PM sends plane to Congo amid adoption row

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Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced the news on Twitter. Aeroplane photo: Shutterstock
18:32 CEST+02:00
A government plane has been sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo to collect Italian parents and children at the centre of an adoption row, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday.

In a message posted on Twitter, the premier said: “I have just given the go-ahead: [for] a plane from the Italian Republic to leave for the Congo and bring back the children whose adoption has been blocked for months.”

The move comes more than six months after 24 Italian couples arrived in the DR Congo to pick up the children they had agreed to adopt. The Italians have been stranded in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, ever since after local authorities suspended the children’s exit permits.

According to Italian press reports the families had refused to leave the country without their adoptive children, appealing to their government for help.

In December, one of the parents told ANSA news agency that they feared for their safety, as members of an armed group attacked the capital. Fifty two fights were killed in the violence, which forced the airport to temporarily close.

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