I am deeply saddened to confirm that the remains discovered by peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on 27 March outside of the city of Kananga in the Congolese Kasaï-Central province are those of Michael Sharp (United States) and Zaida Catalan (Sweden), members of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo missing since 12 March 2017. I convey my profound condolences to Michael's and Zaida's families, loved ones and colleagues.
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. We will honor their memory by continuing to support the invaluable work of the Group of Experts and the whole UN family in the DRC.
It is our hope that the cause of their deaths will be determined following a more thorough examination. 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.
I urge the Congolese authorities to continue the search for the four Congolese nationals who accompanied our colleagues. The United Nations will cooperate with the authorities in the continuing search.
New York, 28 March 2017