Bodies of missing UN experts found in DR Congo

By agency reporter
March 31, 2017

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has confirmed that the bodies of Zaida Catalán, a Swede, and Michael Sharp, an American, were found by UN peacekeepers near Bunkonde in Kasai Central province on 27 March 2017.

The two members of the UN Group of Experts on Congo had been reported missing, along with their Congolese interpreter, Betu Tshintela, a motorbike driver, Isaac Kabuayi, and two unidentified motorbike drivers, on 12 March, while investigating large-scale human rights violations in the region. The UN reported that efforts continue to find the team’s Congolese members.

 Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch said: “We express our deepest condolences to the families, colleagues, and friends of Michael and Zaida, who lost their lives while seeking truth, justice, and an end to the violence and abuse that Congolese in the Kasai region and beyond have long suffered. We hope that the UN’s search efforts promptly locate Betu, Isaac, and their two other Congolese colleagues. Our thoughts are with their loved ones. An international, independent investigation is urgently needed into these deaths and disappearances, and the broader violence in the Kasai region, to help end the abuses there and bring those responsible to justice."

* Human Rights Watch https://www.hrw.org/

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