DR Congo

Three NRC staff safely released following security incident

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© Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is extremely relieved that three of our staff members were safely released after being held captive for several hours following an incident on a humanitarian convoy in eastern DR Congo on Monday (March 1).

"We are extremely relieved that our staff members were safely released. Nevertheless, they suffered a huge ordeal and our priority now is to make sure our colleagues receive adequate care and support and make a full recovery," said Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Maureen Philippon.

A convoy of three cars was returning to NRC's sub-office in Baraka in South-Kivu province Monday morning, when armed individuals stopped the middle vehicle and held the three staff captive.

At around 15.50hrs on Monday, NRC received confirmation that all three staff members had been released thanks to the intervention of the Congolese forces.

"We would like to thank everyone involved in the liberation of our colleagues and we are grateful for the care and support expressed by civil society groups," said Philippon.

NRC is deeply worried about the recent attacks on humanitarians in DR Congo, where humanitarian assistance is critical for millions of people.

"Safety and security is a major problem in many parts of eastern Congo, and it takes its toll on the local Congolese population. We would like to remind all armed actors of their responsibility to protect civilians and ensure humanitarians can safely continue to access people in need and deliver assistance," said Philippon.

For French version, read more here.