DR of Congo: kidnapped UN staffers released after having been tortured

30 December 2004

A consultant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and three local aid workers, kidnapped by militia members week before last, have been released, but in poor health.

UNDP identified them as consulting engineer Aziz Kaliemba, hospital director Dr. Lobo Rombi, the director of the UN/national disarmament and reintegration programme (CONADER) for former combatants in the Kandroma area, Jean-Louis Malumba, and Café Bahenuka.

Their release and arrival at the UNDP office in Bunia came after talks with senior members of the Integrationist Nationalist Front (FNI), three of whose camps were destroyed by soldiers from the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUC, on Monday.

The men had been tortured, even having been bound and tossed into Lake Albert, UNDP said. Mr. Kaliemba and Mr. Malumba still bore infected wounds on their arms and had been put in the care of MONUC's chief physician.


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