UN: human rights investigators killed in DRC
UN: human rights investigators killed in DRC

UN Secretary-General António Guterres [official profile] confirmed [UN News Centre report] Tuesday that the remains of two human rights investigators were found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan [statement] were members of the Group of Experts on the DRC and had been missing since March 12. Sharp and Catalan had been studying the causes of conflict and insecurity in the DRC in order to help bring peace to the country and its people. Guterres urged the Congolese government to search for those who were responsible:

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.

The DRC [BBC profile] has seen ongoing violence for the past several decades, which has led to growing international concern. Earlier this month seven army officials have been arrested and charged [JURIST report] with war crimes. Last month Human Rights Watch called on [JURIST report] the DRC to investigate the killing of alleged militia recorded in a released video. Earlier in February the UN human rights chief urged [JURIST report] the DRC to end violence against civilians. Also in February the UN human rights office expressed concern [JURIST report] over reports that at least 101 people have been killed by Congolese soldiers. Last October violent protests erupted [JURIST report] after the electoral commission announced that the next presidential election, originally scheduled for November 2016, would be pushed back to 2018. The commission stated that it needed more time to prepare supplies and voter registration lists. In the beginning of 2016 [JURIST report] former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged African leaders to avoid using loopholes and undemocratic constitutional changes to “cling to power.”