Reporters Without Borders voiced dismay today at the death of freelance photographer Patrick Kikuku, who was shot dead last night near his home in Goma, the capital of the eastern province of Nord Kivu, by unidentified gunmen.
The press freedom organisation urged the authorities to understand the importance of doing everything possible to solve the murder, which comes just a month after gunmen killed Radio Okapi news editor Serge Maheshe in still unexplained circumstances in Bukavu, in eastern Sud Kivu province.
“The Congolese press has seen several of its members murdered recently and now it is in mourning yet again, but the government makes no serious attempt to put a stop to this violence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Like us, Kikuku’s family and colleagues can only call for the murderers to be identified and punished, without much hope of seeing this happen. The inability of the Congolese authorities to render justice to the victims of violence makes this kind of tragedy possible.”
Kikuku, who worked for the Agence Congolaise de Presse (ACP) and the Kinshasa-based weekly L’Hebdo de l’Est, was shot in the head by a member of a group of gunmen who walked up to him yesterday evening about 50 metres from his home in Ndosho, in the Goma municipality of Karisimbi. They took his camera, but not the mobile phone or cash he had in his possession. Their identity and motives are still unknown.