51 killed in DRC machete attack
GOMA — Civil society groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday said the number of people hacked to death in the restive east this weekend has risen to 51.
“Our team on the ground has counted 51 bodies slain with machetes,” said Teddy Kataliko, a member of a local alliance of NGOs and unions working in the troubled town of Beni.
Local mayor Edmond Masumbuko on Sunday said 42 people had died in Saturday night’s mass killing in Beni. The government in Kinshasa had earlier put the death toll at 36.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende said the civil society groups’ toll was “impossible to objectively verify”.
Saturday night’s attack was the latest in a string of killings that have left more than 650 people dead in and around Beni since 2014.
The army has blamed the attack on the Allied WINDHOEK — The Botswana and Namibian governments have announced plans to resume the repatriation of hundreds of Namibian refugees from the Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana, New Era reports.
The two governments were reported to have convened in Katima Mulilo on Thursday to finalise logistical arrangements to ensure the safe return of the refugees to their home country.
Both countries had previously set a deadline of December 31, 2015, for voluntary repatriations to take place.
Plans were, however, halted when several of the refugees approached the Botswana High Court to have an order issued to prevent their deportation to Namibia, a separate New Era report revealed.
Botswana courts had previously forced and Democratic Forces (ADF), a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin.
The group has been present in DR Congo for more than two decades and is accused of copious human rights abuses.
The killings sparked rage among local residents who accused the government of failing to protect them.
Some of the victims’ families refused to take their relatives’ bodies to the morgue, Kataliko told AFP.
“They decided to hold private funerals and refused to allow the government to bury them because it could not guarantee their security while they were still alive,” he added. All shops were shut in Beni on Monday and the streets plunged into silence for the first of three days of national mourning.
Army spokesman Mak Hakuzay said that military units deployed in the area would be given new uniforms because ADF rebels “have infiltrated” an area under the Congolese armed forces’ control. — AFP
Namibia set to resume repatriation of refugees from Botswana
threatened the refugees into signing up for voluntary repatriation, while deploying deliberate starvation to ensure that they be returned to Namibia, according to Sunday Standard.
Records suggested that the repatriation had violated the 2002 tripartite agreement between Botswana, Namibia and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which guaranteed “safe and dignified return” of thousands who fled to Botswana following secessionist troubles in the Caprivi in 1998, and attacks thereafter.
New developments had taken place since then, with only four of the 941 refugees agreeing to voluntary repatriation.
The four were set to be returned to Namibia once their paperwork was completed. — AFP