Driver for IRC Vehicle Killed in D.R. Congo
Details of the Sunday night incident remain sketchy and there is no clear motive. Initial reports indicate the driver, 29-year-old Christian Mutwedu Kaningu, was off-duty and heading toward the IRC’s compound in Uvira when a passenger in the vehicle shot him, threw him from the car and drove off. The vehicle was found later with all communications equipment removed. It is not clear when the passenger was taken on board and if this was done under a threat of violence.
The IRC had been renting the vehicle to assist in relief projects for displaced communities in the Uvira area -- about 60 kilometers south of Bukavu. Mr. Kaningu was an employee of the car’s owner and had been driving the vehicle for the IRC for the past five months.
The IRC’s director in Bukavu, Michael Despines expressed shock at what he called an extremely disturbing incident. All IRC programs in the Uvira area have been suspended indefinitely. The IRC is accompanying the body of the driver to Bukavu, where his family resides.
Separate investigations are being carried out by the military, local officials and the police.