Published: Mon, September 18, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

DR Congo security forces shoot dead 37 Burundi migrants

DR Congo security forces shoot dead 37 Burundi migrants

The group are said to have overrun a prison where a number of Burundians were being held for deportation.

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. At least 34 people were killed, and dozens were wounded, Mr. Kijana said.

"We do not yet understand how the people who are being called refugees were also shooting at Congolese soldiers", Mende said.

"The UN Refugee Agency is shocked and saddened over the violent death of numerous Burundian nationals - among them likely refugees and asylum-seekers", said UNCHR in a statement. Thirty-nine gravely wounded Burundian refugees were evacuated by helicopter to the city of Bukavu, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo said.

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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.

Soldiers and police opened fire as the refugees tried to free some of their compatriots in Kamanyola, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near the Burundi border.

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", said the coordinator of the U.N. Communications Group in Congo, Florence Marchal.

Burundi's foreign minister, Alain-Aime Nyamitwe, on Twitter described the incident as a "shooting" and said "explanations are needed".

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