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Community radio vandalized by rebels

A great number of the low-frequency equipment of the Community Radio for Peace of Bashali (Radio Communautaire pour la Paix de Bashali, RCPB) broadcasting from Kitshanga, about 170 km from the city of Goma, in Masisi territory, were taken away by soldiers of the so-called March 23 rebellion (M23) and others were vandalized, according to several sources confirmed by JED.

“It was in the evening of February 4 that armed men of the M23 forced their way into our radio station and took away the following equipment: the converter, 8 batteries, 2 printers, 1 desk-top, 1 inverter, 12 chairs, 1 stabiliser, 4 microphones, 1 sound card, 4 headphones and destroyed 9 solar panels, 1 generator of 5 KVA, 1 coaxial cable, 1 connection box, 7 doors as well as the main door of the station,” said Innocent Byamungu, head of RCPB.

The station’s staff are currently in hiding in the area, fearing for their safety. He did manage to save the transmitter, which was a gift from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The equipment taken away is now being sold in the city of Kitshanga at a low price by the rebels, Innocent adds from his hiding place.

When contacted by JED, officials of both the political and military wings of the M23, who oversee the area, denied the allegations but promised to conduct their own investigations into the accusations.

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