Open Letter to Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Delete the racist article about the Democratic Republic of Congo publish on 20th July 2015 and submit your apologies to Kinshasa Government.
To the kind attention of La Stampa Office and to the journalist Paolo Mastrolilli.
With incredulity and great horror we read the article publish on 20th July 2015 by La Stampa, signed by the Italian journalist Paolo Mastrolilli: “In the heart of Congo where the Cannibals stop the Islamists”
Most probably La Stampa has tried to report about the conflict in east of DRC against Ugandan Islamic terrorist group: ADF Alliance of Democratic Forces, linked to Somali Al-Shabaab and recently to ISIL. ADF is responsible of the terrible terrorist attack in Kampala, Uganda during the World Cup final match on July 2010 where thousands of people died.
ADF terrorists, defeated by UPDF, since 2004 have found refugee on the East of DRC where have been responsible of terrible atrocities against civilians. ADF finance itself with DRC mineral and ivory illicit trade. Since 2014 FADRC (Congolese Army) in collaboration with U.N. peacekeeping forces MONUSCO and military advisers sent by Ugandan Government, are fighting these Islamic terrorists obtaining quite good results. ADF have been wreaked but not yet completely destroyed. The major town victim of ADF atrocity is Beni, North Kivu, where thousands of people have been massacred in the last 16 months.
We consider incredible and disgusting utilize such kind of title (Cannibals) to describe the dramatic situation that east DRC population is facing and the efforts done by Kinshasa, Kampala and U.N. forces in order to defeat a really dangerous terroristic group.
Inside of the article it has been described a Cannibalism episode in theory reported by an unknown U.N. Officer according to the journalist. It’s really strange because this episode is totally unknown by the majority of African and International Medias. We will like to know La Stampa sources of information and the name of U.N. Officer, too. Even in the eventuality that a true Cannibalism act against ADF terrorists has been committed we think that it’s totally unprofessional and contrary to journalist Moral Code utilize the term “Cannibalism” with the risk that it can be associated to the young FARDC soldiers that daily suffer and die fighting the terrible ADF terrorist in East of DRC. Terrorists that are very dangerous because are linked to the international terrorist network. If you think well these young FARDC soldiers are fighting also for us Western people. They are fighting for our cities safety too, because today ADF terrorists are killing in Congo but tomorrow they can came to blow up themselves in our cities…
Cannibalism terminology chosen is a great insult to Democratic Republic of Congo where, believe, are not existing CANNIBALS! It’s a great offence meanly for East DRC population that are suffering because of Islamic terrorism instead to have recognised their rights to Peace and Development!
It compromise DRCongo reputation, tourism and investment possibilities in this wonderful country with a suffered and controversial history but with a lot of willing to defeat the violence and reinforce Peace and Democracy.
Choosing “Cannibals” to describe the fights against terrorist group ADG is typical West trash newspapers journalist tactic in order to catch public opinion attentions and increase their audience. A tactic refused by the major French and English newspaper as the major news networks like: BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, RT and PressTV because these tactics and sensational titles risk increasing racial hate. Foreign Medias normally censure any article suspect of racism and try to isolate any journalist that promote racism in their articles. A moral duty that even your newspaper (La Stampa) should respect!
Form a moral and journalistic point of view such kind of titles risks to promote false ideas and prejudices not only against DR Congo but against all Africa, a Continent that is developing fast where Italian investors are trying to enter in its reach markets to avoid bankrupts at home. This kind of information damage Italian investors and create a reversal racism from Africa, as unjust but comprehensible reaction. It risks to damage the reputation of many DRC citizen that leave work honestly in Italy too. They are not CANNIBALS or PRIMITIVES! Recently Italian newspaper La Tribuna di Treviso has report the success story of Mr. Longo Issiya DRC citizen. Mr. Longo is not eating Italians people. At the contrary is giving to them jobs thanks to his big business in Italy and he has always refused to have Italian citizenship because he doesn’t want loose the DRC ones. DCR Constitution doesn’t allow the double nationality.
Publish these outrageous and racist titles risks to increase racism in Italy too. A wrong turn in this delicate historical moment where there is need to destroy racism and the hates connected to it in order to affront with dignity and great humanity the migration drama where Italy is touched every day. We firmly believe that this racist act has not be done intentionally be Italian newspaper La Stampa but it’s a vital priority to fight any kind of racism immediately without think too much!
Moreover serious doubts are concerning the real presence in Congo of Italian journalist author of the offensive article. Mr. Paolo Mastrolilli as signed the article like if is La Stampa reporter in Goma, North Kivu, DR Congo. Goma authorities contacted for the issue have informally told that are not aware of presence in the region of any Italian journalist at this time. They firmly deny any case of cannibalism occurred in east of DRC expressing their sadness for this kind of disinformation about their country. On Mastrolilli Twitter account it can clearly be read that is La Stampa reporter based in New York, USA… Well known is the Italian journalism culture to write about countries without having reporters on the field for financial constraints. The majority of Italian journalists are copying foreign articles or basing their stories on unverified sources of information.
We ask to La Stampa to delete or at least modify the disgusting, racist and offensive article about DRC and to submit official apologies to the Democratic Republic of Congo true its Embassy in Rome.
We ask a reinforcement of La Stampa internal norm of conduct for the information remembering to La Stampa that spread racism is a legal offence and a crime against humanity because racism is the base for every Genocide: from Jewish Holocaust to 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
Waiting article revision and public apologise from La Stampa we wish to La Stampa Management the best regards.
To anybody may ask to us why we react so strong and immediately we answer that even the most insignificant act of racism can cause great damage to Humanity if ignored or, worst, tolerate!