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Mobile phone footage reveals ’horrific’ killing of UN experts in Congo

The United Nations said on Monday it was horrified by a video screened by the government of Democratic Republic of Congo that appeared to show the brutal killing of two U.N. investigators.

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Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan

Congo’s government has obtained a five-minute mobile phone video which shows the gruesome murders of two United Nations experts who were killed last month while investigating human rights abuses.

In the video shown to journalists on Monday, a group of young men identify themselves as members of the Kamwina Nsapu militia.

American Michael Sharp, Swedish national Zaida Catalan and their interpreter Betu Tshintela went missing March 12 in central Congo and their bodies were found two weeks later. Three others working with the team remain missing.

"Our colleagues in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo)have seen the video and we are utterly horrified at what appears to be the killing of Michael Sharp and Zeida Catalan," said U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.

The U.N. is carrying out its own investigation into the killings and has urged Congo to do so as well.

The video shown to a group of journalists in the capital Kinshasa on Monday appeared to show the two experts walking with a group of men wearing red headbands characteristic of the local Kamuina Nsapu militia, according to a Reuters reporter present.

Since July, when the militia first launched an uprising, the United nations estimates at least 400 people have been killed.

The film, narrated by a Congolese police spokesman, cuts mid-way through and the two are seen sitting on the ground and then shot. Catalan is subsequently beheaded.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said it was filmed by the Kamuina Nsapu militia and had been secured by police.

Congo’s government has vowed justice for the victims and arrested two suspects, although one escaped custody.

Mugiejo A

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