World Bulletin / News Desk
The Congolese government has opposed the UN's request to send its own team to probe the murder of two of its experts in the country in March.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday said it would send a team of experts to conduct an investigation into the killing of two of its employees in the Kasai region.
Suspected Kamuina Nsapu militiamen had kidnapped American Michael Sharp and Swedish Zaido Catalan on March 12 when the duo was reportedly investigating human rights abuses in the area.
The bodies of the UN workers were discovered in a shallow grave in late March.
Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo had arrested two suspects involved in the killings; however, one of them later escaped, according to the army's top prosecutor.
Foreign Affairs Minister Leonard She Okitundu told the media late Thursday the UN approach could only be considered if the country was unable to carry out an investigation.
"The DRC is already conducting the investigation. If the UN considers that it has elements to add then it has to transmit it to the Congolese military justice, which is responsible for carrying out the investigation,'' Okitundu said.
He added the UN should not try to replace the country’s justice system by conducting a parallel investigation.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende also called on the UN to have confidence in the Congolese courts. He said the DRC had a proven track record on criminal cases of international significance.
Kasai region has experienced several clashes between the anti-government Kamuina Nsapu militia and police since August 2016, which resulted in the death of hundreds of people, according to the UN.
An estimated 400,000 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are at risk of severe acute malnutrition as the ongoing crisis in Greater Kasai severely disrupts life-saving interventions in recent months, according to the UNICEF.