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Open-Border Loving Politician Found Beheaded, Case Still Barely Mentioned by Media

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Editor’s Note: CT readers really reacted to this story when it originally ran.

It’s been almost a year since Swedish politician Zaida Catalan was beheaded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yet, most people haven’t even heard her name — and there’s a good reason for that.

According to the U.K. Sun, Catalan was killed along with American Michael Sharp, a United Nations worker, as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission to the troubled African nation.

On March 12, 2017, Catalan and Sharp were kidnapped along with four Congolese in the disputed province of Kasai. The BBC reports that the two had been dispatched to the region “to investigate reports of abuses after local rebels took up arms.”

On March 27, their bodies were found.

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“We have been informed that two Caucasian bodies have been found in shallow graves in the search area, one male and one female,” Sharp’s father, John Sharp, posted on Facebook after the discovery of their bodies.

“Since no other Caucasians have been reported missing in that region, there is a high probability that these are the bodies of MJ and Zaida.

“Dental records and DNA samples will be used to confirm the identities. This will take some time.”

However, a video of the murders quickly surfaced, showing the two being shot by members of the Kamwina Nsapu rebels, according to The Guardian.

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Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende later confirmed that “the woman was found beheaded, but the body of the man was intact,” the BBC reported.

According to the International Crisis Group, the Kamuina Nsapu insurgency is a localized conflict which occurred when “the state refused to recognize the traditional appointment of Jean-Pierre Mpandi as Kamuina Nsapu,” a traditional chiefdom.

While a localized conflict, the Kamwina Nsapu fighting has helped to add to the instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly given that President Joseph Kabila’s government had begun a brutal crackdown in the region, which is what Sharp and Catalan were investigating.

In December, a local militia leader was arrested in the deaths of Sharp and Catalan, according to The New York Times, but the case has been largely kept in obscurity — likely because it didn’t fulfill the liberal media’s narrative of open borders as a panacea for the world’s ills.

Ironically, Catalan was a member of the Swedish Green Party. While generally Euroskeptical, the party has still embraced open borders. Its 2013 platform states that the Greens “are warm adherents to international cooperation. We want to see Europe as a part of a world of democracies, where people move freely over borders, and where people and countries trade and cooperate with each other.”

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While the Kamuina Nsapu insurgency is a localized one without the taint of globalized Islamic fanaticism, the destabilization of the Congo represents a larger problem, especially if terrorist groups are able to flourish within the failed state.

Terrorist groups often do flourish in failed states, the same way that al Shabab flourished in Somalia or Al Qaeda did in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Indeed, according to the U.K. Express, the Islamist Allied Democratic Force has also been busy in the DRC, attacking Christian villages and hospitals as part of an attempt to “carve out” a caliphate in the east of the unstable country.

While it may not be the Allied Democratic Force or Al Qaeda who’s responsible for Catalan’s death, the message is clear: The world is often a fragile place, filled with terrorist groups who want people dead for no other reason than they live in the West or they don’t believe in their religion.

Open borders would utterly destroy our most effective measure to keep those individuals from inflicting the harm they wish to. That’s something the media doesn’t like talking about, which is why you don’t hear a lot about Ms. Catalan or her death.

Zaida Catalan may have died in Africa. Make no mistake, though — the next time terrorism claims a politician’s life, it may be in Europe, all thanks to policies Zaida Catalan’s party supported.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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