A worker with the British charity World Vision has been killed in an ambush on a humanitarian convoy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the aid group said on Thursday.
The Congolese victim was killed in an attack on Wednesday in Lubero, North Kivu province, that left another worker seriously hurt, it said in a statement.
“This devastating incident is an attack on our staff, and on the most vulnerable children and communities whom they were serving,” it said.
The incident was confirmed by Lubero’s chief administrator, Richard Nyembo, who said the ambush was carried out by so-called Mai-Mai, the term for self-described community defense groups, as the convoy was returning from a mission to distribute food. Two other aid workers were kidnapped, he said.
— World Vision (@WorldVision) September 16, 2020
The east of the DR Congo, a vast country the size of continental western Europe, has been unstable for more than a quarter of a century, gripped firstly by full-blown regional wars and then by marauding militias.
Armed groups typically claiming to defend ethnic groups carry out attacks on civilians and kidnappings, often clashing with rivals over valuable mining resources.
North Kivu is a hotspot for attacks on aid workers, notably in the territories of Masisi, Lubero, Rutshuru, and Walikale. In 2018, two Congolese were killed in Rutshuru as they were working on a sanitation scheme for a local village.