Three employees of a non-governmental organization (NGO) were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Kajembwe (Uvira territory; South Kivu province) on Monday, September 21. Armed men ambushed a humanitarian convoy of two vehicles and managed to abduct a driver and two passengers in the first vehicle, although the second vehicle was able to escape. No group has claimed immediate responsibility for the kidnapping and it has not been confirmed if any ransom demands have yet been made.
Security operations are likely in the area over the coming days in response to the incident. Further militant attacks are possible in the medium term.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, including South Kivu, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias) have led to continued insecurity in the area. Humanitarian organizations have stated that security conditions in the Kivu regions present a major obstacle to delivering humanitarian assistance to those in need as kidnappings, including of Congolese and foreign aid workers, are frequent in the area.
Individuals in South Kivu province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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