Africa

2009

Blog   |   Nigeria

Q&A: Wife enters journalism after husband’s murder

Blessing Bayo Ohu and four of her children. (Vanguard)
The killers of Nigerian Editor Bayo Ohu are still a mystery, three weeks after his murder. Now the family of the former Guardian newspaper journalist lives in fear. Ohu was shot dead early on Sunday morning, September 20, by a gang of five armed men and a woman in his apartment in Egbeda, a Lagos suburb in Nigeria. His killers made away with his laptop and cell phone, raising speculation that he was killed for his work as a journalist. Nigerian Police Commissioner Marvel Akpoyido told CPJ that investigations are ongoing.
October 14, 2009 1:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Congolese journalists protest insecurity, threats

Reporter Jolly Kamuntu is more than eight months pregnant, but she joined hundreds of Congolese journalists today in nationwide protest marches against insecurity and threats. Kamuntu, who is based in Bukavu, where three reporters have been murdered since 2007, was cited recently in an anonymous text message threatening to kill her and two other local journalists, Delphie Namuto and Caddy Adzuba, if they did not stop “interfering in what does not concern them.” That did not stop her from undertaking a recent reporting trip to Goma, north of Bukavu, where she interviewed refugees displaced by the conflict afflicting the minerals-rich region. “I’m still here. God is keeping me,” she told me.

October 8, 2009 5:56 PM ET

Blog   |   Nigeria

Journalist killed on a Sunday morning at home in Nigeria

Mourners at Bayo Ohu's funeral. (The Vanguard)

More than two weeks have passed since the cold-blooded killing of Bayo Ohu, assistant news editor and political reporter for the Lagos, Nigeria-based The Guardian. The 45-year-old, soft-spoken workaholic opened the door to his home early on Sunday, September 20, as he prepared for church. According to eyewitnesses and local reports, five gunmen and one female ringleader shot Ohu repeatedly in his doorway while his children hid inside. One of his children told The Guardian that from her hiding place she heard one of the men shouting in Yoruba, “Olori Buruki e ti ku”—“The fool is dead.” Curiously, the killers took only Ohu’s laptop and cell phones.

October 6, 2009 5:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gabon

Gabon’s bloggers struggle to take hold

It’s been a couple of weeks since I left Gabon, and a month since elections to pick a successor to Omar Bongo, who ruled Africa’s fourth-largest oil producer for 41 years. There are unresolved questions about the ballot count and the number of people killed in post-election violence. 

October 2, 2009 4:22 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Government suspends VOA service in Puntland

Deputy Information Minister Abdishakur Adan explains the VOA ban in Bossasso. (Horseed)

New York, October 2, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the suspension on Thursday of three Voice of America (VOA) reporters in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in northeastern Somalia. Puntland’s Deputy Minister of Information Abdishakur Mire Adan issued a letter suspending all three VOA correspondents and any other VOA journalist from reporting in the region. The suspended VOA correspondents included Nuh Muse in Garowe, Mohamed Yasin Isak in Galkayo, and Abdulkadir Mohamed in Bossasso. 

October 2, 2009 2:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

A journalist in the hands of Somali pirates

Somali pirates in Hobyo, north of Mogadishu. (EPA)Shadows of emerging skyscrapers in a neighborhood in Nairobi come alive as the sun glides down the western horizon. I am walking down one of the deserted streets in the city’s Eastleigh shantytown. Lately, Eastleigh has become a contradiction of sorts. While the roads remain as torn as ever and clean drinking water and other social amenities remain out of reach, there is a new aura of affluence among the numerous huge buildings that seem to be coming up overnight.
October 1, 2009 11:30 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Niger

Nigerien editor charged with criminal libel

New York, September 24, 2009—A newspaper editor in police custody in Niger since Sunday was charged with criminal libel on Wednesday in connection with a story accusing a top official of involvement in a corruption scandal, according to local journalists and news reports. 

September 24, 2009 3:43 PM ET

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Letters   |   Senegal

CPJ urges Senegal to decriminalize press offenses

Dear Mr. President: The Committee to Protect Journalists is heartened by your recent directive to the prime minister to renew consultations with the press on the decriminalization of press offenses in Senegal. Yet your directive came on the same day a judge in the central town of Kaolack imprisoned two journalists who reported allegations of local government corruption in the distribution of seeds—a reminder of the urgent need for press law reform.

September 23, 2009 2:47 PM ET

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Letters   |   Kenya

CPJ urges PM's intervention in Kenyan murder case

Dear Prime Minister: We are writing to express our concern over the lack of progress in the case of murdered Kenyan journalist Francis Nyaruri. The journalist was found decapitated, with evidence of torture to his body, on January 29 in Kodera Forest near his hometown of Nyamira.

September 21, 2009 5:33 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea

September 18, 2001, in Eritrea: A memory that never fades

Aaron Berhane (Axel Öberg-Dagens Nyhete)It feels like it happened just yesterday. It was 7 a.m. on an average day in September in Asmara, Eritrea. My brain was still reshuffling the information I had gathered about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center a week earlier. I was writing an article on it for the next issue of Setit, the twice-weekly newspaper of which I was editor-in-chief.
September 18, 2009 3:50 PM ET

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2009

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