Troops kill 18 Burundian refugees in DR Congo

Refugees From Burundi Killed in Congo, Activists Say

Refugees From Burundi Killed in Congo, Activists Say

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 Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Congo, Maman Sidikou, in a statement said that he condemned the acts of violence perpetrated in Kamanyola. In the current situation, solutions need to be found quickly for the protection of the Burundian refugees.

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".

Interior minister Josue Boji said that troops tried to disperse the refugees, who were fleeing violence and unrest in their own country, when the group started to throw stones.

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Everyone has a moral responsibility to act, he said. "We really do need to take in his message of poverty and inequality. He added that attachment to money "has effects on creation, and also on so many other questions, like that of arms.

Out of 40,000 Burundian asylum-seekers, 28,000 who fled hostilities in their country were identified by the DRC's National Commission for Refugees in Kamanyola.

Of the people killed in Friday's clashes, 15 were women, the commander of the Pakistani battalion of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, Waquara Yunusi, told The Associated Press.

It was not immediately clear why the four refugees had been detained.

"UNHCR also calls for an investigation into this tragic incident", UNHCR local spokesman, Andreas Kirchhof, said.

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