36 Burundi refugees have been killed by the Congolese forces

Protesters challenge president pursuit of a third term  Protesters challenge president pursuit of a third term Carl De Souza/Agence France-Presse

09 October 2017
The government forces shot at a crowd while refugees were protesting unclear detentions and resettlement plans in Kamanyola, Eastern Congo.

As reported to Reuters by local activists, several Burundian refugees met at the office of the Congolese intelligence service to obtain more information about some refugees, who have been detained without evident reason.  Mr. Kijana, member of a local society group, claimed that the discussion became more animated and people started throwing stones at the soldiers, who subsequently began shooting aimlessly, causing the death of 36 people and wounding  117 refugees and asylum seekers.

A government’s spokesman, Mr. Mende, stated that the military forces had been attacked by armed people that are not identified as refugees and consequently, an investigation has been opened to clarify what occurred and who was involved.

The MONUSCO’s chief (Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en RD Congo), Mr. Sidikou, condemned “all forms of violence between communities” and the Burundian foreign minister exhorted the Congolese officials to fully investigate and report the incident.

Nearly 400,000 people have fled Burundi, as the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, obtained a third term in April 2015, an act that many considered illegal. The United Nations reported on deliberate human rights violations, including executions, enforced disappearance, use of torture and ill-treatment, and both sexual and gender-based violence.  The government has denied the evidence presented by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the parliament voted to withdraw the country from this organ, making this the first case of withdrawing after the ratification of the ICC’s establishing treaty.  


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