TEHRAN, March 29, YJC- Two foreign UN contractors who were kidnapped in DR Congo have been found dead, one of them decapitated, the government said Tuesday, as spiraling violence in the vast country sparked international condemnation.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club
(YJC)- The bodies of American Michael Sharp and Swedish national Zaida Catalan were found as the UN Security Council prepared for a vote on Wednesday on extending its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres vowed that the world body would do "everything possible” to bring justice in the case.
"Michael and Zaida lost their lives seeking to understand the causes of conflict and insecurity in the DRC in order to help bring peace to the country and its people,” the UN chief said.
"I trust that the Congolese authorities will conduct a full investigation into this incident. The United Nations will also conduct an inquiry. In case of criminal acts, the United Nations will do everything possible to ensure that justice is done,” he added.
The two were kidnapped by unidentified assailants on March 12 along with four Congolese accompanying them in Kasai-Central province.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende said the woman’s body had been decapitated.
The remote region has been plagued by violence since mid-August, when government forces killed Kamwina Nsapu, a tribal chief and militia leader who had rebelled against President Joseph Kabila’s central government.
The violence has spilled over from Kasai to the neighboring provinces of Kasai-Oriental and Lomami, leaving at least 400 people dead.
Several days before the two UN experts were kidnapped, a Uruguayan peacekeeper was shot and injured in the same region.
Sharp’s father, John Sharp, said there was a "high probability” the bodies were those of his son and Catalan.
"Dental records and DNA samples will be used to confirm the identities. This will take some time,” he added on Facebook.