UN Offers Congo Help in Probe After Six Bodies Pulled From River

The United Nations offered the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government help in investigations after six bodies with signs of beatings were recovered from a river in the capital, Kinshasa.

The bodies were found at the weekend along the banks of the Ndjili River in Kinshasa’s Limete commune, Jose Maria Aranaz, director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office, or UNJHRO, said late Monday by phone from the city.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said a probe was under way. There isn’t a credible explanation for the deaths yet, although the city has seen a recent resurgence in crime, he said by phone from Kinshasa.

In 2013, Congolese security forces led a crackdown against street gangs in the capital, during which police executed at least nine men, according to the UNJHRO. New York-based Human Rights Watch said at least 51 people were killed during the operation, and in May the U.S. imposed sanctions on General Celestin Kanyama, who led that campaign. Mende said Kanyama has restored order to Kinshasa.

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