Two foreign UN experts kidnapped in DRC

2017-03-13 19:47
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Kinshasa - Two experts from the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been kidnapped in the violence-wracked central Kasai region, UN and Congolese sources said on Monday.

The two have been missing since Sunday, according to Charles-Antoine Bambara, the spokesperson for the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission.

One of the victims is a US national, the other a Swede, Congolese government spokesperson Lambert Mende told AFP.

"They were kidnapped at a bridge over the Moyo river and taken to the forest by unknown assailants," Mende said.

Four Congolese nationals - three motorcycle-taxi drivers and an interpreter - were also taken hostage, he added.

The Congolese and UN officials said efforts to locate the victims were under way.

A Uruguayan peacekeeper was shot and injured last week in the same region, which has been wracked by a rebellion since September.

The uprising erupted after government forces in August killed a tribal chief and militia leader, Kamwina Nsapu, who had rebelled against President Joseph Kabila.

The violence has since spilled over to the neighbouring provinces of Kasai-Oriental and Lomami, leaving at least 400 people dead.

The United Nations has nearly 19 000 troops deployed in the DRC, its largest and costliest peacekeeping mission.

About 100 of those troops were recently dispatched to the Kasai region.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday asked the Security Council to send an extra 320 UN police to the country after a deal to end a dispute over the presidential election stalled.

Read more on:    un  |  antonio guterres  |  drc  |  central africa
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