Swedish and American aid workers found dead in shallow African grave
A Swedish UN aid worker and her American colleague who had been abducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been found dead in a shallow grave, the Foreign Ministry and the United Nations confirmed on Wednesday.
Published: March 30, 2017, 9:45 am
They were found buried with their Congolese interpreter. Although the United Nations said in a statement that they did not know what had caused their deaths, it is not difficult to guess why they had been killed in a region and country awash with tribal competition to gain access to lucrative concessions involving minerals and other resources.
The Congolese government is fighting a rebel group which operates in the area and is believed to have kidnapped the experts.
The unrest in the province has become an increasingly serious threat to President Joseph Kabila, whose decision to stay on beyond the end of his elected mandate last December has sent ripples of unrest across the vast mining country.
The two had been investigating Kasaï-Central province, where they had gone to uncover reported human rights abuses. The violence in Kasai was sparked by the killing of tribal leader Kamwina Nsapu, who was leading an uprising against Kabila.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest as tribal leaders have rebelled against the central government. A spokesperson for the DRC government criticised the UN for failing to take adequate measures to protect the experts, saying it was “not normal” for foreign workers to come to the region.
“If the government had been informed of the activities of these officials, perhaps they would have had an escort for their safety,” said Lambert Mende. It is suspected that the two UN workers had become a “problem” to the government.
The disappearance of Catalan and Sharp was the first time UN experts had been reported missing in Congo, Human Rights Watch reported, and the first recorded deaths of international workers in the Kasai provinces.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said their mission “gave hope to a country that has long been plagued by violence” and that Catalan had risked her own life to save others.
Green Party spokespeople Gustav Fridolin and Isabella Lövin described their party adherent and former youth leader Catalan as a “true role model”. Fridolin and Catalan had worked together for two years as spokespeople for the Green Party’s youth wing.
The Swedish foreign ministry has advised against travelling to the DRC since 2006.
Brian Palmer, a friend who had invited Catalan to speak to his class at Uppsala University, where he teaches, said: “She had come to see the people that she was trying to help as her equals and her friends and had very much loyalty to them.”
The part of Kasai-Central Province they had traveled to had lately been littered with mass graves, for which the Congolese Army was blamed.
Sharp’s laptop was secured by an iris scan — his own. His watch tracked his exact location, but did not emit signals to locate him when he was abducted, suggesting that he was taken by well-trained individuals. Willet Weeks, a senior adviser on eastern Congo to the State Department, told the New York Times: “He had tremendous empathy, even for some of the nastiest people he worked with.”
But his empathy could not save his life in the end, unfortunately.
Officials said on Saturday Congolese tribal militiamen decapitated about 40 police officers in the deadliest attack on the security forces since the uprising began last year.
UN figures indicate that more than 400 people have been killed in violence in which militants have been blamed for atrocities and government forces are accused of targeting civilians.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
The ANC leadership of Ekurhuleni, a large make-shift "metro" cobbled together from various towns and cities east of Johannesburg, has voted to ahead with the country's first "expropriation without compensation" - known by the acronym EWC.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's lies during an interview on Bloomberg television has led to an angry response in South Africa. Ramaphosa's spokesperson quickly had to step in "to explain what the president said" but did little to explain away his lies.
Black First, Land First spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp gave a presentation on the South African government's coming amendment of section 25 of the constitution to allow for white land expropriation without compensation.
Turkish state broadcaster TRT World released a video last week claiming that the ongoing white genocide in South Africa is a "myth".
The conservative South African agricultural union, TAU SA believes that its long-time international campaign to bring farm murders to the world's attention, has begun to produce results, and is therefore pleased about the announcement made by American president, Donald Trump to investigate the possible expropriation of land without compensation as well as the farm murders.
PretoriaThe American president's tweet about the land grabs in South Africa, expressed a justified concern about events unfolding. Those who doubt the veracity of Donald Trump's tweet should familiarize themselves with the facts about farm murders and the threat to property rights in the country.
President Donald Trump's tweet about South Africa's land grab policy and farm murders, made global news today.
A researcher at the American Cato Institute has warned that South Africa will soon be going down the same disasterous path as its neighbour Zimbabwe did in 2000. The mainstream media is eerily silent about the coming crisis.
The futility of trying to debate with the ANC at the recent public hearings on the South African government’s proposal to introduce legislation permitting land to be expropriated without compensation, was obvious. ANC supporters would only respond that they were "sick and tired of white people".
Will South Africa follow Zimbabwe into hyperinflation and economic collapse as white farmers' land gets confiscated? Both farmers and the country's banks are frightened by the ANC regime's radical plans for 'expropriation without compensation'.