14 April 2017

Congo-Kinshasa: Suspect Arrested in Murder of UN Workers

Photo: Times of Zambia
Court gavel.

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested two suspects in connection to last month's killing of two UN investigators, but one of the prisoners has escaped, according to a senior prosecutor.

The announcement was the first reported sign of progress in an inquiry into the deaths of American Michael Sharp and Swede Zaido Catalan, investigators monitoring UN Security Council sanctions against individuals and armed groups in Congo.

Their bodies were discovered in a shallow grave in late March, two weeks after they disappeared in the remote and sparsely populated Kasai-Central province.

Their Congolese interpreter and three Congolese motorbike drivers who accompanied them have not yet been found, according to the United Nations.

General Joseph Ponde, the army's top prosecutor, did not say when the two suspects were arrested, but said the remaining one had been transferred between facilities on April 4 - meaning the operation must have happened more than a week ago.

He referred to the one suspect in custody, Daniel Mbayi Kabasele, as an "insurgent".

Four police officers responsible for guarding the suspects had been arrested following the escape, he told journalists. The UN mission in Congo had no immediate comment.

Millions died in regional conflicts in eastern Congo between 1996 and 2003, most from hunger and disease, and dozens of armed groups continue to fight over natural resources and prey on the civilian population.

Hundreds have been killed and more than one million displaced since last August in central Congo's Kasai region owing to fighting between a local militia and security forces. The United Nations has identified at least 23 mass graves.

Their disappearance is the first time UN experts have been reported missing in Congo, Human Rights Watch said.


Regional Body to Meet About DR Congo Stability

When the Southern Africa Development Conference meets Tuesday to discuss the Democratic Republic of Congo's efforts to… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Al Jazeera. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.