Wednesday 28 June 2017

DRCongo detains suspect in killing of two UN experts

DRCongo detains suspect in killing of two UN experts
(AFP 04/16/17)

A suspect has been detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the kidnap and killing last month of two UN experts, an American and a dual Swedish-Chilean woman, military authorities said Friday.

Chief military prosecutor, Major General Joseph Ponde, said two men had been arrested for allegedly killing American Michael Sharp and Swedish-Chilean Zaida Catalan in central Kasai, where hundreds of people have died in violence since September.

One of the suspects, however, had escaped with the help of four police officers guarding them, Ponde told a news conference.

The remaining suspect was being interrogated in Kananga, capital of diamond-rich Kasai, which has been gripped by a violent tribal uprising since traditional chieftain Kamwina Nsapu was killed in August last year.

The bodies of the two UN experts, who were kidnapped along with four Congolese nationals on March 12 while investigating whether a UN arms embargo was being violated, were found in a grave two weeks later.

"The judicial inquiry will determine whether Kamwina Nsapu rebels or elements from the security forces" were behind the killings, Ponde said.

Democratic Republic of Congo security forces have been accused by the UN of using disproportionate force against the militiamen, who are armed mainly with clubs and catapults.

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