Jim McGovern writes to the United Nations concerning Father Jean-Pierre Ndulani.
10 January 2014
Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has today written to the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo concerning the on-going captivity of former Dundee clergyman Father Jean-Pierre Ndulani.
Father Ndulani spent six years as a priest at the Wellburn care home, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, before returning to his homeland of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On October 12th 2012 Father Ndulani alongside two colleagues, Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute, were kidnapped by an armed group from the Notre-Dame des Pauvres Parish Church house in Mbau, North Kivu region.
It was revealed last year by the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in London that a ransom had been paid to Father Ndulani’s captors, but the three had not been released.
Mr McGovern has now written to Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative to the DRC and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, as well as to British Ambassador Diane Corner, both of whom are based in the DRC’s capital Kinshasa.
The MP has also written to Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York.
In letters to these representatives Mr McGovern has asked for greater efforts to be made to discover the current whereabouts and condition of Father Ndulani and his colleagues, and for better progress to be made in securing their release.
This follows the MP receiving a response early in the New Year to a letter sent in August 2013 to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office asking for their assistance.
The FCO informed the MP that there was little they could do to assist, though they would contact the UN in the country to ask for more information.
Jim McGovern said;
“Father Ndulani and his colleagues have been missing now for over a year.
"Father Ndulani’s family and the many friends he made in Dundee over his six years here are desperate to know about his condition and to see him released, alongside Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute.”
“The North Kivu region of the DRC is an extremely challenging and unstable environment, but I do believe it is important that the UN uses the powers given to them to take action in this matter.
"As the peacekeeping force in the region they have a responsibility to ensure civilians are kept safe and that incidents such as these are investigated and where possible necessary action taken.”
“After so long in captivity concerns are only growing about Father Ndulani and his colleague’s safety.
"Greater efforts are long overdue and I sincerely hope the authorities take note and start acting without further delay.”