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All Moanda radio stations closed amid high tensions in DRC

Journaliste En Danger (JED) expresses its total disapproval following the arbitrary closure by the National Information Agency (Agence Nationale des Renseignements - ANR) of 3 radio stations in Moanda, situated at more than 200km from Matadi, the capital of the province of Lower Congo (southwest DRC).

JED urges the Vice-Prime Minister in charge of the Interior and Security, Evariste Boshab to order the immediate re-opening of these stations.

According to information obtained by JED, Radio Télé Boma, Radio Associative Kisalu, and Radio Télé Communautaire de Moanda – the only radio stations broadcasting in Moanda – were closed on Thursday, April 23, 2015 around 8 a.m. on verbal orders given by Mr. Fumu Nzana, head of the local ANR of Moanda, following a decision by the provincial security committee.

The media outlet managers were phoned by the local authority (ANR of Moanda) which ordered them to cease broadcasting all programs until further notice. This order was given after information was aired about a demonstration against insecurity in the coastal city of Moanda.

According to our information, on the same day, a demonstration of several hundred people exhibited the body of a young girl killed the night before by men in uniform, accused of being the cause of several weeks of great insecurity in the city.

Contacted by JED, Mr. Jean Ndombasi, Director of Radio Télé Communautaire de Moanda stated “We have not received any notice since from the local authorities. This morning (Friday, April 25, 2015) I personally met with the head of the local ANR of Moanda to ask about the situation. To my great surprise, I was informed that we would be officially seized after the departure of Mr. Evarite Boshab, Vice-Prime Minister in charge of the Interior, currently on official duty in Moanda.”

When contacted, Mr. Kisalu Fimbo, Director of the Radio Télé Associative Kisalu said “We do not know what we are accused of but the ANR agent who threateningly called me ordered me to suspend our programs until further notice in order to prevent us from providing information to the public about the situation of insecurity in the City of Moanda.”

Journaliste en danger (JED) vigorously condemns this illegal and unjustified act which deprives information to the population of Moanda, as these radio stations are the only sources of local information.

JED also denounces the propensity of security services to constantly interfere with the work of the press.

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