Sunday, September 8, 2013

DR Congo: Hilarious...M23 reduced to Facebook threats.

All Africa reports

Congo-Kinshasa: Rebel Leader Makes Death Threats Towards Journalist Online

                                          Colonel Vianney Kazarama

Journalist in Danger (JED) is extremely upset over death threats made by Mr. Vianney Kazarama - spokesperson for the M23 rebel group - towards a journalist in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Marne Levine, Facebook’s VP of Global Public Policy makes it fairly clear what the Facebook policy with regard to death threats online is. 
" We prohibit content deemed to be directly harmful, but allow content that is offensive or controversial. We define harmful content as anything organizing real world violence, theft, or property destruction, or that directly inflicts emotional distress on a specific private individual."
I would think the first thing to do is draw the fools remarks to the attention of Facebook and ask that his account be closed. His Facebook account is here. I might even make a complaint myself. Mind you I can't find the offending piece but I am assured that nothing ever really goes away so I am sure it will be traceable. I noticed that he also seems to recieve a few death threats as well.

 "...son of a bitch, tutsi uncircumcised, thief.We will exterminate."
And that is of course at least half of the problem that the people of the Great Lakes Region face. The pointless stupid racism that pervades attitudes and leads to killings on an extraordinary stage, all most all of them, quite arbitrary.
On 1 September 2013, Vianney Kazarama published a menacing message on Facebook, without stating the name of the targeted journalist. Here's an excerpt of the original message in Swahili: "Kuko mupasha habari moya wa Goma amesahu kazi yake anaanza pana habari za bongo. Asiwe na shaka mumasaha kidogo tutafanya kakitendo kadogo kenye katamufurahisha sana. Wandugu wa penzi katamihumisha rohoo, lakini sisi kama jeshi tunajuwa nini tunafanya... "
The message translates into the following: "There's a journalist in Goma who has forgotten how to do his job by spreading false information. But he shouldn't worry, because very soon, we will do a little something that will make him very happy. Dear beloved brothers, this will shock you, but as an army, we know what we're doing... "
I am probably not one of the beloved brothers he refers to I concede but never the less I am more than a little surprised that he seems to think M23 know what they are doing. I guess getting scores of your militia killed and retreating in total disarray is a valid tactical response but boasting about it as if it was part of the greater plan seems a bit weird.  
According to research carried out by JED, this message was posted after Thomas Kubuya - a journalist for the private, Goma-based Virunga Business Radio (VBR) - posted information on Facebook about safety issues in eastern DRC.
I am feeling a little bit left out at the moment, I have been calling M23 murderous thugs and serial rapists for quite sometime. I have yet to receive a death threat. I might have to post a link to this on his Facebook page but that will of course necessitate delaying my complaint to Facebook. The agony of choice.

Contacted by JED, Thomas Kubuya said "It was shortly after I published my post, titled 'Kibumba: Who does the truce benefit?' on Facebook, that Mr. Kazarama targeted me without explicitly naming me. Regardless of whether it is about me or another journalist, it's not up to Colonel Kazarama to shut us up; our profession requires us to publish information that is completely true and objective."
Actually the Colonel's ability to carry out his threat I suspect is somewhere between nil and a snowballs chance in hell. His medium term future is probably a cell in the Hague or an eternity watching the daisies grow from underneath.     
JED vehemently condemns and denounces the threats made against this media worker, who did nothing more than exercise his freedom of expression in publishing an intellectual analysis on a social network.
JED should grow some balls and do something concrete rather than issue pointless press releases.
JED asks Mr. Vianney Kazarama of the M23 to take back his remarks, and asks all of the armed groups operating in eastern DRC to scrupulously respect freedom of the press and freedom of expression in all of the areas under their control.
JED will hold the M23 and its leaders responsible for any violent act that could put media professionals' lives in danger in eastern DRC.
I very much doubt that threat is going to achieve anything either maybe they should send Kazarama a face book death threat.    


  1. By the way, does anyone know where Sultani Makenga is hiding? He seems to have dropped off the radar lately.

    1. No. He was rumored to have been killed earlier this year. That would explain it. I am tempted to believe it mainly because I can see no advantage to M23 in concealing his presence. The presure has been mounting on M23 and I would expect some defections from their camp despite todays stupidity re the Kampala negotiations. Despite my last blog my gut feeling is Kampala will go through the motions in Kampala but FARDC will press home their advantage in the field. MONUSCO also know that their credibility will be shot to pieces if they pull back now.