The Latest: Security Council decries killing of 2 UN experts

AP News
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Posted: Mar 29, 2017 9:29 PM

BENI, Congo (AP) — The latest on the deaths of an American and a Swedish investigator for the United Nations in Congo (all times local):

2:30 a.m.

The U.N. Security Council is condemning the killing of two of its experts in Congo "in the strongest terms." It also has expressed concern at "the unknown status of the four Congolese nationals accompanying them" when the experts disappeared more than two weeks ago.

Council members issued a statement Wednesday night calling on the Congolese government "to swiftly and fully investigate these crimes and bring the still unidentified perpetrators to justice." It also supports holding a U.N. inquiry.

The statement stresses that attacks targeting civilians "may constitute war crimes under international law."

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7:10 p.m.

The United States has issued a travel warning for Congo.

A State Department statement warns of unnecessary travel there, citing "ongoing instability and sporadic violence" in many areas.

The warning comes a day after Congo confirmed the deaths of an American and a Swedish expert for the United Nations and their interpreter. Their bodies were found in a shallow grave Monday after the team disappeared more than two weeks ago while looking into recent alleged rights abuses.

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6:35 p.m.

Congo's government says it will investigate the deaths of an American and a Swedish expert for the United Nations and their interpreter. Their bodies were found in a shallow grave Monday after the team disappeared more than two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Sweden says it is opening a murder investigation.

American Michael Sharp, Swedish national Zaida Catalan and their interpreter Betu Tshintela went missing March 12 along with driver Isaac Kabuayi and two motorbike drivers in Central Kasai province. They were looking into alleged human rights violations by the Congolese army and local militia groups.

The U.N. secretary-general says the world body will conduct an inquiry into the deaths.