Three hostages members of a Congolese delegation released by an armed group in DRC

Three members of a Congolese delegation held hostage for a month and a half by an armed group with which it had come to negotiate in Ituri (northeastern DRC) were released on Monday, while four remain held, a spokesman announced.
One of the companions of the group of eight, Professor Jean-Baptiste Dhechuvi, was released on March 21.
The three hostages released on Monday are former warlord Germain Katanga, the president of the Union of Cultural Associations for the Development of Ituri (Unadi) Janvier Ayendu Bin Ekwale and the group’s driver, announced Pitchout Mbodina Iribi, spokesman for the “Task Force for Peace, Reconciliation and Reconstruction of Ituri.
“This is the result of talks we have been holding for several days with the Codeco militia,” he said in a statement, without further details.
The Codeco militia (Cooperative for the Development of Congo) is a mystical-military organization that claims to defend members of the Lendu community. According to the UN and Congolese authorities, its militiamen are behind most of the current violence in Ituri.
The task force delegation was sent by President Felix Tshisekedi to negotiate a cease-fire and the demobilization of the rebels. While the negotiators were in talks with the Codeco militia, the latter took them hostage, blaming the army for bombing the area during the meeting.
The militiamen have since made known their demands for their release, namely the release of Codeco prisoners and members of the Lendu community “arbitrarily arrested,” the cessation of military operations, the lifting of the state of siege, etc.
The members of the mission still held hostage are former warlords Thomas Lubanga and Floribert Ndjabu, and two Congolese army colonels Justin and Désiré Lobho.
Ituri and the neighboring province of North Kivu have been under a state of siege since May, but so far this has not stopped the abuses of armed groups.

About Geraldine Boechat 2734 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia