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DRCongo: 6 Tanzanian imams freed after month-long captivity

2nd Sep 2015
DRCongo: 6 Tanzanian imams freed after month-long captivity
NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (AA): Six Tanzanian imams, kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Aug. 5 by suspected Rwandan rebels, were rescued Tuesday by the DRC army, according to military sources.

Njike Guyaume, captain of the DRC’s 34th military region in North Kivu, told Anadolu Agency that the six imams would speak to reporters Wednesday.

He refrained, however, from providing any details about their respective health conditions.

Omar Kavota, coordinator of the Study Center, an NGO that works in the region, also confirmed that the six imams — who had originally come to the town of Katwigu in North Kivu to provide Islamic education — had been released.

Since their abduction almost one month ago, the six had been held in the Katwiguru Forest by gunmen who claimed to belong to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group.

In recent years, kidnappings have become common in the DRC’S eastern region.

The last major case was reported in April, when Rwandan rebels allegedly kidnapped three UN staff members working in the region. They, too, were eventually released.

The FDLR, established in the DRC in 2000s, is said to be supported by Hutu refugees based in Rwanda.

Of the DRC’s 66 million people, 10 million are Muslim, according to latest official figures.

Author: Hatice Kesgin
[Photo: AA]

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