The United Nations has condemned the killing of over 30 Burundian nationals in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chimp Corps report.
Expressing shock and sadness over the violent death of numerous Burundian nationals – among them likely refugees and asylum seekers – in Kamanyola town, the United Nations refugee agency called for an investigation into the incident.
According to initial reports, more than 30 have been killed and over 100 injured.
“The precise circumstances are not yet clear [but] reports indicate that in the course of a confrontation with Burundian demonstrators, Congolese security forces opened fire on the crowd,” the UN agency added.
Interior ministry official Josue Boji told AFP the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country’s domestic intelligence agency to demand the release of four Burundians who had been arrested for expulsion on Wednesday night.
Boji, who had put the toll at 34 dead earlier — including a Congolese soldier — said troops tried to disperse the refugees by “firing in the air but were overwhelmed” when the group responded by throwing stones.
At least 124 refugees were also wounded.
The town hosts some 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.