The well known case of assassination of a journalist in Congo is that of Bruno Jacquet Ossebi of Franco-Congolese nationality. The other less known was the appalling assassination of Joseph Ngouala. As for Bruno Jacquet Ossebi, he was killed in an atrocious manner by the security forces on the 2nd of February 2009 because of his investigative reporting. Congolese authorities have profound detestation for independent journalism, in particular, investigative journalists. Those who are still alive have two options: join the praise singing group or lie low. Any journalist who wants to stay alive or work as an independent and professional journalist, risk threat at best or at worst, assassination or humiliation in form of the rape of any member of his/her family. In case the journalist is female, she risk being gang raped, this in a bid to intimidate and also humiliate her. And if it is a foreigner reporter or journalist, he or she will be framed up and then expelled. It is in this sort of totalitarian country that, Naguib Swaris, the Egyptian majority shareholder of the pan European news network, Euronews has decided to base its African subsidiary, called Africanews.
How will Africanews work in Congo? Has the parent company headed by Michael Peters signed a deal with the crafty Congolese authorities? Only time will tell and the independence of Africanews will be judge on how objective they will cover the upcoming presidential elections. Bruno Ossebi’s assassins have never been found nor prosecuted. The Congolese government is not interested. To the Congolese authorities, the death of Bruno Ossebi was non event. Bruno Jacquet Ossebi who was born on the 10th of December 1964 in France and was killed in his home in Brazzaville, in an atrocious manner, by men sent from the specialized killing squad of the Congolese security services. He was locked up in his home with his two children and fuel poured around his home and then, the house was set ablaze. His two children died from burns that they sustained. But Bruno Jacquet Ossebi did not die immediately. He sustained serious burns and was taken to the Brazzaville Pierre Mobengo military hospital for treatment. However, instead of him being given medical attention, he was killed.
People who do not know Congolese governing elite very well, will not believe that, the often well dressed and well mannered men and women, who often than not, have sugar coated speeches, would be able to carry out such horrific acts as they have done with Bruno Ossebi and others. The reality is that, the governing elite in Congo are a refined lot. But it is one aspect of their fundamental capacity of dissimulation. They seldom speak English, however they almost all, would speak fluent French and want to behave like French politicians. But it is just a coat of paint. In reality, they (elite in Congo) are a people who have bestial behaviors. As refined as they may sometimes appear, so also they are in their determination to commit crimes that, they think are refined whereas in reality, their committed crimes are crude and brutal, which are reflections of their real barbaric and uneducated selves. They don’t entertain contradictions. They (Congolese elite) are professionals in disguising their true self. If you don’t have a strong capacity of discernment, doubled with a good dose of patience and observation, you could be carried away by the sweet talks and appearance of true Congolese elite, who are mostly members of the ruling PCT and from northern Congo.