Country Risk

Kidnapping of NGO workers indicates continued militant threat to army, UN operational capacity in DRC's North Kivu

06 November 2015


Fourteen humanitarian workers from a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) kidnapped on 1 November by armed men near Katwiguru in the Rutshuru region of North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, were freed within 24 hours.

The Rutshuru administrator attributed their liberation to an operation by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo: FARDC); however, media reports have claimed that a ransom was paid. Local activist groups and officials have claimed that the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) carried out this and several other kidnappings in North Kivu in 2015, including that of a group of Tanzanian imams (who subsequently escaped during a firefight between the kidnappers and the FARDC) near Katwiguru in July, three UN employees in late April near Kibumba, and about 30 local people in mid-April near Rwindi, Rutshuru.

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