Five Belgians and six Americans including a 10-month-old boy arrived at Leopoldville Airport, Mar. 20, after they had been released by Congolese soldiers in Kivu.
Five Belgians and six Americans including a 10-month-old boy arrived at Leopoldville Airport, Mar. 20, after they had been released by Congolese soldiers in Kivu. The refugees were flown from the small riverside town of Kindu by a United Nations aircraft. The Congolese released thirty Europeans in Kivu, Mar. 17. Most of the arrests had been made in Kasongo by supporters of the late Patrice Lumumba.
In the past month many European and Congolese refugees have drifted into Kindu, which is held by a Malayan detachment of United Nations troops. So far the United Nations have not been able to fly them to safety due to the pressure of the pro-Lumumba authorities.
On arrival the twelve refugees said they had been kept under house arrest and at all times were very short of food. One of the American women - a missionary - said she had been assaulted by Congolese soldiers. Four of the Belgians were priests. All of them said they had been beaten up and left without food for long periods. An American told newsmen that he knew of at least 18 Americans and 45 Belgians in Kindu under the protection of the United Nations troops.