afrol News, 14 June - A leading journalist, Serge Maheshe, who works for the UN-backed radio station 'Okapi', was shot to death in the eastern Congolese city of Bukavu, the capital of Sud-Kivu province last night.
Until his killing, Serge was the news editor of the Bukavu office of the UN-backed 'Radio Okapi', which has the biggest listnership in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He was reportedly shot by gunmen while he was on the verge of getting into his UN-marked car in a residential neighbourhood.
Maheshe was reportedly killed by three men in mufti carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles. The killing took place as he emerged from a friend's home at about 9 p.m. "They were ordered by the killers raise their hands up as they planned to enter into the UN-marked vehicles," a source reported.
As soon as Mr Maheshe was identified, his assailants asked his friend to leave in peace. He was then asked to sit on the ground beside the car before being shot three times in the chest.
The 31-year-old journalist had worked for Radio Okapi since 2002 and had emerged as one of the region's leading and highly respected journalists. He was known for being honest, independent and professional in covering the country's eastern crisis. Mr Maheshe could also be best remembered for carrying out an unbiased coverage during the last general elections in the eastern region.
The fallen editor, whose death has been received with shock and disbelief, was survived by a wife and two children.
The Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) condemned the gruesome death of "a great journalist who did honour to his profession in a country that has suffered terribly."
"We feel a mix of distress and outrage," RSF said. "Bukavu and Sud-Kivu are dangerous places for journalists, who are exposed to both banditry and political score-settling. We know Maheshe had been threatened, and that he feared for his safety and the safety of his family. We undertake to do everything in our power to ensure that his killers are identified and brought to justice."
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