The armed gang who abducted five Chinese workers of the Bayond Mining Company from one of their mining sites on Nov. 21, 2021 have continued to hold them hostage, insisting that $1.5 million be paid to them as ransom for their release.
The five Chinese were kidnapped at the Mukera gold mining site in Fizi territory of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to Christophe Bobane, the President of the Mukera civil society, the hostages are alive but their abductors are demanding an amount that even the Chinese owners of the mine are unable to raise.
“The hostages remain in captivity to date. We have all the relevant precisions that they are still alive,” Bonane, who deplored the silence of the government authorities since the abduction of the Chinese, said.
“People who have been in contact with their abductors say the kidnappers are demanding $1.5 million for their release. This amount is so high and even the owners of Bayand Mining Company say they have no possibility of raising such a large sum of money.”
“We have already created commissions to contact the kidnappers and negotiate for the release of the hostages but to no avail. We are considering using other strategies to get the release of the innocent persons.”
“Our main problem is that these armed bandits do not belong to any well-known armed group here. We have already contacted certain leaders of some armed groups active in the area notably in Mtetezi, Yakotumba and Bishambuke but all of them say they do not know the kidnappers.”
“We deplore the silence observed on the side of the security services who seem to have completely forgotten this affair concerning the kidnapped Chinese who continue to suffer in the forest whereas the government is supposed to do everything possible to save them.”
Besides the five Chinese kidnapped during the Nov. 21, 2021 attack on the Mukera mining site, a soldier of the DR Congo national army was killed.
The Bayond Mining Company has been exploiting the Mukera gold deposits in partnership with the Cooperative for Integral Development (COMIDI).
Since the attack and abduction of the five Chinese, the Mukera mining site has been abandoned and the Chinese company has closed down its operations in the zone.
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