French journalist, 26, dies in Central African Republic

BANGUI, Central African Republic — A 26-year-old French photojournalist who had spent months documenting deadly conflict in Central African Republic has been killed, the French presidency said Tuesday.

Camille Lepage, a freelance photographer whose work was published in major French and American newspapers, died in western Central African Republic not far from the border with Cameroon, authorities said.

“All means necessary will be used to shed light on to the circumstances of this murder and to find her killers,” the French presidency said in the statement.

The U.N. Security Council as well as the Committee to Protect Journalists also called for an immediate investigation into her death.

Lepage’s work had appeared in The New York Times as well as in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. She also had sold images to French newspapers including Le Monde and Liberation.

Her death comes as the security situation worsens for reporters and photographers in the volatile country; two Central African journalists already have been killed this month in Bangui, the capital.

Lepage’s body was found by French peacekeepers inside a vehicle driven by Christian militia fighters, the French statement said. In her last tweet a week ago, Lepage said she was embedding with Christian anti-Balaka fighters who were battling the remnants of a Muslim rebellion known as the Seleka.

“We left at 3:30 a.m. to avoid the Misca (African peacekeeping) checkpoints and it took us 8 hours by motorbike as there is no proper roads to reach the village,” she wrote in a photo caption that she tweeted.

“In the region of Amada Gaza, 150 people were killed by the Seleka between March and now. Another attack took place on Sunday killing 6 people, the anti Balaka Colonel Rock decides to send his elements there to patrol around and take people who fled to the bush back to their homes.”

A native of Angers, France, Lepage also had worked extensively in Juba, South Sudan before moving to Central African Republic. In an interview with the photography blog PetaPixel, she said she was drawn to covering forgotten conflicts.

“I want the viewers to feel what the people are going through. I’d like them to empathize with them as human beings, rather than seeing them as another bunch of Africans suffering from war somewhere in this dark continent,” she said. “I wish they think: ‘Why on Earth are those people in living hell; why don’t we know about it and why is no one doing anything?’ I would like the viewers to be ashamed of their government for knowing about it without doing anything to make it end.”

Jerome Delay, chief Africa photographer for The Associated Press, first met Lepage while the two were working in South Sudan and again in Central African Republic. On Tuesday he described her as a “very talented, extremely courageous young woman.”

“She was the one who would spend the time on the job to make others understand what was going on in places like Central African Republic and South Sudan,” he said.

Lepage had recently traveled to New York for a prestigious portfolio review and a workshop at The New York Times.

[—][—][—]

Online:

http://camille-lepage.photoshelter.com/(hash)!/portfolio/G0000uiAZaBMItVg

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read