"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


Don't bother. They're here

Oh, boy:
Less than 24 hours after the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists sent an open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing concern about the safety of three female Congolese journalists covering women’s issues in Bukavu, south of Goma, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued a press release about “Clowns Without Borders” entertaining children in the IDP camps near Goma. What about Reporters Without Borders? An even more novel idea would be Doctors Without Borders. Frankly, I am not sure how to write about this amazing disconnect. Do we laugh or cry about the search for truth?
Bukavu-based Congolese journalists Delphie Namuto, Caddy Adzuba, and Jolly Kamuntu have all recently had their lives threatened by those who don't want the free flow of information in South Kivu. All three are members of AFEM, an amazing regional organization that trains women journalists. Namuto and Adzuba work for Radio Okapi, while Kamuntu is with Radio Maendeleo. AFEM was finishing up a training session the last time I was in the Radio Maendeleo offices. They do incredible work with women journalists in the DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi, with an emphasis on peace building and the development of active civil societies.

Like many of their colleagues who are interested in telling the truth about what goes on in the eastern Congo, Namuto, Adzuba, and Kamuntu are in real danger. Like Nienaber, I doubt that clowns are the best body to protect them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem (one of many) with NGOs like the UN is that they are forever enslaved to the need for deliverables NOW. Clowns without borders entertain now. And can say that a certain number of people showed up for their gig and left (happier with their IDP lives?????) But protecting journalists has no particular time horizon, plus it is hard to measure/quantify the benefits. And it involves politics, and nobody wants to go there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:46:00 PM

Blogger The pale observer said...

Great blog - very important issues brought to light!

PLease also visit my little corner of the web at: http:hollisramblings.blogspot.com - about life as an expat in Ghana.

Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3:34:00 PM


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