Statement by Rein Paulsen, Head of OCHA in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the kidnapping of three humanitarian aid workers, Kinshasa, 4 March 2016

"The kidnapping of three humanitarian aid workers employed by the international nongovernmental organization Save the Children International, 48 hours ago in North Kivu, is the latest example of an increasing trend of attacks on aid agency staff in eastern DRC.
OCHA DRC condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms, and hopes that the three individuals will be released as soon as possible and without conditions. We also condemn the increasing kidnapping of civilians, some of whom are still held captive in the province.

The growing incidence of attacks on aid workers is deeply concerning because it limits access to populations in need. Our concern is that any constraints to humanitarian organizations providing life-saving assistance will ultimately be measured in the loss of human life.

We call on all actors to respect International Humanitarian Law, to ensure the rights of vulnerable populations in the DRC are respected and that humanitarian agencies are able to access those in need of protection and assistance. "

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