19 December 2018

Congo-Kinshasa: Aid Worker Shot Dead in DRC

Kinshasa — UNKNOWN assailants have shot dead a staff member of an international humanitarian organisation east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The murder of Richard Kasimba, a driver for the World Food Programme (WFP) is the latest in a series of deadly incidents ahead of elections on Sunday.

Assailants ambushed the driver and three colleagues about 70 kilometres northwest of Goma, North Kivu Province, while travelling to monitor a food distribution to 13 000 people recently displaced by violence.

Other staff members were unhurt in the attack that occurred in the Loashi area of Masisi territory.

Armed groups, many of them criminal gangs who prey on local communities and travellers, are active in North Kivu, particularly Masisi. They are also known to disrupt the work of humanitarian organisations.

"As we mourn our dear friend Richard, we condemn this senseless killing and urge all parties to ensure safe passage for humanitarian staff engaged in life-saving work", said WFP Country Director, Claude Jibidar.

The deceased is survived by his wife and nine children, aged between three and 23.

DRC is one of the world's most complex, challenging and dangerous humanitarian environments.

This week, the United Nations Security Council expressed concern over the various incidents in the context of the electoral campaign which, just days before the elections, resulted in loss of life and significant damage.

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