Kenya Airways Staff Detained In Kinshasa Congo Released After Negotiations

The Kenyan government has announced the release of a Kenya Airways (KQ) employee who was detained by the Democratic Republic of Congo Military Intelligence Unit for two weeks.

Lydia Mbotela, a KQ manager stationed in the DRC, regained her freedom following negotiations facilitated by Kenya’s Military Attaché and Charge d’affaires, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei.

“Grateful to share that Lydia Mbotela, KQ Manager in DRC, has been released by Kinshasa authorities,” announced PS Sing’oei on Twitter.

Sing’oei commended the efforts of the Kenyan Mission team, including the Military Attaché, the FRO, and the Charge d’affaires, for their successful negotiation securing Mbotela’s release.

Earlier in April, KQ Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka had confirmed the detention of the employees by the Military Intelligence Unit in Kinshasa. The arrests were reportedly related to missing customs documentation concerning valuable cargo. Kilavuka criticized the Kinshasa authorities, arguing that the duo were held unlawfully, citing a court order, and clarifying that the cargo in question had not been uplifted or accepted by KQ.

In response to the situation, KQ suspended its flights to Kinshasa, citing the inability to effectively operate without its employees.