Kidnapping jeopardizes MSF work in DRC camp

Photo by: SokratisLefas / CC BY-NC

Medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières is once again suspending some of its activities in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the kidnapping of two staff members in the province.

The aid workers were only identified by their first names — Cedric, a nurse, and Marius, a logistician. The two were travelling by car when they were abducted by unknown subjects near Nyanzale, a camp for internally displaced people in the town of Masisi in North Kivu.

They were freed hours later, unharmed.

Fighting between the Congolese army and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda have spurred insecurity in the region — displacing thousands of people and limiting aid work by nongovernmental organizations. As of January this year, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimated there are about 176,000 IDPs in Masisi.

MSF said it is suspending some of its activities pending a “full review” of its work and practices in the province. The deteriorating security situation in North Kivu is having a “profound impact” on the population and on the organization’s ability to deliver aid.

The suspension follows the organization’s decision last year to suspend some operations in Masisi after armed men attacked the group’s residential compound night of Nov. 20. The attack wounded one MSF staff member.

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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.