Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Congolese troops kill 37 protesters, United Nations says

Congolese troops kill 37 protesters, United Nations says

"The Congolese army and police were overwhelmed by the refugee protest and fired shots into the air before the situation worsened", the army spokesman said.

A Burundian refugee said that more than 30 had been killed and at least 100 wounded.

The refugees were protesting against the decision of DRC officials to extradite two other refugees arrested recently for allegedly making weapons.

A Burundian refugee told AFP news agency: "I saw people falling down, men, ... The soldiers responded by firing at the protesters and killing some of them".

The toll could rise further, as the refugees took the bodies of other victims to the Pakistani-run United Nations camp at Kamanyola, he said.

"UNHCR calls for an investigation into this tragic incident", said the statement, adding that UNCHR and its partners have sent teams to Kamanyola, including medical staff, to treat the injured.

A spokeswoman for MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country, gave a toll, which was also provisional, of 18 dead and 50 injured.

Residents in the area said the killings occurred after some Burundian refugees went to the bureau of intelligence in Kamanyola to inquire about four detained refugees.

More than 400,000 refugees have fled Burundi including 40,000 to neighbouring Congo, since violence erupted in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term in office, a move his opponents said was unconstitutional.

The clashes broke out when refugees were opposed to repatriation to Burundi, Kasereka said.

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