Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
August 20, 2007: The UN has
asked the government of Congo to do more to protect journalists in the Congo.
In the past six months several reporters have been murdered. On August 9 a
photo-journalist was shot and killed in
eastern Congo. In June a radio reporter was murdered in South Kivu.
Reporting from chaotic conflict zones like the Congo is a dangerous enterprise.
It takes courage, common sense, and luck. Local warlords sometimes tolerate
reporters, but they are also a problem. Photos can lead to war crime charges.
August 16, 2007: The Congo and
Uganda formally agreed to a new "common border survey" of the disputed border
demarcation in the Lake Albert region. Both Uganda and Congo claim Rukwanzi
Island and its vicinity. A British geologist was killed in a shootout in the
area in early August. The Ugandan government said that the survey would be
handled by a joint commission and could begin work "within three or four
weeks." This dispute is a major problem for the Congo and Uganda. Uganda's
foreign minister visited Kinshasha with the purpose of "diffusing" the trouble.
Congo's charges that Uganda invaded the eastern Congo (Ituri province) and
plundered natural resources exacerbates the current dispute.
August 15, 2007: The government
disputed charges made by Rwanda (and a statement by a senior Congolese officer)
that the Congolese Army was no longer conducting military operations against
extremists Rwandan Hutu militias.
August 14, 2007: The
government of Rwanda charged that the Congolese government and military had
"halted military operations" against extremist Rwandan Hutu "Interahamwe"
militias operating in the Congo. The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda
(FDLR) is the militia group that most concerns the Rwandan government. The
Congolese forces and UN troops conducted a seven-month long operation against
Hutu extremists in the Congo. The Rwandan government said the end of the
offensive demonstrated that the Congolese Army "lacked the will" to fight the
FDLR. The Rwandan government contends that these militias are led by Rwandan
Hutus who participated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.