Family pay 700 USD ‘ransom’ for kin’s freedom

Family pay 700 USD ‘ransom’ for kin’s freedom
Gibson Alex 35 (L) and his young brother Seme Michael 23 (R) pose for a photo in front of one of the detention facility in Dungu-DRC in December 2021. Credit: Courtesy

A South Sudan national who spent nearly a year at a detention camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo has finally reunited with his family after parting with 700 US dollars in ransom.

Gibson Alex, 35 was arrested by the Congolese army on October 2021. He was with his young brother, Seme Michael, 23 when the incident took place at the border area of Sakure in Nzara County.

The man who hails from Western Equatoria State was arrested while on a fishing expedition.

Though Seme was later released after the family paid 300 US dollars, Gibson remained behind until a further 700 USD was settled last Wednesday.

He contracted tuberculosis (TB) while in detention.

He is now with me at home but he is sick and his health is deteriorating. We have taken him for treatment,” his father Alex Taban told Eye Radio.

The fishermen were allegedly attempting to cross the border to DRC at River Mbuere in Sakure Payam.

The father said that part of the ransom was contributed by friends and relatives.