Africa

DR Congo unrest: UN workers kidnapped

Poeple and blue helmet members of MONUSCO stand near a UN armoured vehicle Image copyright AFP
Image caption The UN mission in DR Congo is one of the biggest in the world

Three people working for the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been kidnapped in an area close to the Rwandan border.

The three are civilians who were helping to remove mines, the UN says. They are believed to be two Congolese and a Zimbabwean.

Locals say their vehicle was found abandoned with the engine still running.

It is not yet clear who who kidnapped the trio or where they are being held.

They went missing on Thursday afternoon near Kibumba, a town about 19 km (11 miles) north of Goma, the main city in North Kivu province, reports BBC DR Congo correspondent Maud Jullien.

Insecurity

People in the area have told the BBC that the Congolese army presence there had been reduced over the past few weeks and that insecurity has since been on the rise.

Government officials have also been reporting incursions in the area by Rwandan soldiers.



Rwanda has denied this and the information cannot be independently verified.

Rwanda has twice sent its troops into DR Congo and was a key player in the conflict which led to the deaths of up to six million people.

The UN mission in DR Congo (Monusco) has more than 20,000 personnel - one of the world's biggest.

Monusco worked with the Congolese army to help flush out M23 rebels from North Kivu in 2013.

A similar operation was due to start against another rebel group in the region, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, earlier this year, but a dispute over two Congolese generals accused of human rights abuses ended that cooperation.

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