International Committee of the Red Cross

Democratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC facilitates release of 27 people

News release 23 March 2018

Bukavu (ICRC) – Twenty seven people who had been held by an armed group since 3 March 2018 were handed over today to the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Nyambembe (in the Shabunda area of South Kivu), in part facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The 27 people had been on assignment with the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in northern Shabunda.

"Given the armed violence in the area, we are delighted with this outcome," said David Montes, head of the ICRC's subdelegation in Bukavu. "We are very happy to have been able to help with their release."

The ICRC got involved at the request of the armed group and with the authorization of the local authorities, the military, and the national park. "The ICRC is always available to act as a neutral intermediary and facilitator in these sorts of humanitarian situations," said Montes.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose mission includes facilitating the release of people held in connection with armed conflicts or other violence.

But that is just a small part of the humanitarian work that the ICRC carries out. The ICRC needs to be able to carry out its work in the DRC in safety in order to provide protection and assistance to people affected by armed conflict and other violence.

For further information, please contact:
David Montes, head of the ICRC's subdelegation in Bukavu, tel.: +243 (0) 81.03.66.960 / +243 (0) 99.01.39.571
Juliette Ebele, ICRC Geneva, tel.: +41 22 730 31 68/ +41 79 217 32 00