On March 15, 2017 I wrote about Michael Sharp’s kidnapping in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sadly, the bodies of Michael Sharp, fellow UN investigator Zaida Catalan, and interpreter Betu Tshintela were recently found and identified. The whereabouts of their three companions, Isaac Kabuayi their driver and two motorbike drivers are unreported at this time. They were kidnapped on March 12 in Kasai province.
No group has claimed responsibility for the killings. Americans may be familiar with terrorist groups like Boko Haram or the Lord’s Resistance Army but Africa is not a priority on most newsfeeds. Sharp and his team were investigating human rights abuses in Kasai province. DRC soldiers executed alleged militia members there in February, while 40 policemen were beheaded in Kasai province last week.
The scale of death and brutality in the DRC is troubling. Amnesty International’s DRC 2013 Report highlights conflict minerals, wanton killing of civilians by government soldiers and militia groups, thousands of child soldiers and more than 2 million displaced people. Let that sink in…2 million displaced. Michael, Zaida, and Betu were brave souls indeed.
The Havok Journal extends condolences to their families, and prayers for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.