Goma: journalists arrested in full coverage of a demonstration against the forces of the EAC

Goma: journalists arrested in full coverage of a demonstration against the forces of the EAC

The city of Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu in eastern DRC, on Wednesday woke up under tension following a demonstration against the EAC force. Police and soldiers beat and arrested journalists covering the protest, injuring and arresting some. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Activities have slowed down across the city, following the call for a peaceful march organized by the synergy of citizen movements and pressure groups demanding the departure of the EAC force which created according to it acts as a buffer zone between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the rebels of the March 23 movement (M23), instead of going on the offensive.

The mayor of Goma had, the day before, banned this march, in a press release published on Tuesday.

The municipal authority called on the organizers to “form a group of 3 or 4 people to submit their memorandum to the town hall, instead of disturbing public order with a demonstration”.

Early in the morning on Wednesday, police officers were deployed in all the hot spots of the city to prevent and stifle the march.

According to witnesses, police and demonstrators clashed in a few corners of the city.

Our sources say the police and certain elements of the army brutalized, injured and arrested journalists who were covering the demonstration and activists of the citizens’ movement, fight for the change in English (LUCHA).

Two journalists, including Freddy Ruvunangiza of Prunelle.info, were arrested by the police when they were covering the demonstration with other young people who were trying to send the governor their memorandum.

“Our colleague, Freddy Ruvunangiza, who was covering the demonstration this morning alongside the other journalists in Goma, has just been arrested by elements of the police. Brutalized, slapped by elements of the Police, he was taken to the police station of the police at the town hall where he is heard. The only crime of our colleague is to have covered this demonstration. We condemn this obstacle to the freedom to inform, denounced his media.

For its part, Journaliste en danger (JED), condemns “police brutality towards journalists who were only doing their job by covering a demonstration”.

“Marvel Kiro (Reporter at Blessing FM), Ali Asanka Darius (Voice of America Correspondent) and Héritier Munyafura
(AFP Correspondent ), all journalists in Goma were injured on Wednesday by the Congolese national police, while they were covering a so-called peaceful march, organized by citizen movements. It was in front of the entrance to the governor’s office that the police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators that the three journalists were pursued when they escaped the shots and then got injured because they were pursued in their flight by the elements of the police “, writes JED.

On the other hand, the civil society of the Bwitu groupment in the territory of Rutshuru alerts on the reinforcement of the fighters of the M23 in several localities of Rutshuru.

Chirac Mafula, president of the local civil society indicates that the M23 has not withdrawn from the entities under its control in Rutshuru territory as initially planned from January 15, in accordance with the resolutions of the mini-summit of Luanda (Angola).

“The M23 fighters have not withdrawn. They are in Kishishe, Bambo, Tongo, around Kichanga and in several towns in the neighboring Bwisha chiefdom. They have not made any movement. On the other hand, they continue to reinforce their positions. So they are distracting national and international opinion. We do not know their objective and their mission” said the president of the civil society of Bwito.

To find a solution to the crisis prevailing in eastern DRC, the heads of state of the East African community have decided to send a regional force to this very mineral-rich part of the vast country of ‘Central Africa.

Politicians and activists accuse him of being an “accomplice” and call on him to “go on the offensive” especially in North Kivu where the M23 has controlled several localities since mid-June 2022.

This Tuesday, on the sidelines of the Davos economic forum, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi announced that “the M23 has not yet ceded the areas under its occupation”.

The Congolese authorities remain convinced that the former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021, accusing the Congolese authorities of not having respected its commitments on the reintegration of its combatants, is supported by Rwanda, which the Rwandan government does not stop sweeping with the back of hand.

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