ICRC repatriates Congolese POWs

Five Congolese POWs held in Rwanda regained their freedom on Friday after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) repatriated them to their nation's capital, Kinshasa.

ICRC flew the prisoners from Kigali, with the consent of the Rwandan and Congolese authorities and in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs. They had been interned in Rwanda since June 2000 in connection with the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ICRC reported. The men were registered and were visited regularly by ICRC delegates. They were able to exchange Red Cross messages with their families in Kinshasa and received ICRC aid during their detention.

"To the ICRC's knowledge, there are no further prisoners of war, as defined by the Third Geneva Convention, interned in Rwanda as a result of the Congolese conflict," it said.