Congo Siasa

Response from journalist to last entry

I’ve gotten a few responses about my last posting on press & the group of experts’ report. Here’s another response from a journalist (who will go unnamed) who wrote about the group’s report:

Some headlines and articles made me feel sick as there were celebrating bad journalism and the good old days of mis-reporting. But whoever leaked this report may now realise the risk of such mis-reporting when handing it to Congo-ignorant journos. Congo is a complex story that needs to be covered by people who know and care about it. My understanding of the media coverage is that a handful of permanent correspondents in Congo seem to have done a good job which has been killed by their hierarchy – more eager to have another “UN scandal” rather than trying to understand a serious situation. Foreign broadsheets don’t care about Congo and they wouldn’t bother reading such a detailed report anyway. Beyond what certain media have focused on, i think that whether Monuc is a main party to the Kimia II operations is another debate. The reality is that the UN fell into the trap of giving full support to the Kabila-Kagame new deal without even having its whole content. The problem may well be that Monuc happily advertised its support to the operations while it’s always been kept aside any kind of planning and coordination. Lost into political games, the UN is now paying the price of backing an army which is responsible for the many human rights abuses we all know about. Perhaps, Monuc should never have supported a CNDP’s fast-track “non-integration” into the army. But Monuc cannot just say “well, we only give fuel and rations” whenever the FARDC are reported to be responsible for more abuses. You either in or not. And the Security Council chose that Monuc would be in. – –