Glamorous mum begs for help after being stranded in the world’s ‘rape capital’ because she can’t fly home due to Australia’s harsh COVID-19 restrictions
- Melissa Inkster was due to fly home from the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Her flight to Australia was cancelled on Saturday due to caps on flight arrivals
- The mum-of-two, who left Australia in March, is now stranded alone in Kinshasa
A mum has been left stranded in an African city known as the world’s ‘rape capital’ after the Australian government capped international arrivals.
Melissa Inkster is desperate to return home to Australia to be with her two young sons, who she hasn’t seen in six months.
She was supposed to board a flight home from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on Saturday but was bumped off the service because of Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions.
‘My flight back to Australia has been cancelled because our government is only allowing 30 people on a plane,’ she said in a video posted to Facebook.
‘So essentially that means people in business, first class get first priority and us people who can only afford economy are pretty much off.’
Melissa Inkster (pictured) was supposed to board a flight home from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on Saturday but was bumped off
Ms Inkster and her partner Joseph travelled to Africa via Europe in March for business. ‘Mel and her fiancé spent their time in Africa creating a charity and working with locals to improve many aspects of their lives and will continue working in these areas along with new business ideas when they are safely back home,’ a GoFundMe page says
‘I haven’t seen my kids for six months,’ she said.
Ms Inkster said there is only one flight leaving Kinshasa each week. She has now booked a hotel up to next Saturday, which has cost her more than $1,000.
‘Not cheap. Everyone thinks, third world country, you’re not paying much, that’s a myth,’ she said.
‘Right now I’m in survival mode, trying to get back home, trying to get back to my kids, trying to get back to Australia.’
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Ms Inkster get back to her two sons.
The fundraiser explains Ms Inkster and her partner Joseph travelled to Africa via Europe in March for business.
An Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo is seen on patrol in February
CONGO: ‘THE RAPE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD’
A senior UN official declared the African nation to be the ‘rape capital of the world’ in 2010.
‘Women have no rights, if those who violate their rights go unpunished,’ Margot Wallström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict said at the time.
The comments drew the attention of researchers, advocates and journalists and Congo is still known as the ‘rape capital’ in media reports due to widespread sexual violence.
‘Mel and her fiancé spent their time in Africa creating a charity and working with locals to improve many aspects of their lives and will continue working in these areas along with new business ideas when they are safely back home,’ the page says.
‘Mel has two young boys in the Australia who she is desperate to get back too. They need her and she needs them.’
Ms Inkster and her partner are stranded in different parts of Africa. The GoFundMe page is asking for donations because Ms Inkster cannot afford a $15,000 first class ticket to get home.
‘Mel is a kindhearted woman giving to all she meets and wouldn’t hesitate to help another Mum get home,’ the page states.
‘The government isn’t helping and she is stuck in Africa alone which is also incredibly dangerous.’
Ms Inkster told news.com.au she speaks to her sons via WhatsApp and Skype.
‘Sometimes my son is crying, ”Mummy, mummy, when will you be coming home?”,’ Ms Inkster said.
‘Now I thought I was coming home and I’m not. It’s devastating.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for comment.
Ms Inkster and her partner are stranded in different parts of Africa