China alerts its companies after Congo kidnappings

Lijian Zhao.

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday called on overseas China-invested firms and Chinese nationals to strengthen security precautions, following recent kidnapping incidents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria, Global Times reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks during a regular press conference.

Zhao confirmed that five Chinese nationals were kidnapped in the Province of Sud Kivu in DRC on Sunday early morning, and one police was killed when the armed group attacked the mining firm.

“The Chinese Foreign Ministry has instructed the Chinese Embassy in DRC to activate its emergency response mechanism after learning the incident, and made contact with local departments to conduct rescue efforts to ensure the safety of the hostages,” Zhao said.

Eight other Chinese nationals with the firm were transferred to a safe location, Zhao said.

A liaison employee with the economics and commerce department of the Chinese Embassy in the DRC told the Global Times on Monday that search and rescue operations are underway, and they remain in contact with the DRC government, after the incident took place.

Zhao also said that three Chinese nationals with a China-invested firm in the Kogi State of Nigeria were kidnapped by armed attackers on Friday. Nigeria has established a special investigation squad for rescue work, the report said.

Zhao said that there have been several Chinese national kidnapping cases in the DRC and Nigeria this year. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and relevant Chinese embassies and consulates have repeatedly reminded Chinese nationals not to go to these regions and that firms and personnel in high-risk areas should leave as soon as possible.

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