Troops kill 18 Burundian refugees in DR Congo

by Garry Watts September 19, 2017, 0:32
Troops kill 18 Burundian refugees in DR Congo

More than 100 victims were injured during the confrontations at Kamanyola in the risky eastern DRC.

Maman Sidikou, the head of MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country, said in a statement Saturday that at least 36 refugees had been reported killed.

According to initial reports more than 30 have been killed and over100 injured, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a news release today. In the current situation, solutions need to be found quickly for the protection of the Burundian refugees.

Congo's government says it is opening an investigation to establish the facts and true identity of the "supposed refugees", spokesman Lambert Mende said.

Burundi's foreign minister, Alain-Aime Nyamitwe, on Twitter described the incident as a "shooting" and said "explanations are needed".

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No-one with refugee status "is supposed to have an assault rifle", he said.

Kamanyola is home to 2,000 of the almost 44,000 people who have fled Burundi to neighboring Congo, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

There are over 400,000 Burundian refugees in DRC who fled after violence erupted in their country in April 2015 when incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza refused to leave power after serving two terms and stood in elections for a third term. Congolese soldiers responded with gunfire when some refugees hurled stones, said refugee Aline Nduwarugira.

Eighteen Burundian refugees were killed Friday, said Mwanamboka and the others died Saturday, according to reports.


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