Global News

Dozens of Burundian refugees killed in DR Congo

Dozens of Burundian refugees killed in DR Congo

According to several reports, the small town of Kamanyola in South Kivu, near the border with Burundi and Rwanda, has seen deadly confrontations between Burundian refugees and asylum seekers and the Congolese armed forces during the weekend.

The UN's MONUSCO peacekeeping mission in the country had said Saturday that at least 36 refugees were killed in the violence in Kamanyola on Friday, in which a Congolese soldier also died.

Maman Sidikou said he was "deeply shocked" at the violence. A total of 43,769 Burundian refugees live in DRC.

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

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

A Burundian refugee told AFP: "I saw people falling down, men, women and children who were completely unarmed".

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Burundi Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe asked Congo and the United Nations on Twitter for an explanation of the shootings.

Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to the eastern DR Congo to escape a wave of violence that unfurled in 2015 after Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a fiercely contested third term in office.

Residents said the killings occurred after some Burundian refugees went to the bureau of intelligence in Kamanyola to inquire about four detained refugees.

At least 124 refugees were also wounded.

The death of a soldier during the protests is said to have triggered the bloodbath.


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