Kinshasa (ICRC) – Three staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were abducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have been released. They were taken earlier this week, on 3 May, in North Kivu province. They were freed on Friday.
"We are relieved that their ordeal is over and that they are now back, safe and sound, with their families," said the head of the ICRC's delegation in the DRC, Alessandra Menegon. "However, we deeply regret that this abduction took place. These kind of acts put at risk the work of aid workers who are trying to help people who are suffering greatly from conflict."
The ICRC is not speculating on the reasons behind the incident. The three staff members were part of a convoy heading to the town of Kyaghala where they were going to distribute food and essential household items to around 8,000 people affected by the conflict.
"We thank the authorities, the local community, the religious and community leaders for their support during the past few days. We also thank the families of our staff members for their trust and courage during what was a difficult time," said Ms Menegon.
The ICRC calls again for the role of humanitarian workers to be respected by all sides.
For further information, please contact:
Elisabeth Cloutier, ICRC Goma, tel: +243 81 700 77 86
Patrick Megevand, ICRC Kinshasa, tel: +243 81 700 85 36
Elodie Schindler, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 536 92 38