Man with Albuquerque ties abducted in Africa


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A man with ties to Albuquerque has been kidnapped by a militia in Africa, along with five others.

Michael Sharp worked for the United Nations but kept his U.S. base in Albuquerque.

Sharp, known as MJ, was on a peacekeeping mission and disappeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with a Swede working for the United Nations and three Congolese citizens, when the kidnapping happened on a bridge.

It’s unclear when the group was abducted, but they were traveling on motorcycles. A Congo government spokesman said there’s no information on who the kidnappers may have been.

A candlelight vigil took place at the Albuquerque Mennonite Church Wednesday night. Sharp spent most of his time overseas, but his Albuquerque congregation is praying for a peaceful end to the devastating development.

“His role as a peacekeeper trying to find nonviolent ways to resolve situations puts him in danger like this,” said Tom Kauffman, transitional pastor for Albuquerque Mennonite Church.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said, “I don’t know the circumstances. We’re still unsure of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of these two people. We are actively looking for them.”

Sharp attended a Christian school in Indiana. That campus is also praying for him.

Jim Buller, guidance counselor at Bethany Christian, said, “He is with people who do not take human life in high regard.”

Buller added, “This is very scary and to know that his life is at risk here.”

“A significant part of our tradition from the 16th century has been using peaceful means of resolving conflict,” said Kauffman.

They hope and pray this abduction has a peaceful ending.

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