UN peacekeepers disappear in DRC


Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) soldiers patrol Lushebere in the Massasi district, eastern DRCongo, in 2008. A senior FDLR officer has been arrested in DRC.

KINSHASA – There is no trace of two United Nations experts and four support staff that disappeared last weekend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

UN experts Michael Sharp (US) and Zaida Cataln (Sweden) are missing in the volatile central African country.

They were last seen in the Kasai Central province which is enduring a crisis perpetrated by rebel groups, resulting in deadly clashes between the militants and the national armed forces.

READ: DR Congo investigating alleged army massacre video

Former colonial power Belgium pointed out the men’s disappearance was a serious blow to efforts of the international community to bring back peace and stability in the country beset by political tensions.

The country called on Congo to use “all possible means” to rescue the victims.

“Belgium is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the DRC, particularly in the Kasai region,” a foreign affairs spokesperson said.

The UN mission in the DRC (Monusco) on Sunday expressed concern at the renewed violence in Kananga, disclosing reports of high numbers of deaths in the context of clashes between slain tribal leader Kamwina Nsapu’s militiamen and members of the Congolese security forces.

Scores of civilians have been killed in recent days as the army and militants clashed.

Maman Sambo Sidikou, the UN special representative in DRC, called for investigations into upheavals in Kananga and Kasai.

“Those found responsible for any human rights violations must be held fully accountable,” said Sidikou.