2 December 2012

Congo-Kinshasa: United Nations Protest Suspension of Radio Okapi By CSAC

press release

Kinshasa — The United Nations Organization Mission Stabilization in the Democratic Republic of Congo expresses deep disappointment at a decision taken by the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel et de la Communication (CSAC) on 30 November to suspend the transmissions of Radio Okapi.

"This is particularly unfortunate given the current very sensitive and difficult situation in North Kivu province", says Roger Meece, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the DRC, MONUSCO.

"Radio Okapi is broadcasting essential messages to the population with appeals for calm by religious and other leaders, communication regarding a city curfew by Provincial government authorities, and other essential information. We find the timing and lack of notification by the CSAC puzzling and regrettable.  We will be registering an official protest of this action with Congolese authorities", added Mr. Meece.

The decision to suspend Radio Okapi not communicated either to Radio Okapi nor MONUSCO. However, MONUSCO was able to obtain a copy of the CSAC written decree citing a dispute over the submission of program scheduling to the CSAC as the basis for this decision.  Given the seriousness of the security situation in Goma, the Special Representative took the decision to use alternate means to ensure continued and intermediate transmission of Radio Okapi in North Kivu.

All members of the UN system, including the United Nations Country Team and MONUSCO, remain fully committed to addressing urgently the humanitarian and security needs of the population in North Kivu, providing full support to achieving a resolution of the threat posed by M23 military actions as rapidly as possible, and establishment more broadly of long-term peace and security for the people of North Kivu and the region.

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