The family an Australian teacher who has been missing for two weeks in the Congo have spoken out about the terrifying ordeal.
Mark Ciavarella, 57, has been living and working in the region for six years before he disappeared from his Brazzaville unit with only his phone on October 26.
A video was sent from Mr Ciavarella’s WhatsApp account to his family last week showing the face of an African man unknown to them.
“We are a little bit lost at the moment because we can’t get through to his phone,” his brother Darren Ciavarella told Sunrise on Wednesday.
Mark grew up in the Hunter Region of NSW and has dedicated his life to teaching kids in the African country.
“He knew it was a dangerous spot but he was very passionate about teaching the kids over there and helping out,” Darren said.
“The family back in Australia have been telling him to come home for quite some time.”
Darren said he spoke on the phone with his brother two days before he disappeared but didn’t find out he had been missing until last Friday.
“Ten days had passed before I was aware of this,” Darren said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has been involved in the search for the missing teacher.
However, efforts have been difficult, as the closest Australian embassy is more than 3000km away in Zimbabwe.
Darren revealed that the Congo secret service had been engaged to investigate his brother’s disappearance.
“I did get a phone call last night and was assured that they have got boots on the ground,” he said.
“There is a person of interest, I won’t discuss his name at this point.
“We are hoping that they will actually get a hold of this person and shed some light on the situation at hand.”