The FRANCE 24 Observers' website is gearing up for a big celebration in December to coincide with our 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we're interviewing some of our most dedicated global contributors, without whom our site simply wouldn't exist. In the third of our series of profiles we talk to Charly Kasereka, a blogger in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kasereka started collaborating with the France 24 Observers team in 2012, when the rebel group M32 was approaching his city, Goma. He documented the rising prices in the regional capital due to roadblocks. At the end of November, the rebels took Goma for nearly two weeks; at the time, Kasereka spoke with a police officer who was ready to give up and join the M23, which promised better wages. He also gave us frequent updates on the fighting between the army and rebels.
Since then, Kasereka has collaborated with the France 24 Observers on many more articles about his city, including stories about Goma residents’ exasperation over dusty streets; a series of fires in run-down houses; and, most recently, the catastrophic state of roads in North Kivu, notably during the rainy season.
We spoke to Kasereka about his experience being an Observer in the latest episode of the Observers TV show.
Back in 2014, Kasereka was also featured in a longform TV report we filmed in Goma about the city’s difficulties in caring for people with mental illnesses – a consequence of the repeated conflicts in the region.