GENEVA – The United Nations' main human rights body has voted to send international experts to look into abuses and killings in central Congo, where thousands of deaths and mutilations have been reported in recent months.
The Human Rights Council approved a resolution Friday that blended stringent calls for an international investigation led by the European Union with calls from Africa for Congo's own forces and investigators to take the lead.
The resolution calls for experts working with Congo's government to visit people and sites in the central Kasai regions, where militias and government troops have been blamed for abuses.
The Catholic church this week estimated that over 3,300 people have been killed in the Kasais since August, including two U.N. investigators and their interpreter.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States is glad the council finally took action to investigate human rights abuses in Congo.
"However, there is still much work to be done to bring justice to the victims of these brutal crimes," she said.
"Investigators must be able to carry out their work without interference, and the Congolese government must fully cooperate with the investigation. If they fail to do so, the council must be prepared to act," Haley said.