Tanzanian Simba Logistics Trucks destroyed in Congo DRC (Social Media Photo)
By TZ Business News Staff.
Do not travel to Congo DRC without Government advice on the security situation in the strife-torn parts of the country, the Tanzania Government has warned businessmen planning trips to Congo. The warning has come following abduction of Kenyan and Tanzanian drivers from 12 long haul trucks and the burning of four of the trucks.
The abductors, holding an unspecified number of drivers from the 12 trucks, have been identified as members of the MaiMai militia group which is fighting for secesson of Katanga province from the DRC.
UPDATE: The Captives have reportedly been rescued by a Congo DRC military operation. This update is based on a social media report in Tanzania and not yet independently corroborated. This website will publish confirmation details later.
“The Government wishes to advise the Tanzanian general public, especially the business community, to ask for information on the security situation in strife-torn areas such as eastern Congo, particulary the area of southern Kivu before travelling there,” the Tanzania Government statement warned.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation statement issued on Thursday, 15 September 2016 said the Government was working hard to facilitate the safe release of all the captives, adding however, that two Tanzanian drivers had succeeded to escape and that it was the two drivers who confirmed the abduction.
Eight of the trucks belong to the Tanzanian businessman Azim Dewji while the other four belong to unidentified Kenyan operators. The abductors asked for ransom pegged at USD 4,000 per captive. The abductors gave 24 hours from 4.00 pm on 14 September, 2016 in which ransom was supposed to have been paid failure of which they threatened they would kill the drivers.
The Tanzania Government was working in co-operation with the DRC Government to facilitate a speedy, safe release of the captives, the statement said. This was a second incident of abduction, after a similar incident in 2015 when Tanzanian Muslim preachers were abducted and who were realeased when the two governments worked together to resolve the problem.
Ealier on 15 September, 2016, a usually reliable social network group quoted a statement from the Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA) as saying the abductors had also issued a deadline for the removal of Tanzanian peace keepers from Congo DRC.
The four trucks burned were Tanzanian, TATOA reportedly said, adding that the abduction happened at an area known as Kasebebena and Matete, about 30 kilometers from Namoya town. Owner of the trucking company Simba Logistics, Mr. Azim Dewji reportedly confirmed the incident, TATOA said, adding that the Tanzania Ambassador to the DRC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporaton were working on this problem.