The United Nations has criticized Congolese authorities for releasing a video showing the grisly murders of two UN experts, saying the move could harm the investigation and was traumatic for the families.
"The video is evidence in the crime. We don’t think it should have been released. We don’t think it should have been shown," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Congolese authorities showed the two-minute video to journalists, in an apparent bid to address suspicions that Kinshasa may have had a hand in the murders.
Dujarric said the video was authentic. "One can only imagine how traumatic it is to the families of the victims," he said.
The video showed Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan surrounded by seven people speaking Tshiluba, the main language of Kasai, armed with machetes, sticks and one with an old gun.
Through an interpreter out of shot, the armed men promise to show the location of mass graves in the bush. Seemingly worried, the white man asks the interpreter in French with a marked accent: "Why are they armed and angry?"
The two foreigners are quickly forced to sit on the ground before orders are barked and they are shot. One of the victims is then beheaded.
"This is how the men of Kamwina Nsapu operate," government spokesman Lambert Mende told reporters, saying the murder showed "the work of terrorists that must be wiped out by all means."
Two suspects were detained over the kidnap and murder of Sharp, who was American, and dual Swedish-Chilean national Catalan, earlier this month, but one escaped with the help of police guarding them.
Sharp and Catalan were members of the UN panel of experts who were seeking to investigate reports of mass graves in the central Kasai region.
Hundreds of people have been killed in violence in diamond-rich Kasai since a tribal uprising began after traditional chieftain Kamwina Nsapu was killed in August last year.