Whistle Boy Update

A little update on the Whistle Boys story from a few blogs ago:

According to a friend who was in Goma at the time, the managers of the organization earned the wrath of journalists when they got arrested in Goma in 2009 by the security services (ANR). Apparently, they were trying to visiting mining sites and demobilization centers without the right papers. They did have press accreditation, however, even though they aren’t journalists, and the Congolese official who had issued them accreditation was arrested, as well. Things got complicated (they often do in the Congo) when that official’s wife held the accreditation stamp hostage in her house, demanding for her husband to be released. For some reason, the “stamp-hostage” drama continued for over a week, during which foreign journalists couldn’t get press accreditation in Goma. A US TV crew reportedly got stuck across the border in Gisenyi because of this.

In the end, the US embassy had to intervene to bail them out of jail.

This was not the only instance of Whistle Boy infamy. During the peace talks in Goma in 2008, one of their leaders tried to rush President Kabila with a camera and almost got beaten down by a presidential guard. Note to journalists: rushing the president in the Congo with anything is rarely a good idea.