United Nations refugee agency 'shocked' by killings in eastern DR Congo


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.

Protesters gathered in Paris on Saturday to protest over violence in Burundi, a day after at least 30 Burundian refugees were killed in clashes with Congolese security forces over plans to send some of them home.

"The Congolese army and police were overwhelmed by the refugee protest and fired shots into the air before the situation worsened", the army spokesman said.

Kamanyola hosts 2,005 refugees and asylum-seekers from Burundi, most of whom arrived in 2015. There are a total of 43,769 Burundian refugees living in DRC.

The U.N. envoy called for a swift investigation and urged Congo's security forces to use force as a last resort.

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"The incident provoked a reaction from the soldiers, who started shooting everywhere", he said. "No person who is a beneficiary of this (refugee) status is supposed to have an assault rifle". Members of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo intervened to halt the clash, he said.

In the wake of the killings, Burundi's Foreign Minister Alain Aimé Nyamitwe took to Twitter demanding answers.

Residents said the killings occurred after some Burundian refugees went to the bureau of intelligence in Kamanyola to inquire about four detained refugees.

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

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