The five-page summary noted that information is circulating about the possible involvement “of various government individuals or organisations” in the killings. (Source: Google maps) Top News
A United Nations board of inquiry said two UN experts were likely murdered in March by militia members from Congo’s violence-torn Kasai region, but it said further investigations and judicial proceedings are needed to determine the identity and motive of the killers. The board’s executive summary, which was obtained yesterday by The Associated Press, said that “there was a reasonable likelihood that the killings were committed after consultation with other local tribal actors.”
Michael Sharp of the United States and Zaida Catalan, a dual national of Sweden and Chile, disappeared March 12 and their bodies were discovered in shallow graves March 27. The board’s report, sent to the UN Security Council by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said there is “a reasonable likelihood” the same militia members were responsible for the deaths of a Congolese interpreter and three motorcycle drivers accompanying the two experts. Their bodies have not been found.
The five-page summary noted that information is circulating about the possible involvement “of various government individuals or organisations” in the killings. “This does not provide proof of intent or motive” by anyone, or preclude “that others are involved,” the board said.
The board said additional investigations, including by national authorities, “may provide greater clarity on this issue.” Guterres said in a letter to the Security Council transmitting the board’s summary that he intends to discuss “the establishment of a follow-on mechanism and its mandate” with Congolese official and council members Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said late yesterday the secretary-general needed to take responsibility for uncovering the truth of the two UN experts’ deaths following the board’s inconclusive results.
“Since Congolese security forces may have been responsible for the killings, the Congolese government cannot be relied on to find the killers,” Sawyer said. “Guterres should set up a UN investigation to uncover the truth and help US and Swedish authorities as they work to build cases against those responsible for this heinous crime,” she said.
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