Ransom paid for DR Congo priest-Father Celestin Ngango

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A catholic priest in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been released after ransom was paid to his kidnappers, news agency AFP reports quoting a church official.
Father Celestin Ngango was taken away on Sunday by armed men in the eastern city of Goma in North Kivu province shortly after he finished leading an Easter mass.

His kidnappers demanded $500,000 (£355,000) for his release, the church said.
Father Louis de Gonzague Nzabanita from the Goma diocese said that a ransom had been paid after negotiation with the kidnappers but did not say how much.
“We paid a ransom, which led to the release of our brother,” he said.

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The priest was one of 10 people kidnapped in North Kivu’s Rutshuru administrative district in less than a week, according to a local campaign group, the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights.

Three of those taken were however executed after their families failed to pay ransoms. One was freed, while the rest, all local farmers, are still missing.
Militias operate freely in Kivu province and they often extort money from civilians while fighting each other for control of mineral resources.


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