Reuters reporter forced to leave DRC

2017-08-10 06:13
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Kinshasa - A Reuters correspondent has been forced to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo after failing to get his visa renewed, the news agency said on Wednesday.

"Reuters' correspondent in Kinshasa, Aaron Ross, had to leave the country because he was unable to renew his visa, which expired on August 5th," a Reuters spokesman told AFP.

"Reuters is working inside and outside Democratic Republic of Congo to rectify the situation as quickly as possible," he added.

Congolese Communications Minister Lambert Mende told AFP a government commission is currently evaluating visa requests from journalists.

"We will respond with either a yes or a no. There will be no reason given for our decision," he said, adding that countries do not have to say why a visa has been accepted or refused.

"We will not be the first," Mende said.

Ross's case echoed that of a Radio France International correspondent whose renewal request this summer had yielded no government response after many weeks.

RFI said in June it had treated "the DRC authorities' silence as a refusal," adding that it "regretted that decision which severely damages the pluralism of information".

The UN's Monusco peacekeeping mission said it respected DR Congo's sovereignty but that it "supported the right of journalists to inform and the right of citizens to have access to many and varied forms of information," according to spokesperson Fabienne Pompey.

Despite Ross's departure, Reuters said it "remains committed to providing accurate and balanced coverage of events in Democratic Republic of Congo via its remaining staff in the country".

Read more on:    reuters  |  drc  |  central africa

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