Kidnapped aid worker freed in DR Congo: NGO

He had been kidnapped on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri in North Kivu after his vehicle, also carrying three other colleagues, was attacked by unidentified armed men.
Kidnapped He had been kidnapped on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri in North Kivu after his vehicle, also carrying three other colleagues, was attacked by unidentified armed men.
Image: STOCK IMAGE

A Congolese humanitarian worker, kidnapped at the weekend in the troubled east of DR Congo by an armed group that killed two of his colleagues, has been freed, his NGO said Tuesday.

"He was freed yesterday (Monday)... We found him with several cuts on his face," said Richard Kahindo, head of the NGO Hydraulique sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects.

The release of the abducted aid worker was also confirmed to AFP by local official Francois Bakundakabo.

He had been kidnapped on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri in North Kivu after his vehicle, also carrying three other colleagues, was attacked by unidentified armed men.

Two colleagues, an engineer and the driver, were killed while a third managed to escape.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday condemned the assault and called for "the immediate and unconditional release of the person held hostage".

Aid workers "should never be targeted. This attack represents a serious violation of international humanitarian law and emergency standards," OCHA said.

Kidnappings, including of foreign and Congolese personnel of humanitarian organisations, are frequent in the province of North Kivu.

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fueled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region's mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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