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Bodies of Missing UN Investigators Found in DRC


FILE - United Nations armored personnel carriers are seen north of the provincial capital of Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 30, 2013. The U.N. appears to have lost two of its investigators who went missing in central Congo March 12, 2017. Bodies likely belonging to the two were found in Kasai province Tuesday, according to a government spokesman.

The bodies of two missing United Nations investigators and their interpreter have been found in the central part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende said Tuesday that the remains of Michael Sharp, Zaida Catalan and Betu Tshintela have been found at a site next to the Moyo River in Kasai province.

Mende, speaking to VOA's French to Africa Service, said Catalan's body was beheaded.

Sharp, a U.S. citizen, and Catalan, a Swedish national, were sent by the U.N. to investigate reported human rights abuses near the village of Bunkonde, south of the provincial capital, Kananga.

They disappeared March 12 along with Tshintela, their Congolese interpreter, and three other Congolese nationals, including their driver, Isaac Kabuayi, and two unidentified motorbike drivers.

The U.N. mission in Congo, MONUSCO, launched a search for the group the day they vanished.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the apparent killings, and authorities have yet to locate Kabuayi and the other two missing people.

Kasai province has been the scene of unrest and violence in recent months. Members of a militia beheaded about 40 police officers in Kasai on Friday, according to government officials.

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