Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Kidnapped Britons released in Democratic Republic of Congo

Kidnapped Britons released in Democratic Republic of Congo

Two Britons held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been released unharmed.

Park director Emmanuel de Merode said: "Ranger Baraka's life was tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park".

Ms Davies and Mr Jesty said in a statement released by the Foreign Office: "We are very relieved that there has been a positive outcome to the kidnapping and are very grateful for the excellent support we have received".

The two Brits were abducted along with their driver at the Virunga wildlife sanctuary on Friday.

Ranger Rachel Masika Baraka, aged 25, was killed during the kidnapping and a male member of staff from the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (CINC) was injured.

The UK's top diplomat Boris Johnson declined to offer any further details, but paid tribute to the Congolese authorities "for their tireless help during this bad case". On April 9, five rangers and a driver were killed in an ambush in the park.

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A park ranger who tried to protect them was shot dead by the attackers.

The pair, who have not been named, were kidnapped in Virunga National Park.

Eastern Congo has been the scene of waves of violence over the past 2-1/2 decades and was at the epicentre of two wars between 1996 and 2003 that killed millions, mainly through hunger and disease.

But it is located in DR Congo's North Kivu province, where armed groups are fighting for control of territorial and natural resources, and poaching is a major threat.

But still the area has attracted a growing number of visitors who seek out its endangered mountain gorillas and the active Nyiragongo volcano.

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