According to a report released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday, October 7, at least 194 people have been abducted in northeastern DRC between January and September 2019. Most cases were reported in the provinces of Haut-Uéle and Bas-Uélé, where intercommunal tensions are common and the presence of various armed groups is significant.
Kidnapping is a significant threat in the eastern provinces of the DRC. There has been a growing number of attacks caused by the state's limited presence in the area and the existence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias).
Individuals present in the DRC are advised to exercise caution and maintain a low profile at all times. For these and other security reasons, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the east and northeast of the country, as well as to the three central Kasaï provinces, due to poor security conditions, including the presence of armed groups and a high risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice should be sought prior to travel.
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