UNHCR shocked over Burundians deaths in DRC, calls for investigation

UNHCR shocked over Burundians deaths in DRC, calls for investigation

At least 35 Burundian refugees have been killed and more than 100 others wounded by security forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Friday, according to an army official Saturday.

Some 40,000 are living in the DRC, the UN Refugee Agency said.

"They grabbed a gun from a security officer and fired at the soldiers, killing one of them and seriously injuring a senior police officer".

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is shocked and saddened over the violent death of numerous Burundian nationals - among them likely refugees and asylum-seekers, in Kamanyola, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In a statement, Burundi's main opposition grouping, CNARED, accused Burundian army troops and members of the ruling CNDD-FDD's youth group Imbonerakure of carrying out the killings with the Congolese army.

He calls for a swift investigation.


According to a spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency, more than 2,000 Burundian refugees live in Kamanyola with host families.

Congo-based U.N. communications official Florence Marchal confirmed the deaths and said the Congolese government, the U.N. refugee agency and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo "have deployed teams on site to shed light on everything that happened".

More than 400,000 people have fled Burundi since 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term, sparking widespread violence.

Aline Nduwarugira says Congolese soldiers responded with gunfire when some of the refugees hurled stones.

Roughly 44,000 refugees from Burundi are sheltering in Congo.

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