Five Chinese Nationals Kidnapped in Congo

At least five Chinese nationals were kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a source from the Chinese embassy in Congo confirmed Tuesday to Radio France International.

Five Chinese nationals were abducted Monday night in northeastern Congo, a police official and another source from the Chinese embassy in Congo confirmed to Radio France International.

The Chinese victims were abducted in Rutshuru Territory.

The Chinese embassy said three others were wounded during an attack by unidentified assailants at the Kimbe-Kisuku area in Kasutende, according to the second source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The delegation of the Chinese ambassador were in Rutshuru to inspect the victims’ condition.

Police Lt. Col. Olivier Hamuli said that the attack was by a rebel group.

Several armed groups operate in Congo’s North Kivu region, which borders Rwanda and Uganda.

Last week, the U.N. mission in Congo had appealed to armed groups to stop attacks in Kasutende that had forced the U.N. to use air drops to bring in aid.

The country is experiencing a slowing economy, rising inflation and liquidity shortages, as a result of President Joseph Kabila’s failure to step down at the end of his mandate last December.

Kabila is clinging to power despite opposition and international calls to quit, amid concerns about political instability in the country and possible violence in the streets.

Earlier this month, U.N. peacekeepers in Congo accused Congolese opposition leaders of encouraging attacks on armed U.N. peacekeepers while they were on patrol in North Kivu province.

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