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By Godfrey Olukya     19-2-2014

A journalist in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo died on
Sunday from gunshot wounds he sustained in a shootout between
Congolese troops and Ugandan rebels, Africa press has reported.

Germain Kennedy Mumbere Muliwavyo, 28, reporter for the private
broadcaster Radio Télévision Muungano in the town of Oïcha, was shot
in the stomach and head on Saturday by fighters of a Ugandan rebel
group called the Allied Democratic Forces, according to news reports.
He was riding in a vehicle of the Congolese national armed forces when
the fighters ambushed the car.

Two other journalists were also injured in the attack. Mitterand
Hangi, reporter for Radio Télévision Muungano, and Patient Subiri,
reporter for Radio Télévision Rwanzururu, a community radio station
based in the city of Beni, were hospitalized with non-life-threatening
injuries, The Associated Press reported.

The journalists were in North Kivu and were on their way to report on
the village of Kamango, which the Congolese national armed forces had
retaken from Ugandan rebels the day before, according to Congolese
press freedom group Journaliste En Danger (JED). Periodic fighting
between the Congolese armed forces and rebel groups has made North
Kivu the most dangerous region for journalists, according to CPJ
research. CPJ documented at least 15 anti-press violations in 2013.

Since mid-January, Congolese troops have launched military operations
to drive out Ugandan rebels from their hideouts in the eastern part of
the country, according to news reports. Nearly 3 million people have
been displaced in the violence in recent weeks, according to news
reports.

“The death of Kennedy Mumbere Muliwavyo underscores the danger for
journalists in North Kivu province,” said CPJ Africa Advocacy
Coordinator Mohamed Keita. “We call on all sides fighting in the
Democratic Republic of Congo to respect journalists’ civilian status
and allow them to report safely.”

Muliwavyo is the first journalist in more than six years that CPJ
research has determined was killed in relation to his work. In 2007,
CPJ documented the death of Serge Maheshe, an editor and reporter for
U.N.-sponsored Radio Okapi, who was gunned down in the eastern border
town of Bukavu.

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