WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the abduction and murder of UN investigators and their support staff in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
“I am outraged by the murder of Michael Sharp, an American citizen who was a member of the UN Group of Experts, and two of his colleagues. My thoughts are with the loved ones of these victims, and with the three others who remain missing. I strongly urge the Congolese authorities to fully cooperate with the UN mission in investigating their deaths and to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.
“These individuals gave their lives to investigate human rights abuses and sanctions violations at a time when the political and security situation in the Congo is deteriorating and when steep cuts to the UN mission in the DRC proposed by our own government would only make the situation worse. Their work was heroic and selfless, and it deserves continued support—not devastating cutbacks.”
Michael Sharp and his colleagues had been sent to the Kasai region to investigate human rights violations in the wake of an alleged massacre committed by Congolese security forces that was captured on video and leaked to the media last month. Two weeks ago, they were abducted by unknown armed elements.