DRC government jams radio - editor

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Kinshasa - Radio Okapi, a UN-sponsored station in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been jammed, its chief editor said Sunday.

Audiovisual authorities “have accused us of failing to submit our programme lineup, but the jamming came after we broadcast an interview on Thursday with (rebel leader) Jean-Marie Runiga,” the editor said, requesting anonymity.

The Kinshasa-based station has been jammed since late Saturday, he said.

The DR Congo government could not immediately be reached for comment.

Radio Okapi was founded 10 years ago through a partnership between Switzerland's Hirondelle foundation, which specialises in setting up independent news media in crisis zones, and the United Nations, whose peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo is the largest in the world.

The station has an audience of some 22 million listeners, the country's largest.

It has a staff of some 200, broadcasting nationwide in French and four national languages.

The M23 rebels mutinied from the regular army in April after accusing the government of reneging on the terms of a 2009 peace deal under which they were integrated into the force.

On November 20 they captured the key city of Goma in the mineral-rich east but withdrew on Saturday on the promise of negotiations with President Joseph Kabila. - Sapa-AFP

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