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Kenya Airways Employees Released After Detention in Congo reports say

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Griffith Sarah

May 6, 2024

Two Kenya Airways staff members, who were detained by Congo's military intelligence

Nairobi, Kenya - Two Kenya Airways staff members, who were detained by Congo's military intelligence on April 19 due to a dispute over customs documentation, have been released, confirmed a senior official at the Kenyan Foreign Ministry and an airline insider on Monday.

The airline employees, identified as Lydia Mbotela and her Congolese counterpart, were held over allegedly incomplete paperwork concerning valuable cargo, which the airline asserts was never in their possession.

The detentions, which persisted despite a court order for their release, prompted Kenya Airways to suspend flights to the Democratic Republic of Congo last month.

The suspension underscored the significant operational challenges posed by the incident, affecting the airline’s service commitments in the region.

"Deeply grateful to inform that Lydia Mbotela, KQ Manager in DRC, has just been released by the authorities in Kinshasa," stated Korir Sing'oei, Principal Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a social media platform.

The release followed concerted efforts by both Kenyan and Congolese authorities to resolve the matter, which had strained diplomatic and corporate relations.

Kenya Airways has since announced cooperation with relevant investigative and government bodies in both Congo and Kenya to fully address and close the matter.

The resolution of this incident comes as a relief to the airline, which is keen on resuming its flights and ensuring the safety and freedom of its staff members abroad.

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