The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today condemned the killing of a journalist working for a UN-sponsored radio station with the largest Francophone audience in sub-Saharan Africa.
Serge Maheshe, 31, who had worked for Radio Okapi since 2003, was shot dead last night by two men on a street in Bukavu, in the far east of the DRC, as he and two friends were about to enter a UN-marked vehicle. His friends were not injured in the attack.
William Lacy Swing, the chief of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) and the Secretary-General's Special Representative to the country, deplored the murder and offered his condolences to Mr. Maheshe's family and colleagues.
Radio Okapi is a partnership between MONUC and the Hirondelle Foundation, a Swiss non-governmental organization (NGO), and in a joint statement the two bodies paid tribute to Mr. Maheshe, who leaves behind a wife and two children.
"The death in tragic circumstances of this young journalist, who contributed in an eminent manner to providing the population of the country and that of Bukavu in particular with the independent information to which the Congolese aspire, reminds us that the commitment to peace remains a daily challenge," the statement said.