French journalist, 26, dies in C. African Republic

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — A 26-year-old
French photojournalist who had spent months documenting the conflict in
Central African Republic has been killed, the French presidency said
Camille Lepage, a freelance photographer whose work was
published in major French and American newspapers, died in a village
near the town of Bouar, 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.
‘s death comes as the security situation worsens for reporters and
photographers working in the volatile country; two Central African
journalists already have been killed this month in the capital.
body was found by French peacekeepers inside a vehicle that had been
driven by Christian militia fighters, the statement said. In her last
tweet about a week ago, Lepage said she was embedding with the fighters
known as the anti-Balaka 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
"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 a 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."
Lepage had recently
traveled to New York for a prestigious portfolio review and workshop at
the New York Times. Her work had appeared in the newspaper, 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.
Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.