Forty-five prisoners, all former militia fighters, have been transferred from a prison in southern DR Congo after a series of spectacular jailbreaks, officials said Saturday.

The transfers of 28 convicted inmates and 17 awaiting trial came days after the escape of suspects in the murder of two UN experts.

The prisoners are all members of the Kamwina Nsapu militia, which clashed with government forces between September 2016 and October 2017. The fighting cost 3,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

The inmates were transferred on Friday from Kananga in Kasai-Central province near the border with the Angola, Edouard Ntumba Buabua, the mayor of Kananga.

The 17 prisoners still to be tried were flown to Ndolo, the main prison in the capital Kinshasa, said Vincent Kayembe, a local justice ministry official.

Twenty-eight convicted prisoners were taken to the top-security prison at Angenga, in the northwest province of Equateur, a local journalist told AFP.

The transfer came after a series of daring escapes from Kananga prison last week.

On Thursday, military prosecutors said four suspects in the March 2017 killing of two UN experts were among those who had managed to flee.

Zaida Catalan, a 36-year-old Swedish-Chilean national, and American Michael Sharp, 34 were killed in Kasai in 2017 while investigating mass graves in the region.

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