Dozens die as security forces fire at refugees
At least 36 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces who allegedly fired indiscriminately at protesters, the UN envoy to Congo said yesterday.
Maman Sidikou said he was “deeply shocked” at the violence. Another 117 people were wounded and one Congolese officer was killed, he said in a statement.
Thirty-nine gravely wounded Burundian refugees were evacuated by helicopter to the city of Bukavu, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo said.
The clashes erupted in Kamanyola in Congo’s South Kivu province when Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers protested the expulsion of four of their countrymen from Congo, Mr Sidikou said, citing “credible reports” received by the peacekeeping mission.
The death of the Congolese army officer led to “the escalation of violence”.
The UN 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,” a government spokesman said.