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Democratic Republic of Congo5 April 2005

President Kabila asked to protect threatened press freedom group

Reporters Without Borders said today it was very worried about death threats received by its partner organization in Kinshasa, Journalist in Danger (JED), and it called on President Joseph Kabila to take appropriate measures to protect it.

"JED is playing a crucial role in this pre-election period and should receive the president’s personal protection," the press freedom organization said.

"This is not the first time that our partner organization has been the target of threats," Reporters Without Borders continued. "The authorities should finally take the threats seriously and should identify and punish those responsible. If anything whatsoever happens to the JED’s leaders, especially its president, Donat M’Baya Tshimanga, we will hold the authorities directly responsible."

The JED yesterday found an e-mail message in its inbox that was addressed to its secretary-general, Tshivis Tshivuadi, and was signed by "Commander Mbonge Munene" (meaning "Violent Wind"). It was sent from the address lapatrievaincra@yahoo.fr, the first part of which means "The Fatherland Will Overcome."

In French and all in upper-case, the message said:

"MR. TSHIVIS,

"SINCE YOU AND YOUR FRIEND MBAYA CONTINUE TO BETRAY THE NATION WITH YOUR CAMPAIGNS OF LIES AGAINST THE DRC AND ITS WORTHY SONS, THE FATHERLAND WILL OVERCOME INFORMS YOU THAT THE HOUR OF REPENTANCE IS NIGH AND YOU WILL PAY WITH YOUR BLOOD BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ACCOMPLICES OF THOSE WHO HAVE CAUSED MORE THAN 4 MILLION DEATHS IN THIS COUNTRY.

"WHEN THE TROUBLES BEING PREPARED BY YOU AND YOUR GOD LEADERS BEGIN, IF YOU ARE IN THE MOUNTAINS, STAY THERE BECAUSE YOUR THROATS WILL BE CUT AND THE ANTS OF THE EARTH YOU HAVE BETRAYED WILL DRINK YOUR BLOOD FULL OF TREACHERY IN THE NAME OF THE KING DOLLAR. YOUR NAMES, ALL OF YOU IN THE J.E.D. ARE ON THE BLACKLIST. YOU ARE A DANGER FOR THIS COUNTRY.

"YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR GRAND-CHILDREN WILL PAY FOR ALL THE HARM YOU HAVE CAUSED THE NATION.

"WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOU FOR A LONG TIME IN THE HOPE THAT YOU WERE GOING TO CHANGE BUT NO, YOU CONTINUE TO BETRAY THE FATHERLAND CAMP. BE IMMEDIATELY AWARE THAT THE FATHERLAND YOU ARE SELLING OUT WILL SOONER OR LATER OVERCOME AND THE TRAITORS WILL DESERVE NOTHING BUT DEATH AND THE ROTTING OF THEIR BODIES.

"WE WILL SEE HOW RFI, THE AMERICANS AND YOUR FRIEND MENARD ARE GOING TO SAVE YOU. WE ARE AWARE OF THE SECRET MEETINGS YOU ARE HOLDING IN THE CITY BUT YOUR PLAN IS BOUND TO FAIL BECAUSE YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD.

"YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

"DEATH TO TRAITORS AND VICTORY FOR THE FATHERLAND

"THE GENERAL COMMAND

MBONGE MUNENE COMMANDER"



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