World Vision Staff Member Killed in Democratic Republic of Congo
Armed attackers ambushed a group of World Vision staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last week, killing one and capturing two others. Another was seriously injured.
The staff convoy was returning from a mission to deliver food to vulnerable Congolese people south of Lubero, North Kivu province, the nonprofit said in a statement.
World Vision has not identified the staff members attacked nor the assailants, but Lubero’s chief administrator Richard Nyembo alleged a community defense group known as Mai-Mai carried out the ambush, the Defense Post reported.
The captors released the two hostages that same day following pressure from the local community, World Vision spokesperson Geoffrey Denye told Ministry Watch in an email.
The staff member who suffered critical injuries is “in the much safer town of Goma in East DRC,” Denye said. World Vision has safely evacuated the other staff who survived the attack with the help of the World Food Program and the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).
“This devastating incident is an attack on our staff, and on the most vulnerable children and communities whom they were serving,” Denye said.
According to Reuters, more than half a million people in Eastern Congo have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of this year because of a string of violence committed by more than 100 armed groups.
Several World Health Organization aid workers in DRC were killed in November of last year in an ambush on the UN agency’s base in Biakato, Ituri. The staff members were part of a group administering Ebola vaccinations and treatments.