AFRICA/DR CONGO - Two Red Cross members released

Friday, 16 June 2017 kidnappings  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The two members of a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were abducted in the morning of Wednesday, 7 June, between Kirumba and Beni, near Lubero, in North Kivu province, were released yesterday (see Fides 8/6/2017).
"We are relieved that our colleagues have been returned to us, and delighted that they have been reunited with their families", said Christine Cipolla, the head of the ICRC delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "However, we strongly deplore this abduction. Such acts can jeopardize the efforts of humanitarian workers who are striving to alleviate the suffering of communities already severely affected by conflict".
In the communiqué sent to Fides, the ICRC explains that the team was carrying out humanitarian work, overseeing the distribution of food and household essentials in the villages of Kamandi-Gite and Kikuvo to help 5,000 families who were driven from their homes at the beginning of the year by the fighting, and the local community who had taken them in.
The ICRC does not intend to speculate on the reasons and on those responsible of this act, and thanks the authorities, the local people, the community and religious leaders and all those who stood by them at this difficult time. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 16/6/2017)