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US Ambassador: UN Aiding 'Corrupt' Government in Congo

  • VOA News

FILE - United Nations peacekeepers patrol the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, Dec. 20, 2016.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday accused the world body of aiding a "corrupt" government in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Haley, speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, said the U.N. peacekeeping mission is "mandated to partner with the government."

"In other words, the U.N. is aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people. We should have the decency and common sense to end this," she said.

Haley's comments came as Swedish police initiated a murder investigation into the death of a Swedish U.N. expert and an American colleague, whose bodies were found Monday in a shallow grave.

FILE - United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivers remarks in the United Nations Security Council, Feb. 21, 2017.
FILE - United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivers remarks in the United Nations Security Council, Feb. 21, 2017.

The two U.N. experts, Swedish national Zaida Catalan and American Michael Sharp, along with an interpreter and three drivers, went missing earlier this month in Central Congo while investigating widespread violence and alleged human rights violations carried out by the Congolese army and local militia groups.

Haley, in a previous statement, said the two experts were "killed senselessly."

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday the organization also would investigate the deaths of the experts, though he said their cause of death is still undetermined.

DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende told VOA's French to Africa Service that Catalan's had been beheaded. He said the government would continue looking for the missing Congolese citizens, but he said it was unclear whether the Congolese would open up a murder investigation for the dead experts.

The disappearance of U.N. experts is the first to happen in the DRC, according to the advocacy group Human Rights Watch. It also is the first recorded disappearance of international workers in the Kasai provinces.

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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