure about a report on an alleged coup d'état, General Boureima, described Kaka and Mamane Abou, managing editor of the weekly "Le Républicain", on national television as stateless persons and working for the opposition.

"I would like to tell people like Moussa Kaka and Abou to stop peddling lies about Niger's Armed Forces. I know that they are stateless people. And even if one is stateless one should still support one's army," said the General.

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