French photojournalist murdered in Central African Republic

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French peacekeepers found Camille Lepage’s body in a car driven by Christian militia fighters, the French presidency has explained. “All means necessary will be used to shed light on to the circumstances of this murder and to find her killers,” it added.

Lepage, 26, was born in Angers, France. Since July 2013, she had been based in South Sudan to document “the building of a nation that recurrently seemed doomed”, she wrote on her website.

Speaking to PetaPixel last year, she explained her decision to move to Juba. “Since I was very little, I’ve always wanted to go and live in a place where no one else wants to go, and cover in-depth conflict related stories. I followed thoroughly the independence process of South Sudan and was shocked by the little coverage it got… plus all the pessimism around it really annoyed me.”

She added: “Then, while doing research, I discovered the conflict in the Nuba Mountains. I became even more outraged by the fact that, except from a few media, no one talked about it. It became an obvious choice, I had to go and report from there.”

Over the last few months, Lepage had made several trips in the Central African Republic. For Associated Press’s chief photographer for Africa, Jérome Delay, who spoke to The New York Times, Lepage was a “journalist who really went the extra mile and took the extra time to really tell a story the way it should be told. And now where many people get the news from Twitter and Facebook, she decided that no, that was not the right way, and that she had to spend time to understand”.

For photographer William Daniels, who spoke to TIME, “she was very active, very patient, very passionate about this work. She wanted to do some very good long-term work about the Central African Republic. She stood out by being well-connected with the people of the country. In Bangui, everybody knew her. Everybody liked her”.

Her work had been published by Le Monde, Vice, DVAfoto and many others. She was represented by the French agency Hans Lucas and had attended the New York Photo Review in April.

Last week, she posted on Instagram a photo of Anti Balaka fighters.

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