A tale of two countries: Tragedy in Congo, relief in Sudan

A transit camp at Kimpese in western Democratic Republic of Congo. An aid worker for the United Nations refugee agency has died following an attack at his home on May 18. Photo: UNHCR

Investigation is underway over the killing of an aid worker in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Unidentified gunmen shot Rocky Kalume Makabuza at his home in the city of Goma Friday (May 18). He was taken to a hospital, but died the following morning from gunshot wounds in his stomach.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres condemned the killing of Makabuza, a 38-year-old field safety assistant for UNHCR in Rutshuru, North Kivu province. He expressed hopes the authorities will be able to bring “those responsible to justice.”

It is not yet clear who attacked Makabuza or what the motive is behind the crime. Jean Busanga, the town’s mayor, told The Associated Press it’s still “too early” to tell if the act was premeditated or “motivated by financial gain.” He said the police are in the field to get to “the bottom of this act.”

Meanwhile, Sudan released Sunday (May 20) the four aid workers it accused of spying for its neighbor, South Sudan.

The men were handed over to African Union mediator and former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who was in Sudan to urge the two warring countries to resume diplomatic talks, Sudan Tribune reports. They were later sent to their respective embassies.

The four — a Norwegian, Briton, South African and South Sudanese — were working on a U.N. demining project in South Sudan. They were arrested in April in the disputed oil-rich town of Heglig.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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