Threatening journalists in the Democratic Republic of Congo: we condemn the suspension of Kabasele Jessy

Statement on the suspension of Mbuyi Kabasele Jessy the Director of the TV Program talk-show at RTNC Kinshasa the Democratic Republic of Congo for hosting the famous Musician Koffi Olomibe on Saturday July 6th, 2024 which Koffi Olomide criticized the current defense approach in the war in the eastern parts of the country. The DRC Government should hold accountable those threatening journalists.

During the TV talk-show on Saturday July 6th, 2024 Koffi Olomide claimed “we are not at war, they are killing us, they treat us the way they want, they consider us like kinds, they slap us but we do not reply, and we do not fight back as we are seeing it in Ukraine, a country that is at war but you keep on changing the Ministers of Defense, and end up calling others to come and help you out”.

Both Koffi Olomide and the Journalist Kabasele Jessy were summoned by the High Authority of the Regulation of the Media, while Kofi Olomide is appearing today Thursday July 11th, 2024 and hear about his fate, the Journalist Kabasele Jessy was suspended yesterday Wednesday July 10th, 2024 and his talk-show called “le Panier Morning Show” was put on hold until further notice, but also the Journalist faces more disciplinary actions for not responding back to what his guest argued.

We are concerned of the current imposition by the government upon all people to believe that efforts are done to end the war and that everyone should praise the government for that, at the same time oppress critical voices which look at the situation differently. In a country that pretends to be democratic the freedom of expression is a center and in a country at war the capacity to listen and encourage people to speak up builds confidence and innovations rather than the traditional culture of terror through censorship.

We strongly condemn the oppression and censorship to which Journalists in the Democratic of Congo are submitted to and call upon the observance of three expression in the country.

Much as we do not agree with what Koffi Olomide said in the talk-show but we should offer him a space to say what he feels and defend him when he is threaten because of his opinion.

We all know that we are at war of aggression by Rwanda, we may not agree that we are not responding back, we have seen efforts deployed by the government and the sacrifices our forces have paid to the extent of their own lives, however there are legitimate views about the current military operations approaches which are not appreciated by the population, there are also legitimate views about the priority of the Government which considers Diplomacy rather than the security and protection of the citizens in North Kivu.

Those holding these views and frustrations about the current government approach should not be criminalized regardless the manner they expressed themselves as we are not all diplomats.

As we stand in solidarity with Kabasele Jessy and with Koffi Olomide during this difficult moment and call upon the DRC Government to put to end such archaic practices, but also hold accountable those threatening the media.

The Coordination of North Kivu 



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