Jan Eliasson, FN
Foto: Salvatore Di Nolfi/AP/TT

Jan Eliasson calls for clarity on Congo killings

Jan Eliasson, UN's former Deputy Secretary General, comment on the disclosure that the UN knew about Congo-Kinshasa's involvement in the murder of UN expert Zaida Catalán.

The story was published by Swedish Television, SVT, Uppdrag granskning (Mission: Investigate) yesterday.

Eliasson says that the Swedish government must now find out how the case has been handled.

– For me, it is incredibly important that one always stands by the truth and that everything is revealed, also when it disturbs the country in which one has a peacekeeping mission, Jan Eliasson tells SR Ekot.

SVT Uppdrag granskning (Mission: Investigate) yesterday, together with several other media organisations abroad, published information from a leak in a secret UN investigation into the murders of UN Group of Expert members Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp, in the DR Congo in March 2017.

Apparently, the UN was aware of information linking the Congolese secret service and its military to the murders, but even so the UN did not disclose this information to the victims' families, nor to the public or the Security Council in the Board of Inquiry, BOI, report of August 2017. Unacceptable conduct, according to former General Assembly President Jan Eliasson.

– If things are as clear as they appear, certainly this information on participation or a role in their death ought to be put forward. That is certainly significantly detrimental and I hope the UN will rectify that.

The UN Secretariat has responded to SVT defending the actions and communications of the UN BOI. The UN underlines that what has been carried out is an administrative inquiry, not a criminal investigation, and says BOI chairman Greg Starr did his best to inform the victims' families.

That leaves Sweden with the responsibility to find out whether the UN has wrongfully kept information from the public.

– If the Secretary General has denied this, then naturally the Swedish government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the delegation in New York must check this information, he says.

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