Clashes with Congo forces leave 36 Burundians dead
At least 36 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces who allegedly fired indiscriminately at protesters, the U.N. envoy to Congo said Saturday.
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 U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo said.
Friday’s 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, Sidikou said, citing “credible reports” received by the peacekeeping mission.
The death of the Congolese army officer led to “the escalation of violence.”
Roughly 44,000 refugees from Burundi are sheltering in Congo. Many fled political violence at home in 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza pursued a disputed third term amid deadly protests.