Radio stations in Congo cut for fourth day, drawing U.S. criticism

By Aaron Ross | KINSHASA/

Stations de radio à Brazzaville
Stations de radio à Brazzaville

Two of the most popular radio stations in Democratic Republic of Congo were jammed on Tuesday for the fourth day in a row, drawing criticism of the government from the United States and opposition groups.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) and the U.N.-funded Radio Okapi have been unavailable since the morning of Nov. 5, hours before a banned protest against President Joseph Kabila’s plan to stay in power beyond the end of his mandate this year.

According to the Central African country’s constitution, Kabila is due to step down when his second mandate ends on December 19. His ruling coalition and some opposition members have agreed to delay the vote until April 2018, citing a lack of preparation, but the main opposition bloc rejects the accord.

The United States said in a statement late on Monday it was “deeply troubled” by the radio signal outages, which it called a “government infringement on press freedoms and the Congolese people’s access to information”.

“Press freedoms and the right to assemble peacefully are essential components of democracy,” the statement added.

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SOURCE: News Now/Reuters News Online

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About Cholo Brooks 13195 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.