AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - A journalist of a community radio station in Bambari has been killed

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - A journalist of the community radio ''Bé-Oko'' in Bambari (in the center of the Central African Republic), Elisabeth Blanche Olofio, was killed by the rebels of the Seleka coalition during the occupation of the city. This is the complaint made by Fr. Jean Ignace Manéngou, a Catholic priest president of the Association of the Community Radios of Central Africa (ARC). According to testimonies collected by the association, the journalist was killed during the looting of the broadcasting station office by a group of rebels. In a statement the ARC "points out that community radio stations are apolitical and are in no way related to any structure affected by political or economic power, and deplores the fury against these stations, given that journalists do not have anything to do with the ongoing conflict." "The role of the community radios is to provide the community information they need for its development," the statement concluded. From the areas occupied by the rebels other testimonies of looting and violence against civilians are reported. In the meantime, delegations taking part in the peace negotiations which opens today, January 8 are arriving in Libreville (Gabon). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/01/2013)