Congolese colonel arrested in deaths
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.