Two United Nations sanctions monitors in Democratic Republic of Congo discussed their travel plans with family representatives of a late militia leader the day before they were murdered while investigating the group, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
However, U.N. investigators say they cannot yet lay blame for the murders based on the preliminary evidence.
American Michael Sharp, coordinator of the independent monitoring group, and Swede Zaida Catalan were killed in central Congo on March 12 while carrying out investigations for the annual report to the U.N. Security Council, dated June 30.
The remaining members of the monitoring group wrote that they had retrieved an audio tape, dated March 11, of Sharp and Catalan speaking with representatives of the family of the late Kamuina Nsapu militia leader Jean-Pierre Mpandi, who they said was killed by Congolese troops last August. This is the first time the existence of this tape has been reported.
“Parts of the discussion concerned a field visit scheduled for the following day,” they wrote in the 35-page report. “The tape confirmed that the investigation aimed at a better understanding of Kamuina Nsapu’s structure, its support networks and the potential recruitment and use of children.”
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