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Kidnapped Red Cross workers freed in eastern Congo

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By Reuters

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo – Two staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) abducted last month in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been freed, the humanitarian organisation said on Saturday.

The ICRC said in late November that one Congolese citizen and an international staff member had been kidnapped in North Kivu province, where dozens of armed militias operate.

“We are relieved by the return of our colleagues and we rejoice that they are able to return to their families,” Rachel Bernhard, head of the ICRC‘s delegation in Congo, told Reuters.

“We would like to reiterate that this kidnapping and all other attacks against humanitarian personnel can endanger activities dedicated to helping communities hard hit by the conflict.”

She provided no further details about the circumstances of the kidnapping or the subsequent liberation.

The United Nations and humanitarian organisations have warned about an increase in attacks on aid workers in eastern Congo. Three employees of the U.N. refugee agency were injured on Wednesday in North Kivu when their vehicle came under fire.