Tanzanian Muslim preachers abducted in DRC

August 7, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

 

By

Darell Maurice

Eight Tanzanian preachers were kidnapped last weekend in Rutshuru, a territory in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where armed groups are rampant and kidnappings are common.

“Eight Tanzanian Muslim preachers were abducted in the village of Kiseguro, 20-25 km from the centre of Rutshuru”, the governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku told press. “We have already informed our head of Foreign Affairs so they can contact their counterparts in Tanzania, ” he added.

These abductions, near the border with Uganda, were initially confirmed by Justin Mukanya, Administrator of the Rutshuru territory, but was not able to specify the number of people kidnapped.

“It seems that they are Muslims who were walking through, preaching and they met unidentified bandits along the way who abducted them” Imam Kadogo Masudi, the Muslim community’s representative in the province of North Kivu stated.

Kidnappings for ransom are frequent in the Rutshuru territory, often with serious physical violence against the hostages, several armed groups being active in the area, including Rwandan Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR.

Mr. Paluku stated that he is “sure” it was the FDLR who kidnapped the Tanzanian preachers. According to him, the rebels wanted to send a “warning” to Tanzania, who contributes troops to the Intervention Brigade of the UN mission, MONUSCO.

This brigade, composed of some 3,000 Tanzanian soldiers, is responsible for fighting dozens of local and foreign armed groups operating in eastern DRC, unstable for two decades.

The territory’s Administrator Mr Mukanya for his part considers that the kidnappers are “youths” from the region. “I am in contact with the civil society in the area, who said that the kidnappers are demanding a ransom but have not yet revealed how much” he added .

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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