At least 36 Burundian refugees were killed and 117 wounded in clashes with Congolese security forces who allegedly fired indiscriminately at protesters on September 15 in Congo’s South Kivu province.
The clashes erupted in Kamanyola in Congo’s South Kivu province when Citing “credible reports” received by the peacekeeping mission, Maman Sidikou the U.N. envoy to Congo said that the Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers protested the expulsion of four of their countrymen from Congo.He added that he death of the Congolese army officer led to “the escalation of violence.”
The U.N. envoy called for a swift investigation and urged Congo’s security forces to use force as a last resort.
Congo’s government says it is opening an investigation to establish the facts and true identity of the “supposed refugees,” spokesman Lambert Mende said.
Roughly 44,000 refugees from Burundi are sheltering in Congo. Many fled political violence at home in 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza successfully pursued a disputed third term amid deadly protests.
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.