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Journalists Killed in 2005 - Motive Unconfirmed: Franck Kangundu

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2006
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2005 - Motive Unconfirmed: Franck Kangundu, January 2006, available at: [accessed 24 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

La Référence Plus
November 3, 2005, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Kangundu, a veteran political affairs journalist at the independent daily La Référence Plus, was shot shortly after midnight by unidentified assassins who accosted him at his home in the capital, Kinshasa. The attackers also killed Kangundu's wife, Hélène Mpaka.

The Kinshasa-based press freedom organization Journaliste en Danger (JED) reported that several masked men approached Kangundu in front of his house, forced their way in, and shot his wife as she tried to escape. When Kangundu offered them money and his car if they would let him go, the assailants replied that they had been "sent to kill him," according to witnesses interviewed by JED whose names were withheld. The assailants took the journalist's mobile phone before leaving.

Kangundu, 52, worked for La Référence Plus for more than 10 years and was well-respected by his colleagues, local journalists said. He covered a variety of topics for the newspaper, including the sometimes acrimonious relations between political parties in the DRC's power-sharing government, as well as business and economic issues.

A delegation of journalists met on November 7 with Vice President Azerias Ruberwa to demand an independent inquiry. The meeting was held after 1,000 journalists and other media workers took part in a silent demonstration through the streets of Kinshasa. The government said it had detained suspects and promised a full inquiry.

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