Kenya Airways accuses Congolese military of detaining staff since last week over cargo dispute

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Kenya’s national airline has accused it of detaining two Republic of Congo military personnel since last Friday over a cargo dispute.

Kenya Airways, known as KQ, said on Friday that its employees were arrested at its airport office in the capital Kinshasa for missing documents for cargo that the airline did not accept.

The cargo is described as “valuables,” but its contents have not been disclosed.

“All efforts to explain to military officers that KQ did not accept the cargo due to incomplete documentation were in vain,” the airline’s CEO Alan Kiravka said in a statement.

He said his staff’s phones were confiscated and his colleagues and embassy staff were only allowed to carry their phones for a few minutes.

The airline said it had applied to a military court for the release of the employees, which was granted on Thursday.

“Despite the court order, military intelligence continues to cut off contact with them,” the statement said.

The airline called on the Kenyan and Congolese governments to ensure the issue is resolved.

Both governments have not commented on the issue.

Kenya and Congo maintain friendly relations, and Kenya participates in UN-backed peacekeeping operations in Congo.

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