DR Congo: Security Council underscores need to bring killers of UN experts to justice

An aerial view of the town of Kananga in DRC’s Kasaï-Central province outside which the remains of the two experts were found. (File) Photo: MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani

7 November 2017 – Reiterating the need to bring to justice the killers of two United Nations expert in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council urged the country’s authorities to continue to cooperate with investigations into the incident.

The experts, Michael Sharp of the United States and Zaida Catalan of Sweden were abducted in the country on 12 March. Their remains were found outside the city of Kananga in the DRC’s Kasaï-Central province by UN peacekeepers two weeks later.

In a statement read out by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi of Italy, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month of November, the 15-member body also encouraged the Group of Experts, of which Mr. Sharp and Ms. Catalan were members, to consider, within its current mandate and in cooperation with relevant actors, including national authorities, issues related to illicit financial activity, including money laundering operations, supporting the activities of armed groups and criminal networks involved in destabilizing activities in the African nation.

“In that regard, the Security Council welcomes the decisions of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region [in October] on the fight against illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes region and encourages member States to further increase cooperation in fighting illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources, including gold or wildlife,” read the statement.

The Security Council further encouraged the Group of Experts to work with UN Member States and relevant international organizations, such as the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), so they can produce recommendations to streamline and enhance the control of unwrought gold transported in carry-on luggage.

Also in the statement, the Council warned against attacks on the UN Mission in the country (known by its French acronym, MONUSCO), UN entities, and their associated personnel, including the Group of Experts, and reiterated its readiness to designate individuals and groups responsible for attacks for sanctions.


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