WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Tuesday afternoon KSN received a somber update to the Hesston man who was kidnapped in the Congo; authorities have confirmed that his body has been found. Michael Sharp, another UN expert, and a Congolese man, who had been traveling with them, were all found dead.
All three went missing March 12 along with two other UN workers that have not been found. Sharp was last seen in the central region of the the Congo in the Kasai province, doing peace work through the UN. On Tuesday, KSN News spoke with a former classmate of Michael whose thoughts are with the family.
“I met him back in 2004. We both attended EMU together; he as a good friend, also a good colleague,” said Mukendi.
He is also a native of the region, now saddened to learn that Michael’s body was among those found in the area.
“If I can just express my condolences to Michael and to John, Michele and the entire family in Kansas, it’s painful,” said Mukendi.
Mukendi works for the Congolese Chamber of Commerce and said he’s very familiar with the peace work Michael was trying to accomplish to stop the violence.
“So many have been killed, about roughly 400 people have been killed since December 2016; more than 200 people have been displaced at the wake of that conflict,” said Mukendi.
Now, he hopes that Michael’s mission towards a peaceful Congo can one day be realized.
“There’s actually ways, peaceful ways, to resolve the conflict and not to use oppressive means to kill innocent civilians,” said Mukendi.
At this time, there’s no word or memorial plans.