ADRA Worker Killed in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo
he Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has confirmed the kidnapping and death of a staff member in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on September 30, 2009 in South Kivu.
Returning from a supervisory visit to a shelter construction site, a vehicle containing two ADRA/DRC workers was traveling in a convoy with other civilian vehicles when unidentified gunmen attacked the group. During the attack, the ADRA driver was taken and has now been reported safe by Romain Kenfack, director for ADRA/DRC East. The other worker, Boss Kayamba, a native of DRC, was severely beaten and left on the side off the road. Kayamba was able to crawl for help to the nearby village, and later died while en route to a hospital.
“We are deeply saddened by the events and death of a member of our ADRA family and we are grateful for the safe return of the driver,” said Charles Sandefur, president of ADRA International. “Often, in the work we do, we put ourselves in harm’s way to ease the suffering of others. To Kayamba’s family, know that our hearts and our prayers are with you, and we too grieve this loss,” he added.
This is the 22nd attack that has taken place in South Kivu since the beginning of 2009. In a statement, Ross Mountain, United Nations Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for the DRC condemned the attack and called for “all armed groups to respect humanitarian workers and refrain from any criminal act.”
ADRA has been active in the DRC since the mid-1990s, and has provided support for returning refugees in Uvira and north Fizi through the distribution of shelters, non-food items, the advocacy of land tenure rights, and a partnership with the ministry of health and the ministry of education to build health clinics and schools.