Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The short list

I realize that most of you do not have the time to read all of the news sources I listed in the previous post. If you don't, but still want to stay abreast of important events, the following is a short list.

Read Radio Okapi for daily news, and sign up for Google Alerts in English and French for "congo" or something similar. Read the daily news roundups by Congo Forum to get a feel for the Kinshasa press (or check out Africatime's DRC website).

Read the regular reports posted by OCHA on the humanitarian situation, as well as reports by the International Crisis Group, HRW, the UN Group of Experts and MONUSCO's Secretary-General reports. Don't forget to follow the country's political economy through Africa Mining Intelligence and Economist Intelligence Unit reports.


Anonymous said...

Hello Sir do not be discourage about a number of people reading your real truth and verified information personally i do follow to blog every morning Sir, I am a Congolese politician living abroad, when reading your blog I can confirm your informations reflect the real truth, please we need your blogs real Congolese people supporting you,
Best wishes
Sunga Congo

Anonymous said...

"do not be discourage about a number of people reading your real truth and verified information....we need your blogs real Congolese people supporting you"

Wow. :)

The constancy, imagination, grit, occasional bouts of humor and satire, compassion, analysis, and sheer brilliance by which you illuminate the many joys and deep pains about the Congolese and their nation is a testament to you, Mr Stearns.

Through every post and every word, you have managed to bring disparate people together and enlighten all at once. Over time, as the "Congo movement" has evolved beyond academics, you have even managed to gently remind us all to remember the complex and often shifting nature of the challenges that beset the Congo and its people so as to inform how we act.

I am particularly grateful to you for this and cannot thank you enough for being so measured with a "cause" that, as you surely know, can inspire considerable (and often fatal) passions.

As we organizers say in our work, "stay up".

National Organizer Director

D Djeli said...

It is also potentially an extremely volatile situation that could result in upping the levels of violence. So I think that perhaps it is necessary to take a reflective approach before publishing things that are always going to be seized on by one side or another to justify their their attacks...

That doesn't mean don't publish just be careful of sensationalism and glaring headlines....

I'm really concerned here Jason, I don't think it is wrong to question but I do think that as outsiders (even priviliged ones with 'diplomatic access'), with all the tools of the internet on hand and a 'voice of authority' that all of us need to consider how our words will impact.

I saw how this story went viral amongst Congolese press and people. Last night Radio Okapi was off line for a while too.. may be that was nothing.

I take on board Severine Autesserre's comments about the top down obssession with structural embellishments at the price of ignoring local voices and security....

I'm both a journalist and an anthropologist and my training in both emphasised that ethical practice should supercede everything else. Particularly in journalism or writing publicly. That is not to say there is anything dodgy about your motives, far from it, but please, please, think carefully before you write.

I hope you take these comments in the spirit that is intended. I do like your work which is why I am a regular reader.

Jason Stearns said...

@D Djeli - Thank you for your comment, I assume you are referring to the article on possible fraud. I assure you that I don't take these allegations lightly. The reason I decided to write about this issue was because people I trusted with the Congolese political establishment, as well as diplomats, voiced their concern. In addition, there was a document that was difficult to sweep under the carpet.

I do stress, as I did in my article, that these are suggestions of potential fraud. Which is why there should be an audit to make sure that elections are held in fair and transparent conditions.

I know that some people have taken my blog posting to be an accusation of fraud leveled against the Congolese authorities. It was not - it was however, intended to raise important questions about the electoral process.

D Djeli said...

Thanks for replying Jason, I know you did it for all the right reasons I really don't doubt that. I also really respect your analysis. Maybe just a more cautious headline as that is what search engines and partisan Congolese media and ex-pats jump on first?

You may be interested to know that the same issues occurred with Zeta in Togo.

Anyway, Okapi is back online - just a blip. I'm just so worried that no-one has done much for civil protection specially in the Kivus.

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