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.”
Ho appena dato il via libera: un aereo della Repubblica italiana parte per il Congo per riportare i bambini adottati bloccati da mesi #acasa
— Matteo Renzi (@matteorenzi) May 26, 2014
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.