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17 September 2017, 09:43 | Kelvin Horton
Refugees From Burundi Killed in Congo, Activists Say
At least 34 refugees who had fled political violence in Burundi were killed by government forces in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, a civil society group said Saturday.
Sidikou says in a statement that 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.
At least 124 refugees were also wounded.
The clashes broke out when refugees were opposed to repatriation to Burundi, Kasereka said. Initial reports suggest over 30 dead and more than 100 left injured.
Residents in the area tell The Associated Press the killings occurred after some Burundian refugees went to the bureau of intelligence in Kamanyola to inquire about four detained refugees.
"The incident provoked a reaction from the soldiers, who started shooting everywhere", he said.
Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to the eastern DR Congo to escape a wave of violence that unfurled in 2015 after Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a fiercely contested third term in office.
He also stressed that defence and security forces could resort to force "only as a last resort" and in accordance with global norms, and urged "the authorities to promptly open criminal investigations".
Burundi's government firmly rejected the allegations, accusing the United Nations investigators of being "mercenaries" in a Western plot to "enslave African states".
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