AFRICA/DR CONGO - Bodies of two UN experts found in central Kasai

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 un   armed groups  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The bodies of US citizen Michael Sharp and Swedish national Zaida Catalan were discovered in the central Kasai region, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
They were abducted on 12 March after going to Kasai to investigate reports of abuses after local rebels took up arms. According to a Government spokesman Zaida Catalan’s body had been decapitated. In the same region 39 policemen were decapitated after a road ambush by Kamuina Nsapu followers (see Fides 27/03/2017).
The discovery of the bodies of the UN experts takes place while the renewal of the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) is being debated at the UN. In a statement sent to Agenzia Fides, the Congolese NGO CEPADHO emphasizes that at this stage of weakness of national institutions and instability in several areas of the country, it is appropriate that UN troops remain. CEPADHO stresses, however, that the majority of the MINUSCO contingent must withdraw in a progressive manner while the Rapid Intervention Brigade, a unit particularly effective in countering the militias and other armed groups that infest different areas of the DRC must be strengthend. Among these CEPADHO recalls the ADF of Ugandan origin, the FDLR of Rwandan origin and the Mayi Mayi groups in North Kivu, the Kamuina Nsapu militia in central Kasai, while the province of Tanganyika is in the grip of inter-ethnic clashes.
The political crisis, with the lack of agreement for the implementation of the late December agreements, (see Fides 28/03/2017) only serves to accentuate the instability of the Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/03/2017)