Two European tourists, who had been kidnapped by DR Congo-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia group, have been rescued by the UN peace keeping mission, Monusco.
‘Alerted over the kidnapping of one of its nationals, the Germany Embassy got in touch with Monusco, which in turn informed members of its nearest military base in Kiwandja. A rescue operation was immediately launched in the district of Kisheguru. According to a statement from Monusco, the tourists were kidnapped on January 6, about 80 kilometres north-east of Goma, at Kisheguru in Rutshuru.
Un soldat du FDLR, pris en photo par un photographe de Reuters en 2009. | Photo Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters
The foreigners, a German and an Austrian, travelling by road, were kidnapped by members of the FDLR militia while coming from Uganda.
According to the statement, they entered DR Congo on January 5 in Ishasha via Uganda.
The ambush occurred while they were travelling to Béni, further north, heading to province Orientale before continuing to Central African Republic.
“Alerted over the kidnapping of one of its nationals, the Germany Embassy got in touch with Monusco, which in turn informed members of its nearest military base in Kiwandja. A rescue operation was immediately launched in the district of Kisheguru,” the press release said.
Shortly after, a team of peacekeepers, based on the information received, caught red-handed the FDLR elements, who, without putting up any resistance, released the two hostages and their vehicle.
But the two tourists lost all their personal belongings, including $4,000 (Rwf2.5m), credit cards, laptops and a compass (GPS) during their ordeal.
Both tourists were transferred to the Monusco base in Beni, DR Congo.
The FDLR is notorious for atrocities against civilians, including killing, raping and kidnapping. The militia is largely composed of militia and former government soldiers responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.