2 UN peacekeepers freed in DRC's southeast

(AP)
(AP)

An official in Democratic Republic of Congo says two United Nations peacekeepers have been released after being held by rebels in the country's southeast.

Tanganyika province vice-governor Ali Omar Simukinje told The Associated Press on Thursday that the peacekeepers from Benin had been held by the Mai Mai militia and were freed on Wednesday.

UN DRC mission spokesperson Florence Marchal confirmed the peacekeepers' return. She said they are currently at the UN peacekeeping base in Nyunzu and will be transferred to Kalemie.

The two went missing on May 11 in Nyunzu territory after 13 peacekeepers went on a mission from Kongolo to Kalemie.

There were no further details on their release.

Eastern DRC has long had problems caused by a myriad of armed groups that compete for the region's mineral wealth. Kidnappings for ransom are common.

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