Don't bother. They're here
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.