Tearfund 'deeply saddened' by death of two workers in Democratic Republic of Congo

Two aid workers with Christian development charity Tearfund have been killed in an attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

They were attacked and killed while travelling in a convoy in Butembo, a major commercial centre in North Kivu, a province in the east of the country. 

Tearfund said it was "deeply saddened" by the "tragic deaths" of the aid workers on Sunday, and that it was working to ensure the safety and security of its remaining staff in the country. 

It called on political leaders in the DRC "to respect and protect aid workers, as mandated under international law, and to ensure their safety as they carry out their vital mission". 

"Tearfund unequivocally condemns this horrific attack on humanitarian aid staff who were working selflessly to serve the people of the DRC," it said.

"Tearfund is a non-political aid agency providing humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable communities in the DRC. Our priority now is to provide support to the families of our deceased colleagues during this incredibly difficult time."

North Kivu has been blighted since 2021 by fighting between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and the M23 rebel group, triggering a major humanitarian crisis. 

Last month the UN Joint Human Rights Office raised concerns about the displacement of civilians and the suspension of operations by some humanitarian organisations due to the ongoing insecurity.