Congo militiamen free one French, three Congolese captives

Militia fighters in central Democratic Republic of Congo

Militiamen have freed a French national and three Congolese who were kidnapped in March during an attack on Banro Corp’s Namoya gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

“The president of the republic welcomes the news of the liberation of our compatriot kidnapped on March 1 in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo,” said a statement from the office of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The militiamen had kidnapped five workers, including the French national, a Tanzanian and three Congolese.

The Tanzanian had already been freed. The remaining four hostages were all freed on Saturday, the Congolese Interior Ministry said in a statement.

New York and Toronto-listed Banro’s four gold mines in eastern Congo have faced hazards both from illegal miners squatting on site and by armed groups that are a legacy of a regional conflict which officially ended in 2003.

Armed robbers attacked Banro’s Twangiza gold mine in neighbouring South Kivu province in February, killing three police officers.

 

Zainab Sa’id