Congo-Kinshasa: Dozens of Burundians Killed in Clashes With DRC Forces

Posted September 19, 2017

At least 34 refugees who had fled political violence in Burundi were killed by government forces in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, a civil society group said Saturday.

"The refugees went in big numbers where the two arrested Burundians were being held, demanding their release", Mwanaboka told Anadolu Agency.

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

"So far, we have counted 31 dead and at least 105 injured, 15 of them seriously", the refugee said. UNHCR also calls for an investigation into this tragic incident.

The agency said it had sent teams to Kamanyola, including medical staff to see to those injured.

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Eyewitness Alfred Rukungo said the soldiers continued shooting into the crowd even after some refugees were wounded.

The president of a group representing Burundians who have fled the country, Gratien Rukindikiza, said he feared the situation could slide into a "genocide".

The town hosts some 2,005 refugees and asylum seekers from Burundi, most of whom arrived in 2015.

Friday's clashes erupted in Kamanyola in Congo's South Kivu province when Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers protested the expulsion of four of their countrymen from Congo, Sidikou said, citing "credible reports" received by the peacekeeping mission.

Burundi's government firmly rejected the allegations, accusing the United Nations investigators of being "mercenaries" in a Western plot to "enslave African states".