Con­golese colonel ar­rested in deaths

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

KIN­SHASA, Congo — Au­thor­i­ties have ar­rested a Con­golese colonel who failed to dis­close that he had met with two U.N. ex­perts just two days be­fore they were mur­dered, of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

The ar­rest of Col. Jean de Dieu Mamb­weni came shortly af­ter a hear­ing into the March 2017 killings of Amer­i­can Michael Sharp and Swedish na­tional Zaida Cata­lan in Kananga.

Congo has blamed the killings on the Kamwina Ns­apu mili­tia ac­tive in the cen­tral Ka­sai prov­inces. How­ever, crit­ics note that the ex­perts had been in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged hu­man rights abuses and have said se­cu­rity forces may have been in­volved, which the gov­ern­ment de­nies.

Mamb­weni ini­tially said that he had met twice with the U.N. ex­perts in Jan­uary and then for a fi­nal time briefly at his home on March 9.

How­ever, in a newly in­tro­duced record­ing played at the hear­ing Thurs­day, a man can be heard say­ing the date, March 10, dur­ing a prayer be­fore a meal shared with Sharp and Cata­lan, ac­cord­ing to the U.N.-backed Ra­dio Okapi.

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