Kidnapping at eastern DR Congo mine

192

Gunmen kidnapped a South African and a Zimbabwean worker at Banro Corp’s gold mine in the east Congolese province Maniema, an army spokesman said.

Dieudonne Kasereka, army spokesman for South Kivu, gave no further details.

The Canadian mining firm’s interests in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have come under periodic attack by Mai Mai militiamen. Last year they attacked trucks belonging to its Namoya gold mine in Maniema.

Repeated attacks by Mai Mai on Namoya and Banro’s Twangiza mine in neighbouring South Kivu at one stage seemingly put the company’s survival into question, although it managed to keep running.

East Congolese militias such as the Mai Mai, who believe blessed water has magical properties like protecting fighters from bullets, prey on the population and exploit mineral resources since 2003 of a regional war that killed millions, most from hunger and disease.

In the last three years the armed groups showed an interest in taking hostages for ransom.