At least 30 Burundian refugees die in clashes with Congolese security forces

  • Saturday 16, September 2017 in 11:05 PM
  • Burundian refugees
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: At least 30 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces over plans to send some of them home, a Reuters witness and local activists said on Saturday.

Police and soldiers opened fire as the refugees protested over the plan in the town of Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, the activists told Reuters.

Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende denied that those killed were refugees, saying that the clashes broke out when assailants from an unidentified armed group attacked an office belonging to the national intelligence agency.

Five soldiers and 20 of the attackers were killed in the fighting, Mende said.

More than 400,000 refugees have fled Burundi - including 40,000 to neighboring 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.