Rebel chief issues death threat against Belgian journalist
(RSF/IFEX) - On 31 July 2002, RSF voiced its utmost concern about Ugandan rebels' death threats against Belgian journalist Els De Temmerman. The organisation is particularly concerned about a letter from rebel chief Joseph Kony that was found on a rebel captured by the Ugandan army, in which Kony calls for De Temmerman's "elimination."
In a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard said, "We are extremely concerned about this execution order, and we ask you to ensure that Ms. De Temmerman's security is guaranteed at all times, including when she is travelling, so that she can continue her work."
The death threat against De Temmerman follows the journalist's publication of a book entitled "Daughters of Aboke", in which she describes the mistreatment of adolescents who are forced to join the rebel movement headed by Kony, who is reportedly a religious fanatic. De Temmerman, a former correspondent for the Belgian national broadcaster VRT, has been under threat from Kony since January as a result of her work on behalf of the "kadogo", the children who are forced to take up arms.
Nonetheless, she has stressed her intention to remain in the country. "I will continue my programme in favour of the child soldiers of Uganda. What I am currently undergoing is nothing compared with what these children and their families have been suffering for years," she has said.