BY SAM NKURUNZIZA, 27 AUGUST 2012-LOCAL authorities in Rubavu District are still waiting for four Rwandan hostages who were reportedly tortured and are now held in Goma under the captivity of the Congolese government.
District mayor Cheikh Hassan Bahame told The New Times yesterday that his office is yet to receive communication regarding the handover.
"I was told that there is a new mayor in Goma who would call me so that we negotiate the process of having them back, but I am still waiting and clearly there are increasing worries of what could be happening to them," he said.
According to Bahame, once he gets formal communication from his Congolese counterpart, arrangements would be made with the help of the Rwandan security organs and the immigration department to receive the hostages.
The mayor confirmed that his office learnt that one of the hostages had passed away as they were being transferred to a health centre to receive treatment for injuries sustained during torture sessions.
"When we got to know that they were being treated at one of the health centres near the border, they were immediately transferred to another place," Bahame said.
He said the injuries could have delayed the handover process.
Although their identities could not be established by press time, The New Times understands that the quartet has been missing for at least two weeks.
This prolonged captivity is the latest in an upsurge of such incidents involving brutal torture of Rwandan nationals at the hands of Congolese authorities.
Resentment towards Rwandans in DRC has been building up adding to two recent incidents where 11 young Rwandans were delivered to the border of Rubavu after they were allegedly tortured as well as the evacuation of Rwandan students fleeing from targeted attacks in the city of Goma.